An Open Letter to Sreekumar – An Analytical response to ex-IPS polemics

via H Balakrishnan published on April 29, 2009

1.
     
This epistle stems as a response to a news item I read in The New Indian Express of 28 Apr 2009 entitled An open letter to L.K. Advani ” , written by you. Since your complete letter was not carried by the daily , but only excerpts , my response perforce will be limited only to (a) Ayodhya , (b)

Gujarat

2002 and (c) scriptural justification for violence. 

2.
     
At the outset , my apologies in this response getting long winded . However , brevity cannot be at the expense of facts. Im sure youll understand .



Ayodhya



 



3.
     
You have waxed eloquent by terming the demolition of the Babri Masjid as   – – – Satanic acts were the handiwork of miscreants owing allegiance to the BJP €
 .
 
 It therefore becomes necessary to highlight the tortuous course the Ayodhya dispute has taken over the past six decades , in the first instance , to put the issue in perspective. 

4.
     


Caught in the Web of the  Law Courts



:

 What started as a simple  title suit  at the turn ofIndependence  in an Indian  Court of Law , got transformed into a Presidential reference of 07 Jan 1993  Whether a Hindu Temple or any religious structure existed prior to the construction of the Ram Janma Bhumi Babri Masjid ( including the premises of the inner and outer courtyards of such structure ) in the areas on which the structure stood ?
 
 
In simple terms, for 44 years, our Courts of law  Decided not to decide!!  Let me put it to you in chronological sequence!! 

5.
     


1955



: 

 Their Lordships of the Allahabad High Court had observed then : It is very desirable that a suit of this kind is decided as soon as possible , and it is regretted that it remains undecided after four years. The delay appears to be principally due to the fact that the record of the proceedings in the trial court was summoned by this court in 1953 on the application of the present appellants. Had this not been done , the suit would probably by now have been decided . – – -We , however , consider it extremely desirable that the suit should be disposed of at once and we accordingly direct that the record of proceedings is sent back to the lower court. €


6.
     


1989



:

  In the intervening 34 years , the only contribution of the judicial process was that instead of two suits , there were five. All of them were taken over by the High Court . A Special Bench of three judges was constituted to hear them together.

7.
     


1990



:

  On 12 Jan 1990 , the Supreme Court advised the Allahabad High Court : If thedefendants press the contention regarding the maintainability grounded upon limitation to be raised as the preliminary issue , the High Court which is trying the case will do well to entertain the request .€
 The Allahabad High Court refused to heed the counsel of the Supreme Court , and by its order of 22 Aug 1990 , refused to decide any issue as a preliminary issue. An
appeal was filed against that order with the Supreme Court in Sep 1990 , for if the suits were not maintainable at all , the matter would be over . Nothing was done . The appeal remained pending.

8.

     



1991



:

  In Oct 1991 , the U.P. Government took over the land under and around the structure.Writs were filed both in the High Court and the Supreme Court against the acquisition. On

15 Nov 1991

, the Supreme Court transferred all the writs to the High Court . It said that the High Court was taking over the case for final disposal.

9.

     



1992



:

  Even in Jul 1992 , the hearings were going on in the High Court . When Kar Seva beganin Jul 1992, the Supreme Court said that if the U.P. Government could stop the Kar Seva, the Supreme Court would would transfer the acquisition cases to itself and decide them all together. The Kar Seva was stopped. But the Supreme Court eventually decided not to take over the cases on the ground that the hearings before the High Court were in an advanced stage. It however stressed that the High Court should expedite the hearings and decide the case expeditiously. 

10.
 
Kar Seva was once again set for

06 Dec 1992

. The High Court concluded its hearings on 04 Nov1992. The U.P. Government and others repeatedly requested it to deliver its judgement, one way or the other. Nothing happened. Instead, one of the judges proceeded on leave. The inevitable happened on

06 Dec 1992

. The High Court delivered its judgement on

11 Dec 1992

!! 

