Ayodhya case: Hindu majoritarianism and the right to religious liberty

Kapur, Ratna (2014) Ayodhya case: Hindu majoritarianism and the right to religious liberty. Maryland Journal of International Law, 29 (1): 14. pp. 305-365. ISSN 0025-4282

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The long-standing contest over a 1500 square yard plot of land, situated in the city of Ayodhya, located in the district of Faizabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh in north India, has become a site where religious groups, pilgrims, lawyers, and even gods are battling to establish their claims of rightful ownership. The issue has been simmering in independent India since its birth in 1947 and arose well before that time. The courts have been called upon time and again to adjudicate on this fraught issue, where their decisions are not only defining the parameters of the right to freedom of religion, but are implicated in the very construction of faith and belief. In this article, I examine how the right to freedom of religion has emerged in law, focusing on the 125-year-old property dispute in Ayodhya. I discuss how the reasoning of the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement partly resulted in reproducing and reinforcing Hindu majoritarianism through its interpretation of the right to freedom of religion and the broader implications of the decision on the meaning and definition of secularism in Indian constitutional discourse. I also underscore how the law and judicial discourse has played a central role in enabling the Hindu Right, a right wing political and ideological movement intent on establishing India as a Hindu State and a key player in the Ayodhya dispute, to successfully pursue its agenda through the right to freedom of religion.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Right to freedom of religion-India | BJP | Right Wing
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Arts and Humanities > Religious studies
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Human Rights
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Political Science
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Gena Veineithem
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2022 06:27
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2022 06:35
Official URL: https://digitalcommons.law.umaryland.edu/mjil/vol2...
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/2489


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