Ayodhya Case | Decoding Babri Masjid Action Committee: How it became the spearhead for Muslim parties
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court will announce the verdict in the politically sensitive Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute on Saturday. The apex court is likely to pronounce judgement at 10:30 am.
Since the dispute has gained its pace, several committees and organisations have been linked to the dispute, whether in support of the Ram Mandir or the Babri Masjid. One such committee was the ‘Babri Masjid Action Committee’, who was the sole crusader against the claim of Ram Temple being demolished by Babur to construct Babri Masjid.
Recalling about the Babri Masjid Action Committee, senior lawyer and one of the most recognised voice from the Muslim side, Zafaryab Jilani said as reported by News18, “after the VHP’s rally in Samastipur in 1982, Ali Miyan, head of Islamic seminary Nadwa College in Lucknow and one of the noted Islamic scholars called me to discuss the matter in 1983”.
A young Jilani at that time says that the lack of information was a serious problem because nobody knows about the merits and weaknesses in the case. “It was then that Ali Miyan gave me Rs 2,000 and asked me to get the files from Ayodhya and prepare a note on the historical position of the mosque. He also wanted to start a movement within the community in support of Babri Masjid”, he said as reported by News18.
The dispute on the land dates back to 1857 when Maulvi Mohammad Asghar, the muezzin of Babri Mosque, filed a petition in the court against the mahant of Hanumangarhi according to which the mahant has forcibly taken over the courtyard of the mosque. The British government however in 1859, built a wall dividing the place for worship for both the communities. From 1859, the status quo was maintained at the site till 1949, when the Hindu parties placed Ram and Sita idols inside the mosque.
The Faizabad court after six days declared the site as disputed property and barred the Muslims from entering the mosque, and Hindus were given permission to darshan the idols from the gate only.
After being pending for 25 years, in 1975 a case was filed in Allahabad High Court against orders of receivership. Later in 1977, after the Awadh Bar Association filed a petition claiming jurisdiction of matters of Faizabad/Ayodhya was with the bench at Lucknow, the case was transferred to Allahabad High Court.
After eight years of transfer of the case, on January 2, 1986, Faizabad district judge passed an order to open the locks of the main gate of the Babri Masjid. Immediately after the order, a meeting was called of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, by Ali Miyan who was the president of the board at that time. The meeting was held in Lucknow, and personalities like Azam Khan, who is current MP from Rampur and Congress’ Sayeeduzzama were present, and it was discussed to chalk out a campaign strategy in support of the mosque.
Two days later another meeting was called in Lucknow’s Aminabad and around 200 people attended the meeting and the conclusion of the meeting came out to be the formation of Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC).
Zafaryab Jilani and Azam Khan were made the conveners of the BMAC while Maulana Muzaffar Hussain was made the president. Next year after the formation of BMAC civil suits were withdrawn from the Faizabad Court and were transferred to the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. The BMAC started a community campaign against the agitation of right-wing Hindu activists against the mosque.
And finally, when the mosque was demolished by the activists on December 6, 1992, the situation changed drastically. “With the Babri mosque being no more and a subsequent Supreme court order of 1994, our focus shifted towards the legal battle. There was pressure on the personal law board to take over the case. The action committee was given the task of the legal battle”, Jilani said as reported by News18.
For the last 27 years, the Babri Masjid Action Committee fought the legal battle on behalf of the Muslim parties including Sunni Waqf Board in both High Court and Supreme Court.
Now, the case is likely to reach its end as the CJI said that the hearings will be over by October 16 and the judgment will be announced by November 17, the Babri Masjid Action Committee remains the spearhead of the Muslims in the journey of the most politically sensitive issue of contemporary India.
Posted By: Talib Khan