11.
 


1993 :


  The Presidential Reference quoted above. Nothing happened. As stated earlier , Their Lordships of the Supreme Court decided not to decide. However , the judgement stated (para 57) : – – – -. The Hindu community must, therefore, bear the CROSS on its chest, for the misdeed of the miscreants reasonably suspected to belong to their religious fold.

12.
 
 I quote the Belgian historian Dr. Koenraad Elst on his take on the foregoing sentence of thejudgement. €œThis illustrates nicely what we had all suspected for a long time: the English speaking elite in

India

has preserved the mind-set of the Christian British colonial rulers. The ruling class has borrowed its secularism from the anti-religious reaction in the late-Christian West. India is still under BROWN SAHIB colonial domination, and the legal apparatus which denies Hindus the right to their sacred site can, in circumstances critical to the establishments legitimacy, still be used as an instrument of colonial oppression.€

 
A telling comment indeed!!

13.
 


2003



:

   Nothing happened in the intervening period!! However, on

22 Aug 2003

, after morethan half-a-century of judicial pussyfooting, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) handed a sensitive report to the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court. The ASI had been mandated by the Court to excavate the foundation level underneath and around the demolished Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. In the winter of 2002-2003 the Court had ordered a search of the site with a ground penetrating radar by the company Tojo Vikas International Ltd., which had been used during the survey for the Delhi Metro Rail. Canadian geophysicist Claude Robillard concluded from the scans that there was some structure beneath the demolished masjid (Rediff.com 19 Mar 2003). It was on this basis that the ASI undertook the excavation work. 

14.
 
 There the matter RsIP todate !! Need anything further be stated on the state of the judicial process in 

India

?  But to our secularists , like you ,  the Sangah Parivar are the villains!! Jai Ho!! 

15.
 


Archaeological Evidence


 
:From published scholarly treatises , it can be discerned that between1975-1980, the ASI under the directorship of Prof. (Dr) B.B. Lal , a former Director General of the ASI, undertook an extensive programme of excavations at Ayodhya, including the very mound of the Ramjanmabhumi on which the so-called  Janmasthan Masjid or Babri Masjid once stood till

06 Dec 1992

. At Ayodhya, Prof. Lal excavated 14 trenches at different locations in order to ascertain the antiquity of the site. According to Prof. Lal, based his findings following the excavations, the history of the township was at least three thousand years old, if not more, and that at the Ramjhanmabhumi there stood a HUGE STRUCTURE on a parallel series of square pillar bases built of several courses of bricks and stones. When seen in the light of 20 black stone pillars, 16 of which were found REUSED AND STANDING IN POSITION AS CORNER STONES OF THE BABRI MASJID DOME STRUCTURE, Prof Lal CONCLUDED THAT THE PILLAR BASES WOULD HAVE BELNGED TO A HINDU TEMPLE THAT PREDATED THE BABRI MASJID. 

16.
 
 Authenticating Prof Lal is this statement of Shri K.K. Muhammad , Deputy SuperintendentArchaeologist (

Madras Circle

) as appeared in the English daily, Indian Express on

15 Dec 1990

: I can reiterate this (ie. The existence of the

Hindu


Temple

before it was displaced by the Babri Masjid) with greater authority for I was the only Muslim who had participated in the Ayodhya excavations in 1976-77 under Prof. Lal as a trainee. I have visited the excavation near the Babri site and seen the excavated pillar bases. The JNU historians have highlighted ONLY ONE PART OF OUR FINDINGS WHILE SUPPRESSING THE OTHER.€

 
Muhammad went to add: Ayodhya is as holy to the Hindus as 

Mecca

 
is to the Muslims; Muslims should respect the sentiments of their Hindu brethren and voluntarily hand over the structure for constructing theRama Temple.€

 

17.
 
