Supreme Court Verdict on the “Ayodhya Dispute”:

Gross Injustice in the name of “Complete Justice”

Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, 25 Nov, 2019

On 9th November, 2019, a five judge bench of the Supreme Court gave its ruling on a property dispute concerning the land on which Babri Masjid had stood before it was demolished in 1992. It has declared that the land belongs to Ram Lalla Virajman, the idol of baby Ram.  It has directed the Central Government to establish a Trust to build a Ram Temple at the site.

While no records exist as to the ownership of the disputed land, the Supreme Court has justified its decision by declaring that the claim of the Hindu parties to the dispute is allegedly stronger than the case of the Muslim party.  To support this argument, the Supreme Court has stated that there is no documentary evidence that Babri Masjid was being used by Muslims from the time of its construction in 1527 until 1856-1857.  It is not only absurd to question whether Muslims were offering prayers at a mosque constructed for that purpose.  It is also ridiculous to demand documentary evidence, given that the British rulers destroyed all such documents after the Ghadar of 1857.

In the name of ensuring “complete justice”, the Supreme Court has instructed the Central government, in consultation with the Government of Uttar Pradesh, to allocate 5 acres of land elsewhere in Ayodhya to the Sunni Central Waqf Board, for the purpose of building a mosque.  This is supposed to “compensate” Muslims for the illegal destruction of Babri Masjid on 6th December, 1992. It is supposed to showcase the “secular” character of the Indian state.

The Supreme Court verdict is being hailed by the BJP and Congress Party as well as other ruling class parties. They are welcoming a judgment which covers up the monstrous crime of humiliating the people of the Muslim faith by destroying their place of worship, and ordering the construction of a Ram temple where Babri Masjid had stood.

The Indian people are being asked to accept this verdict silently, in the national interest.  Those who oppose this unjust verdict are being portrayed as enemies of "communal harmony".

The people of India do not approve of any place of worship being destroyed.  A judgement which covers up the criminal destruction of a place of worship cannot be accepted.  It is an attack not only on the 200 million Muslims of our country, but also on the entire people of India.

The campaign to destroy Babri Masjid and build a Ram temple in its place was launched in the 1980’s by the Indian ruling class and its principal parties, the Congress and BJP.  All the organs of the Indian state — the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, have coordinated their activities to inflame communal passions around this issue over the past 35 years (see Box on Historical Facts).  They have collaborated to demolish Babri Masjid and organise repeated communal massacres in different parts of the country.

The Supreme Court judgement relies on the records made by the British colonial rulers. It does not even admit that the colonialists deliberately falsified the history of our people, in order to set Hindus and Muslims against one another and break the unity of our people against colonial rule.

For over 300 years since it was built in 1527, there had been no communal disturbances concerning Babri Masjid. In 1856, the East India Company took over the administration of Awadh from Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.  They imprisoned him and exiled him. They destroyed all documents relating to Babri Masjid, including a written agreement approved by the Nawab on the rules governing Hindu and Muslim worship. The British rulers organised the first incident of communal conflict over Babri Masjid in 1856-1857.

Awadh was one of the most active centres of the Ghadar of 1857, in which Hindus and Muslims united to overthrow British rule. As part of rewriting history following the brutal suppression of that mass uprising, the colonial rulers wrote in the Faizabad Gazetteer that Babri Masjid stood on the spot where Lord Ram was born and that it had been constructed after demolishing a Ram temple.

The British colonial rulers sowed the seeds for Hindu-Muslim conflict over Babri Masjid. They repeatedly inflamed communal passions around this issue. 

Since 1947, the Indian state has pursued the same course, repeating the lies spread by the colonialists to inflame passions and divide our people on a communal basis.  The Babri Masjid – Ramjanambhoomi dispute was kept festering, ready to be exploited when needed. In 1984 the ruling class deliberately scaled it up into an all-India campaign with definite criminal political aims.  The political aim has been to divert and divide the people on a communal basis, so as to stabilize the rule of an exploiting minority. 

The Supreme Court has nothing to say about the political aim of the ruling class and the role of its main political parties in the demolition of Babri Masjid and in repeatedly organising communal violence for the past 35 years.

By the principle of command responsibility, the Congress-led Central Government and the BJP-led UP Government at the time of the demolition are both guilty of these monstrous crimes against our people.

The Liberhan Commission set up by the Narasimha Rao government on 16th December, 1992, to investigate the demolition of Babri Masjid, submitted its report to the Manmohan Singh government in June 2009, 17 years later. No action has been taken on its report.  No action has been taken against the Congress Party, BJP and Shiv Sena, who were all identified by the Srikrishna Commission as having been involved in the communal killings in Mumbai in 1992-1993.

The criminal cases against those responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid are gathering dust in CBI courts 27 years after the event. Those who boasted about having destroyed the 16th century mosque have occupied the highest positions in the state apparatus.  While the guilty have not been punished, the Supreme Court took up the case concerning ownership of the land on fast track, so as to pave the way for the construction of a Ram temple where Babri Masjid had stood.

While swearing by Secularism the Indian state has repeatedly attacked the right to conscience. We cannot forget that in June 1984, the Central Government ordered the Army assault on the Golden Temple, the most sacred place of worship for people of the Sikh faith. Christians and their churches have been targeted in various parts of the country. People of one or another religious faith have been repeatedly labeled as “foreigners”, “terrorists” and “anti-national”, so as to justify state terrorism and suppress the just struggles of our people.

 Our civilization has a long history and tradition of upholding and defending the right to conscience, as an inviolable right that belongs to every human being.  Every person has the right to his or her beliefs and form of worship. The State is duty bound to protect this right. 

