The construction of a temple for the Hindu god Ram in the city of Ayodhya is a long-cherished destination for Hindu nationalists and a central target of the Bharatiya Janata party ruling in India.
Modes won in May and May during a landslide reelection has moved quickly to implement its agenda. For Modi and his party, India is essentially a Hindu nation rather than the secular republic promoted by the country's founders.
On Saturday, Modi welcomed the decision and called for calm. "This judgment should not be considered a gain or a loss to anyone," he wrote on Twitter . "The courts of justice have amicably concluded a matter that has been going on for decades."
In this country with more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, there is no comparable problem as the controversy over Ayodhya, which has been causing violence and tension in the community for years.
For many Hindus, the controversial site is revered as the place where Ram, a beloved god and avatar of Vishnu, was born. Some believe that once there was a Hindu temple and was later demolished by the Muslim rulers of India.
In the 16th century Babri Mosque was erected in the same place. In 1992, Hindu extremists attacked the mosque and illegally destroyed it. The destruction of the building triggered fatal riots nationwide, killing around 2,000 people.
Now, the unanimous Supreme Court ruling on Saturday is preparing to build a large Hindu temple. Judges confirmed the claim of a Hindu petitioner on the land at the center of the dispute – less than three hectares in size – and ordered that it be kept in a government-controlled trust. At the same time, five acres of land were granted elsewhere for Muslim litigants.
Before the ruling on Saturday, the authorities tightened security around the country to prevent possible riots. In India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, schools were closed until Monday. In Delhi and Mumbai, the two largest cities in India, restrictions on public gatherings have been introduced according to local news.
There were no reports of riots or clashes until Saturday night. In Ayodhya, thousands of pilgrims fled the city in panic at the end of Friday, after learning that the verdict was imminent, for fear of possible violence. But on Saturday the atmosphere was awake and yet peaceful. On the streets, there was a strong security presence with barricades on the streets and some restrictions on freedom of movement.
The Muslim leaders demanded peace on Saturday. Lawyers from the Muslim parties in the case said they would refuse to grant the five-acre property and ask the court to review its ruling, but it is highly unlikely that the ruling will be overturned.
the driver's seat, "said Nizam Pasha, advocate of the Muslim parties, while building a temple. He said that the judges had made a great effort to keep the messages positive in their decision, but they used acrobatic arguments to reach their conclusions.
In their ruling, the judges said they were "charged with settling a dispute whose origin they are as old as the idea of India itself." They emphasized India's commitment to secularism and affirmed that both Hindus and Muslims had used the site as a place of worship.
Their final settlement, however, gave the disputed country the title of a Hindu lawsuit representing the god Ram himself (according to Indian jurisprudence, a god may be considered a juridical person).
"I think it will not take much time. The government, the governing party and its parent organization are all on one side, "he said, referring to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a powerful right-wing Hindu nationalist group that is the forerunner of the current ruling party. 19659002] On Saturday, RSS boss Mohan Bhagwat praised the ruling of the Supreme Court. "We thank and congratulate the judges," he told reporters. "We will forget everything that has happened in the past, and will build a great temple of Lord Ram."
In Ayodhya, where the dispute overshadowed residents' lives for decades, there was a feeling that the decision would bring some finality after years of controversy. Iqbal Ansari, 53, one of the Muslim petitioners in this case, welcomed the verdict. "This is the decision that I and every Muslim expected from Ayodhya and that I will not challenge again," he said.
Achal Kumar Gupta, 45, directs a restaurant near the disputed site and says he applauds the scheme. Now the "restless calm" that prevailed in the city would come to an end, he said. "If the land had been divided between the communities, it would have led to dizzying tensions between Hindus and Muslims."
The Ayodhya site was the subject of a lawsuit in the 1950s. In 2010, a court of appeal in Uttar Pradesh issued a ruling in which the country was divided between two Hindu groups and one Muslim group in three ways – a decision that was rejected by all parties. 40 trial days began to reach a verdict.
After the ruling was announced on Saturday, the shouts "Jai Shri Ram!" – victory for Lord Ram – and "We're going to build a temple there!" Broke out in the Supreme Court. Some blew shells, a traditional Hindu triumphant signal.
Saurabh Sharma reported from Ayodhya, India. Tania Dutta contributed to reporting from New Delhi.