 In his treatise The Baburi Masjid €
, R.Nath wrote:
 
The foregoing study of the architectureand site of the Baburi Masjid has shown, unequivocally and without any doubt, that it stands on the site of a Hindu Temple which originally existed in the Ramkot on the bank of the river Sarayu, and Hindu temple material has also been used in its construction.

18.
 
 As the Belgian scholar, Dr. Koenraad Elst has succinctly summed up this needless controversy:Science has made considerable progress, to the point of being able to decide many historical riddles such as whether a given site has a history as a place of worship. With the modern techniques available, it is rather absurd that there should be a controversy over such a simple and easily verifiable yes/no game over the existence of temple remains at the disputed site, when the matter could be scientifically decided in no time. Worse, even when science was called in to decide, the procedure was opposed by, of all people, the most EMINENT ACADEMICS. And when the scientific findings were made public, they were furiously denounced by more academics. – – – -. I for one want to be counted among those who defend the freedom of research and the scientific method, rather than among those who shriek and howl about some evil spirit in whose name EVERY LIE becomes justified, and whom THEY CALL SECULARISM. €
 May I add, as your letter does, Mr. Sreekumar , just as THEIR EMINENCES OF THE JNU/AMU STABLES€ did at that juncture!!
.

19.
 
 The Govt. Sponsored VHP / AIBMAC Debates :  Now to an unreported-in-the-media fact!!Soon after it took office in Nov. 1990, the Chandra Shekhar government was advised by (late) Shri Rajiv Gandhi to narrow down the Ayodhya dispute to the specific point whether the Babri Masjid had replaced a pre-existing Hindu temple. The First meeting between the VHP and the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) took place on

01 Dec 1990

in the presence of Shri Subodh Kant Sahay, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs (MoS), Shri Sharad Pawar, Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Shri Mulayum Singh Yadav, the CMs of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and U.P. respectively. After preliminary discussions the meeting was adjourned to

04 Dec 1990

. 

20.
 
 During the second meeting it was AGREED by both sides that (a) both sides will furnish theirevidence to the MoS by

22 Dec 1990

; (b) the MoS would make photocopies of the evidences by

25 Dec 1990

; (c) the two parties would then meet on

10 Jan 1991

for reviewing the evidence. A brief summary of the respective evidence presented by both sides is appended below and makes for interesting reading!! This is available in open source publications!! And yet, went unreported in the media!! 

21.
 


The VHP Evidence


  The evidence submitted by the VHP was precise and within the parameterslaid down by the Government. All its documents were centered on the point that the Babri Masjid had replaced a pre-existing Ramjhanmabhoomi Mandir. Moreover the documents were summarized in a covering note setting out clearly the only conclusions that could be drawn. 

22.
 


The AIBMAC Evidence



:

  The evidence submitted by the AIBMAC experts was no more

thana

pile of papers, most of them being newspaper articles written by sundry scribes and prolific in polemics rather than hard facts and rigorous logic. To cite one example from this pile will be useful!! The AIBMAC had submitted as evidence that Ram was born in

Nepal

, in the

Punjab

, in

Afghanistan

, in

Egypt

, in

Varanasi

, in Ayodhya at a different site, in some unknown place and finally not at all etc. So,, of each of the 8 evidences cited, 7 contradict the other!! Some Eminent Historians these, that made the AIBMAC team of experts!! Rightly has it been termed by many sane scholars as History v/s Causitary!!

23.
 
There you have it Mr. Sreekumar. It doesnt need extraordinary rocket science genius to see who was in the right and who was bluffing and filibustering. Yet, it is the Sangh Parivar that must be condemned!! Thats Nehruvian Secularism, for you and me!! For me , the Ayodhya imbroglio is a shameful commentary on the judicial process in

India

. No more. No less please. As Arun Shourie rightly puts it : The second lesson is even more specific, and I am sorry to say that the courts are even more directly responsible for it.  – – But the courts have compounde

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