The Supreme Court verdict shows that the judicial system in our country is not based on these Indian values at all.  It is based on the communal outlook spread by the British colonialists.  This is the outlook of considering Indian society to consist of a majority Hindu community, a minority Muslim community and other religious minorities, who are perpetually in conflict and need the State to maintain communal harmony. 

The British rulers spread the fallacy that the people of the Indian subcontinent had no philosophy, economic or political theory of their own; and hence were incapable of ruling themselves.  They portrayed Indian people as divided into warring religious groups, who would allegedly destroy each other unless the more advanced white men establish their rule and “civilize” the natives. 

The very concept of a religious majority is a colonial legacy.  The distinction between a Hindu majority and Muslim and other religious minorities was established by the British colonialists in order to divide and rule over the Indian people. The first Census of India, carried out by the British Raj in 1871, officially defined ‘Hindu’ as an omnibus term to encompass several religious beliefs, and declared it as the religion of the majority of Indians. 

The Constitution of independent India, adopted in 1950, embraced the colonial outlook of considering Indian society as being divided between majority and minority religious communities.  It thereby laid the framework for perpetuating the communal division from the British.

Following the British colonial jurisprudence, the Constitution of India stipulates that Sikhs and Jains, as also various tribal groups who have their own beliefs and forms of worship, are all part of the Hindu majority.  The legal system treats land as private property, ignoring the Indian convention of collective ownership of land. 

The idea of Secularism which is upheld by the Indian state is also inherited from the British Raj.   It means that the majority community must tolerate the religious minorities.  This is promoted as a progressive and democratic concept.  However, it is a communal concept which divides our people into majority and minority religious groups and considers the fate of the minorities to be in the hands of the majority religious group. 

Unleashing communalism and communal violence serves the capitalist class to divide our people, crush our struggles and maintain its unpopular rule. Over the past four decades, it has become the most preferred weapon to smash the unity of the people and push the anti-social and anti-national program of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation.  

At the present time, communal propaganda against Muslims and their persecution is being escalated, both in India and on the world scale.  The re-election of BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha election was backed by the biggest Indian and American capitalist monopolies.  The US imperialists are calculating that a BJP government headed by Modi is best suited to consolidate the role of India as their reliable ally. They are counting on India’s support for their worldwide anti-Islamic, anti-social and warmongering offensive.

The Indian ruling class is accelerating the implementation of the liberalisation and privatisation program, in the face of growing mass protests by workers and peasants.  Communal propaganda and persecution of Muslims is being escalated to prevent the working people from waging a united struggle against their common exploiters and their anti-people program.

The Supreme Court verdict is not in the interest of safeguarding “communal harmony”, as is being claimed by the ruling class and its parties.  People must not succumb to this propaganda.

We, the people, must persist with our struggle for justice.  We must persist with the demand that all those guilty of communal crimes must be punished, including those responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid and the unleashing of communal violence. 

We must wage our struggle for justice with the aim of replacing the existing communal state, which is a legacy of British colonialism, with a new state that respects and protects the right to conscience as a universal and inviolable right of every member of society.

Historical Facts about the “Ayodhya Dispute” since 1947

  • On 22nd December, 1949, under the supervision of a government official, an idol of Ram Lalla was placed inside Babri Masjid.The story was widely spread that it had somehow appeared on its own. The Nehru government did not remove the idols, under the plea that it could cause communal disturbances. On 29 December 1949, the government declared the Babri masjid as a disputed property. Locks were put on the main gate. Muslims were forbidden from entering the masjid. Hindus were allowed a darshan of the idols from a side gate.
  • In 1984, a campaign was initiated by Vishwa Hindu Parishad to “liberate” Ram Janmabhumi and build a temple where the Babri Masjid stood.
  • On 1st February, 1986, on the instructions of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi,the District Court of Faizabad ordered that the locks of the disputed site be opened for worship by Hindus.
  • On 9th November, 1989, the Rajiv Gandhi government allowed the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to carry out Shilanyas (Foundation laying ceremony) for a Ram Temple at the disputed site.Legal cases which had languished in the courts for 40 years were brought to the front burner. The deity “Ram Lalla” and the place called “Ram Janamsthan” were accepted as parties to the dispute.Rajiv Gandhi began his election campaign for the 1989 General Elections from Ayodhya.
  • In September 1990, BJP President LK Advani launched a rath yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya to mobilise support for the Ram Mandir campaign.The rath yatra led to a trail of death and destruction in all the states it traversed.
  • In September 1991, the Narasimha Rao Government got parliament to enact The Places of Worship (Special Provisons) Act. The Act declared that the status of any place of worship as it existed on 15th August, 1947 cannot be changed. However, it had a clause which said: “Act not to apply to Ram Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid.” This was a green signal given by the Indian state for the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the change of its status from a Mosque to a temple.
  • The Supreme Court allowed a “Kar Seva” in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 claiming it had assurances from the UP government and top leaders of the BJP that status quo would be maintained. No action was ever taken by the court against these leaders for the demolition of the Masjid on that day.
  • On 6th December, 1992, Babri Masjid was destroyed under the supervision of the Congress-led Central Government and the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. The security forces of the Central and state governments were deliberately ordered not to prevent the demolition. This was followed by large-scale communal massacres in many parts of the country.
  • In January 1993, the Parliament passed The Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act. Through this act, theCentral Government took over the land on which the Babri masjid stood, as well as surrounding areas, totaling about 68 acres,until the ownership of the disputed sites was decided by the courts.
  • In 2002, the Allahabad High Court ordered the Archeological Survey of India to investigate whether a Hindu temple had existed at the site of Babri Masjid. The findings of ASI were inconclusive.
  • In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ruled that the disputed site be divided between Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhada and the Sunni Wakf Board.
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Complete Justice    Ram Lalla Virajman    Babri Masjid    Dec 1-15 2019    Statements    Communalism     History    Popular Movements     2019   

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