January 22, 2024, will forever be etched in history as the day when Ram Lalla finally returns to his sacred abode, bringing an end to centuries of anticipation and marking the dawn of a new era for Ayodhya and the entire nation. As the Pran Pratishtha unfolds, Organiser reflect on the monumental journey of the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement, a saga that has not only shaped the religious landscape but also stirred the national consciousness
On April 7, 1984, the Dharma Sansad was held for the first time in Delhi. The course of the Ram Janmabhoomi was raised in this. Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mukti Yagya Committee was formed under the chairmanship of Mahant Avaidyanath. This was decided by the Dharma Sansad resolution to free land of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi that was situated on the banks of Saryu. The second Dharma Sansad was held in Udupi, Karnataka on October 31,1985. It was announced that if the lock of Ram Janmabhoomi was not opened within the stipulated period, saints will commit self-immolation. The Dharma Sansad said that “it is unfortunate that even after 37 years of Independence, the birthplace of Prabhu Shri Ram is still locked and we are not allowed to worship Shri Ram at the site. After this, on February 1, 1986, the lock of Ram Janmabhoomi was opened by the order of the District Judge, Faizabad. The main motive of Dharma Sansad was not only rebuilding of the Ram Mandir but also to create Ram Rajya.
After the peaceful ceremony of Dharma Sansad, ‘Ram Shila pujan’ was organised at five lakh places across the country in October, 1989.
The Congress Government did its best to stop the ceremony by creating hurdles but the VHP and Ram Janmabhoomi Committee went ahead with its plan. The Government had to climb down. Shri Ashok Singhal said, “The laying of the foundation stone for the proposed temple to be magnificently rebuilt at the sacred birthplace of Shri Ram has indeed marked the moment of nation’s invincible resolve to do away with the 450 years of stigma of foreign domination over one of the most hallowed symbols of national honour and freedom”. This was the most rejoicing moment as the Aarti progressed for over 40 minutes at the “Shilanyas Sthal.” This was one of the biggest achievements in the removal of disputed structure without its demolition.
Left historians have always tried to mislead the country on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue and played to the radical Islamist gallery in total disregard, for facts, thereby doing a great disservice to their profession, and the nation.
In a report submitted by Left historians in the Allahabad High Court, they had tried to falsify the evidence to suit their line. In an article ‘The Archaeology of the Report’ by noted historian SP Gupta states: The observation of Irfan Habib, Suraj Bhan and others are, to say the least, not only highly biased, titled in favour of the claims of a particular community, but also self-contradictory.
After the success of the Ramshila Pujan, it was now the turn of the Rath Yatra led by LK Advani from September 25 to October 30, 1990 to create awareness among the people about Ram Janmabhoomi. The Rath Yatra was 10,000 km long from Somnath to Ayodhya making it one of the most memorable events of expression which was a roaring success.
Speaking at Nangloi in Delhi, LK Advani said, “I have seen many governments being formed but in the 40 years of my political life I have never seen such popular support for an issue.” With hand in hand, the Vishva Hindu Parishad went ahead with Kar seva. Massive VHP activities were carried out throughout the country with the support from Bharatiya Janata Party. Ten Thousand kar sevaks managed to reach Ayodhya. Around 30,000 security personnel were deployed in Ayodhya. On the order of Mulayam Singh Yadav, security persons fired on the crowd and many kar sevaks were killed, Shri Ashok Singhal was also hit on the head by the police.
On November 2, the carnage was no less than the cold-blooded and horrendous Jallianwala Bagh tragedy at Amritsar on Baisakhi day in 1919. It was more brutal and barbaric as the CRPF personnel not only opened fire on peaceful kar sevaks for 45 minutes but entered ashrams and private houses to capture anyone suspected to be a Karsevak and shoot him on the head instantly on the order of then UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav.
