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 One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs