In arguably one of the world’s most bitterly contested civil cases, the Supreme Court Saturday held that the Ayodhya title suit belongs to the Hindus. And the Muslims parties in the case were awarded a five-acre plot in Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque, in lieu of the demolished Babri Masjid.
The unanimous judgment by a five-judge Constitution Bench brought down the curtains on a dispute that began in 1885. The apex court directed the central government to set up a new trust which will get possession of the land.
Here’s how the international media covered the Ayodhya verdict:
The BBC reported that its correspondents “heard chants of ‘Jai Shree Ram’ (Hail Lord Ram) outside as the judgement was pronounced” in the Supreme Court despite authorities warning people not to celebrate the verdict.
Analysing the judgment, BBC corresponded Soutik Biswas said: “Saturday’s unanimous judgement by the five most senior judges of the court will hopefully lead to some reconciliation that the country badly needs.”
CNN News gave a summary of the judgment, along with an exhaustive backgrounder of what the case was about.
“Exhaustive and complicated, the case became an archaeological dispute as well as a religious and political one. The Archaeological Survey of India has submitted reports of digs in a quest to establish the veracity of the claim that the land was the birthplace of Lord Ram,” it reported.
Dawn noted that a review petition by the Sunni Waqf Board might lead to another protracted legal battle.
“The verdict is a huge victory for Hindu nationalists under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had promised to build the temple in 2014 elections that brought him to power,” it added.
The Guardian has reactions to the verdict from the Hindu Mahasabha, the Sunni Waqf Board, and a tailor who used grow flowers on the temple land. It also notes how rebuilding the Ram temple got a renewed push from the BJP after coming to power in 2014.
The Washington Post also called it “a major victory” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was re-elected to power in a landslide victory in May. “The building of a temple to the Hindu god Ram is a long-held objective of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party,” it noted.
It also reported that amid shouts of “Jai Shree Ram” and “Mandir wahi banayenge”, some people blew conch shells outside the Supreme Court.