To clear all doubts whether the disputed structure was originally a Mandir or a Masjid, an excavation was ordered in July 1992. Eminent archaeologists including former Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) Directors Dr YD Sharma and Dr KM Shrivastava were given the order to evaluate and examine the findings. These findings included religious sculptures and a statue of Vishnu. The duo opined that the inner boundary of the disputed structure may have belonged to an earlier temple like Shiv-Parvati . The team found that the objects were ranging from the 10th to the 12th century. These objects included a number of amakalas, wheel type architectural element which is a Hindu mythology symbol. Moreover, this is a characteristic feature of all North Indian temples of the early medieval period. There were other evidences such as pillars, mouldings, doors, floral patterns to support the view about the existence of a 10th-12th century temple at the site of Ayodhya.
When it was crystal clear that the disputed structure was earlier a temple, the Hindus started to realise that the Government was only paying attention to a particular section and wants to do politics on religion. For many years Hindus were made fools in their own country. The secularists made the Hindus believe that they will reconstruct Ram Mandir. Hindus have suffered a lot, not once but thousand of times. For centuries, Hindu temples were demolished and being replaced by masjids. But when the water flowed above the head, they have neither listened to the Government nor to the police and laid the unofficial foundation to build the Ram Mandir by demolishing the disputed structure on December 6, 1992. The Hindus vowed that day that they will build Mandir in Ayodhya because Independence is incomplete without his temple.
The ASI excavated the Ram Janmabhoomi site again after ten years at the direction of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, Uttar Pradesh in 2003.
According to the ASI, the human occupation began at the Ram Janmabhoomi on the bank of river Saryu around 1200 BC. Dr YD Sharma asserted that Ram’s birthplace is now marked by a Masjid erected by the Mughal emperor Babar on the site of an earlier temple. This was the most clinching evidence that a Masjid was constructed on the site of Ram Mandir and the material used in the construction belong to the Mandir. The excavation ordered by the court provided more archaeological evidence of the Ram Mandir that existed at the disputed site and strengthened the Hindu claim over the land.
In 2010, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court ordered to divide the disputed site in Ayodhya into three equal parts, allocating shares to Nirmohi Akhara, Shri Ram Lalla, and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board. However, the Supreme Court in 2011, placed a stay on the High Court’s order maintaining its status quo.
The year 2015 witnessed the Vishva Hindu Parishad launching a nationwide campaign to collect stones for the reconstruction of the Shri Ram Mandir. Despite efforts, two trucks carrying stones were obstructed from reaching Ayodhya by then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
In February 2018, the Supreme Court ordered a hearing on the Ayodhya case, but the proceedings faced delays when Congress leader Kapil Sibal, representing the Sunni Central Waqf Board, asked a postponement in the hearings until July 2019, coinciding with the General Elections.
The turning point came on February 15, 2019, when the Supreme Court decided to hear a fresh plea against the 1993 Central Law on land acquisition near the disputed site. The court initiated day-to-day hearings on August 6, 2019, and after 40 days of continuous proceedings, on October 16, 2019, the Supreme Court reserved its order. The historic judgement was delivered on November 9, 2019, granting the disputed land to the Hindus for the reconstruction of the Ram Mandir.
On August 5, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the Bhoomipujan for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, attended by Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and other prominent Hindu leaders and saints.
As we reflect on this journey, it is worth noting that on January 22, 2024, Ram Lalla will finally be getting his home after 500 years. The wait of Hindus, spanning over half a millennium, has now come to an end, marking a historic moment in the religious and cultural history of Ayodhya.
Thus, Organiser, as a nationalist weekly, played a pivotal role in awakening the national consciousness by diligently reporting every aspect of the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement. Through its coverage, Organiser contributed to the dissemination of information, fostering a deep understanding of the historical and cultural significance of the movement.
The publication’s commitment to reporting on the intricacies of the Ayodhya dispute helped keep the public well-informed, facilitating a broader dialogue on the issues surrounding the Ram Janmabhoomi case. In times of historic significance, responsible journalism becomes a powerful instrument in shaping collective awareness, and Organiser’s role in this regard during the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement underscores its dedication to fostering a sense of national identity and history of Bharat.