News / Asia

Indian Court Orders Holy Site Divided Between Hindus, Muslims

Indian security personnel stand guard as an elderly man walks past on September 29, 2010 in Ayodhya, on the eve of a court ruling that divided a long-contested holy site in the city between Hindus and Muslims (AFP).
Indian security personnel stand guard as an elderly man walks past on September 29, 2010 in Ayodhya, on the eve of a court ruling that divided a long-contested holy site in the city between Hindus and Muslims (AFP).

Multimedia

Audio

Indian judges have ruled Hindus and Muslims will divide the site at the heart of a religious property dispute.  Their verdict has been awaited for decades and is seen as a symbolic watershed in India's broader history of Hindu-Muslim tension.

Indian leaders are calling for peace and unity after a high court in the state of Uttar Pradesh issued what some are calling a victory for both Hindus and Muslims.

The court ruled a long-disputed holy site in the city of Ayodhya is to be divided between the two faith groups, with two thirds of the property to be administered by Hindus, and one third to be in the possession of Muslims.

Hindu groups successfully convinced judges of the importance of the site to members of their faith, who believe the area is the birthplace of the Hindu god Lord Rama, one of their most revered deities.  The Baburi Mosque stood on the spot for hundreds of years before a Hindu mob destroyed it in 1992.  That sparked violence around the country that killed more than 2,000 people, mainly Muslims.

A lawyer representing Muslim plaintiffs in the case, Zafaryab Jilanni, says the verdict is a step towards unity.  He said the judgment indicates that Muslims and Hindus must coexist in India.

A lawyer for Hindu litigants, Ravi Shankar Prasad, called for Muslims and Hindus to view the verdict positively. "I would appeal to them in all humility, please accept this verdict ... it will lead to new amity, new brotherhood and a resurgent India," he said.

Hindu-Muslim resentment historically has been one of the greatest strains on India's social fabric.  As the verdict approached, the government dispatched nearly 200,000 security personnel to prevent renewed violence.  Major Indian media outlets agreed to a range of mandatory and voluntary restraints on coverage to avoid inciting emotion.  The mass distribution of mobile text messages also was curtailed.

Several parties on both sides of the dispute have said they will appeal the decision to the Indian Supreme Court.  That is expected to further delay the Ayodhya case, which has been in the court system for 60 years.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid