The archaeological survey findings played a crucial part in the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya dispute
- The Supreme Court pronounced the historic
- The Hindus get to keep the land of dispute and build a temple, while the Muslims get a 5 acre land within
Ayodhyato build a mosque.
- The SC cited the findings of
Archaeological Survey of Indiain its verdict.
While it cited ASI findings, the SC also said that the title for the disputed property cannot be based solely on the report.
The archaeological findings in Ayodhya didn't prove the existence of Lord Rama, or even the existence of a Hindu temple beneath the Babri Masjid. They only exposed the holes in the arguments of the Muslim side, particularly, the Waqf Board.
Babri Masjid was not built on vacant land
According to the judgement the discovery of structures and articles showed evidence of continuous public use of the disputed land starting from the Gupta era to the early medieval Rajput era through the Delhi Sultanate era up until the construction of the mosque in the 16th century.
This finding helped debunk the claim by Muslims, particularly the Sunni Waqf Board, that the Babri Masjid was built on a vacant piece of land. At that juncture, the counsel for the Muslim side went back on the earlier claim, and insisted that the underlying structure was an Idgah— an open space used for Id prayers.
The change in stance from the Waqf Board brought the argument to a point where the court had to decide whether the underlying structure was an Islamic or non-Islamic. The court eventually decided that it was non-Islamic, based on the ASI report.
However, while the Supreme Court clearly dismissed the presence of an Islamic structure, it didn’t confirm a Hindu temple too.
“The possible linkages of Buddhist or Jain traditions cannot be excluded. Indeed, in assessing archaeological or historical material one must eschew a unidimensional view. The excavation in the present case does in fact suggest a confluence of civilisations, cultures and traditions," said the order.
Against the Allahabad HC verdict
The Supreme Court’s order also quashed the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict by Justice SU Khan. Justice Khan had discarded the ASI findings to say that,
- firstly, there was evidence of continuity in structural phases from the tenth Century onward upto the construction of the disputed structure is directly in conflict with the pleadings, gazetteers and history books
- secondly, that in the case a temple had been demolished for constructing a mosque, the super structure of the temple would not have gone inside the ground
Historians’ report debunked
The Supreme Court also dismissed a report “Babri Mosque or Rama‘s Birth Place? Historians‘ Report to the Indian Nation” released by four historians in 1991. The report said that there is no basis to prove that the site of Babri Masjid is the birthplace of Lord Rama, and that the pillar carvings in the mosque do not bear any relation to a Vaishnavite among other claims.
The SC went on to say in its verdict that the historians didn’t have the ASI material assessed by them and thus the 1991 report doesn’t carry any weight.
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