Friday, 28 October 2011

The Objective of the Presentation of the Archeological Evidence


A question that is being asked after seeing the archeological evidence is how does this establish that the masjid should be shifted. The objective of the evidence is not to establish this point, but to establish whether there was a mandir which was destroyed and a masjid constructed in its place. It is accepted that the evidence provided is not complete, since the historical documentation is not present. But then this is a separate subject.

Since 1986, the media has tried to create an impression that the VHP created the myth of Janmasthan. The media has also tried to create an impression that the VHP had created a myth that a temple was destroyed at the Ram Janmabhoomi. The archeological evidence establishes clearly establishes that this is not so and that the media has not played its proper role. In addition, in December 1990, the VHP has submitted to the government and the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) histories legal and revenue records to establish its point of view. The video on the archeological evidence is a part of BBC programme shown around the same time. For the media to ignore this evidence is a serious dereliction of their duty.

In the tape, one hears Shri Syed Shahabuddin as saying, If it is proved that a temple existed at the site, and it was destroyed by Babar, or by his army, I shall appeal to the Muslim community to respect the sentiments of our Hindu brothers. The proof has been given. Shri Shahabuddin has NOT made his appeal to the Muslim community. In fact, he still goes about saying that the masjid has been built on a vacant piece of land. And the media has not questioned him on his statement. It would also be interesting to note that Shri Shahabuddin has repeated this statement on a programme in Newstrack.

The archeological evidence has been submitted to the government more than three years ago. The fact that they have not published it shows that they have something to hide. Based on past record, it would appear that this is being done because it would establish the case for the Ram Janmabhoomi temple. Facts should never be hidden; otherwise one is playing a role of a sensor. However, what to do with them can be debated.

For the media to create an impression that the VHP is not interested in a dialogue, and is unreasonable on the issue, shows dishonesty of purpose. The Chandrashekar government had arranged a dialogue between the VHP and the AIBMAC in December 1990, when the two sides had submitted their respective evidences. As per the understanding, the two sides had to submit their rejoinder by 6th Jan 1991. While the VHP did so, the AIBMAC gave more documents. The government minutes say, Since the AIBMAC did not give comments on the evidence put forward by the VHP, it is not possible for the government to decide the areas of agreement and disagreement. In spite of this, the VHP agreed for the experts of both sides to meet or 24th and 25th January to discuss the evidences. On the first day, the AIBMAC experts said that they have not had a chance to study the VHP evidence and would need six weeks to do so. This is strange, since all the evidence has been there for everyone to see. In addition, much of it had been written in the media during the previous five years. And these same experts had been and writing against the VHP.

On the second day, they did not even turn up for the meeting. Shri Arun Shourie had written in his column As I See It detailing the sequence of events, and other issues related to it. Even this has been ignored by the rest of the media. It is today more than sixty weeks since the first meeting in January 91, and there is still no rejoinder from the AIBMAC. And yet the Prime Minister has made an appeal to the leaders of the two sides to sit together and find out a solution. The same plea was made by Shri Nani Palkhivala in an article he wrote in January 91. In all honesty, these gentlemen should have said that the discussions that were discontinued (due to an attitude of the AIBMAC) should be restarted. They should also ask the AIBMAC to submit their rejoinder so that the discussions can be meaningful.

The objective of studying all the evidence would be to separate the history from the politics. Only if the historical question of the Ram Janmabhoomi is answered in the affirmative can the political question be addressed. Otherwise we are confusing the issues.


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