By Naseerah Nanabhai
On Saturday the 9th of November 2019, India’s Supreme Court bestowed the site of the Babri Masjid to Hindu citizens. Permission was granted to build a temple at this disputed site. Muslims were given a piece of land away from the site which symbolised their faith. The land was ordered to be handed over to a trust, to build the Hindu temple.
It also ordered the government to give alternate 5 acres of land, to the Sunni Waqf Board to build a mosque. This came after, the five judges of the Supreme Court bench heard the title dispute cases from August to October 2019.
The issue was contentious, full of competing interests and claims, which caused numerous conflicts. The disputes about the site led to violence, riots and mass killings in 1992, when Hindus took to demolition the mosque.
Hindus believe that the site is where their deity, Lord Ram, was born. Muslims say they prayed at the mosque for generations until 1949 when an idol of Ram was surreptitiously placed inside the mosque.
Both Hindu and Muslims groups were hopeful that the court would decide in their favour. Many believe that the verdict is blown to India’s Muslims and its constitution, claiming that Muslims are second-class citizens in India.
The verdict is seen as a watershed moment in India as it gives religious beliefs a weighting and accounts for supernatural entities, which previously had no merit in terms of the law.
However, praise is given to India for finding a resolution to the 135-year dispute without riots and violence or killings.
The verdict is now a reality and Hindus have control of the site.