On 9th December 2019, the Supreme court of India in its historic judgement gave the title rights of the 2.77 acre land in question to the Ram Janmabhoomi nyas, essentially paving way for a Ram temple on the site which is considered as the birthplace of Bhagwan Ram in India. In the Judgement, the Apex court has also directed the executive to allot 5 acres of land to the Muslim side in Ayodhya for construction of a Mosque.
The judgement has been accepted and welcomed by both the Muslim and Hindu side as it ended a long-drawn issue of contention between the two communities. The Sunni Waqf Board has also rejected any possibility of a review petition against the Judgement. Zufar Farooqui, chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board said, “The board will not go in for any review of the apex court’s order or file any curative petition,”. Nonetheless, certain disruptive elements have once again surfaced to malign this historic development in a bid to perpetuate their agenda of division which forms the core of their political ideology.
Leading the charade is a section of the International media, which has been called out a number of times for its skewed and controversial reporting on sensitive issues in India, and has also been hand in glove with disruptive elements and have been putting out reports relating to the verdict which are not only factually incorrect but also overtly misleading.
The inclinations of New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post and many others, were seen after the removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, and again as the Supreme Court delivered the Ayodhya verdict, these publications are attempting to paint a dystopic image of India, this time not even sparing India’s independent judiciary.
The Washington Post, which was recently called out for romanticising ISIS terrorist Baghdadi, while reporting on the development in the article titled “Hindus rejoice, Muslims deplore India court ruling on temple“ made sure to lace it with the inherent Hinduphobia and their newly intensified anti-India rhetoric. Referring to Hindus demanding for construction of the Ram temple as ‘Hindu hardliners’ throughout the commentary is enough evidence for exposing their vacuous understanding of the issue. The Washington Post also did not miss a chance to further instigate a sense of division and fear.
The article read, “Authorities on Saturday increased security in Ayodhya, which is located 550 kilometers (350 miles) east of New Delhi, and deployed more than 5,000 paramilitary forces to prevent attacks by Hindu activists on Muslims, who comprise 6% of the town’s more than 55,500 people,” which is not only factually incorrect but also exposes the underlying nefarious agenda of these divisive elements to pit communities against each other or at least portray as if they are.
New York Times
Another notorious international publication, The New York times once again gave an example of its blatant anti-Hindu culture and like other publications also pushed to question India’s judiciary and while also trying to plant seeds of division through the vacuous representation of the developments in its article titled “Court Backs Hindus on Ayodhya, Handing Modi Victory in His Bid to Remake India”.
In its meek attempt, The New York Times again tried to twist this judgement by the Indian Supreme court to again vent out its divisive agenda to pit Hindus against Muslims in India. The article read “…(the verdict) handing the prime minister and his followers a major victory in their quest to remake the country as Hindu and shift it further from its secular foundation,” in what appears as a blatant disregard of facts.
The article went on to add, “The case has been in Indian courts since the 1950s, but when it reached the Supreme Court in 2010, the deity Ram was given legal standing, awkwardly pitting the god Hindus revere most against the country’s Muslim population.” It is clear from the tone of the writer that, NYT is dedicated to pitting Indian Muslims against Hindus, regardless of any other detail. Their project, like others, is to peddle the idea that Muslims are marginalised in India.
Mouthpiece of the Qatar’s Islamic monarchy, Al Jazeera also joined in to contribute its part in charade. In an article titled “As Hindus rejoice, Muslim reaction mixed over Ayodhya verdict”, the work for the publication was reduced as a compilation of excerpts and comments from several left-leaning Indian publications and individuals was enough to present a toxic picture of the development which many are considering as being historic effort towards communal harmony in the nation.
The Guardian following other publications, also choose to mix up the developments with a tinge of contempt and misinformation of its own. An article titled “Ayodhya: India’s top court gives Hindus site claimed by Muslims” read
“Since Modi and the BJP took power in 2014, the rebuilding of a Ram temple at Ayodhya has been at the forefront of their Hindutva agenda, which has pushed India away from its secular roots and toward a strongly Hindu identity.” Basically misleading the readers into believing that the demand for Ram Mandir has been a recent demand after 2014, and ultimately maligning crores of devotees longing for temple of Shree Ram as pushing ‘India away from its secular roots’.
Another publication ancient-origins had published “Many Hindus asserted that the Muslims destroyed a temple at the location to make way for a mosque, but this has not been proven by historians” carefully manoeuvring around the fact of presence of a non-Islamic structure beneath the rubble at the site. It is to note that most of the publications discussed have held more or less the same line, downplaying or excluding information about the presence of a non-Islamic structure, which many archaeologists have clearly pointed out to be remains of an ancient Ram temple.
Nonetheless apart from their divisive and toxic agenda, these publications, by questioning the verdict of the India Judiciary have ultimately overshot their credibility by many folds. While these organisations have been called out a number of times for supporting radical and extremist elements, this trend of using democratic development’s to push forward divisive and foreign agenda is certainly a worrying trend which not only calls for widespread condemnation but also for firm responses countering their manufactured rhetoric.