Media Reporting of ‘Ayodhya-Babri Masjid’ controversy -‘ TRUTH ‘ has been the ‘ FIRST CASUALTY ‘

via H Balakrishnan published on September 27, 2010

Dear Sir,

Reference Vir Sanghvi’s  ” Land of Ram is no longer at war with itself “ – (TNSE – 26 Sep).

Sanghvi wrote :
” [a] I have no idea what the rights and wrongs of this dispute are.
 [b]  I know that many archaeologists deny that there ever was a temple at the site. [c]  Equally, other archaeologists say that they have found evidence that a temple did  stand on this location.
[d]  Still others argue that even if a temple had once existed on the land, there is nothing to suggest that it was destroyed and a mosque built in its place.
[e]  A more off-beat interpretation states that there may have been a Buddhist
monastery that pre-dated the mosque “.

Much water has flown down the ‘ River Sharayu ‘, since the events of 06 Dec 1992, and later by the findings of the ASI on the mandate of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, when it submitted its ‘interim’ and ‘final’ reports to the High Court on 11 Jun and 25 Aug 2003. Further there are enough open source literature available, covering the entire ‘Ayodhya – Babri Masjid’ controversy. In this light, for a senior Editor of a mainstream National Daily – Hindustan Times – to write ” I have no idea- – “, is ‘amazing’, to say the least !! For the ‘Aam Admi’, who has read these literature, it, of course, comes as no surprise !!

The  ‘ secular media SPIN ‘, on the ASI excavations of 2003, has been ‘ highlighted ‘ by the Belgian historian, Dr.Koenraad Elst, in his damning expose of the ‘secular English media’,
“Ayodhya: The Finale”, Voice of India, New Delhi (2003).  The ‘ secular daily ‘ – Hindustan Times – where Vir Sanghvi is an Editor, comes in for ‘special mention’ !! He has  clinically dissected the dailies Editorial of 27 Aug 2003, entitled : “Structuaral Flaws”. Here are some of the ‘more important’ statements made in the Editorial (H.T.) and Dr.Elst’s (KE) comments:

(a) H.T. :  “ The ‘discovery’ of an ancient ‘structure’ underneath the demolished Babri Masjid by the Archaeological Survey of India has far more political overtones than historical or legal ones. (…) Nor does the ‘discovery’ make any difference to the various court cases, including those concerned with the title deeds of the site.”

KE :  ” The editorial of the Hindustan Times (“ Structural flaws ”, 27-8-2003) refuses to  accept that any discovery worth the name was made. But it sets out first of all to  deflect attention from the historical findings by emphasizing the alleged political  implications over the obvious historical contents of the report. Whether the findings have any legal implications is for the judges to decide, not for the newspaper editors.  And it is they who ordered the excavation in the first place, clearly on the assumption that the findings do make a difference to the court cases. But the dominant position certainly is to minimize the importance of the ASI findings. This is a general phenomenon in the whole secularist press: instead of a thorough analysis and a lively debate worthy of the importance and unequivocal verdict of the report, the page is turned as quickly as possible. This is, of course, a strong indication that the report’s findings are embarrassing for the secularists because they go against what the secularists have been saying for all these years. Like spoilt children, the secularists are used to having it all their own way, and when reality interferes, they close their eyes, shut off their ears and refuse to know. And they will lie and cheat in order to prevent others from knowing “. 

(b) H.T. :  “  Doubts have already been cast on the findings, not least because there was no hint of such a ‘structure’ in the earlier reports on the excavation although their accuracy may be questioned. Even then, if a massive structure of the kind which has been mentioned in the final report had been located, surely reports about it would have filtered out” .

KE : ” So, this is one paper which chooses the option of total denial of the findings, continuing the line taken since at least 1989. As its only argument against the veracity of the final report, it uses the media’s misrepresentation of the interim report on June 11. Reports about the structure did of course filter out, but the  Hindustan Times didn’t want its readers to know about it in June, and it still wouldn’t tell them about it in August.  This is really quite rich: the Hindustan Times falsely pretended that the interim report’s finding was negative, and later used the purported interim report’s negative result as a “fact” contradicting and overruling the final report’s positive findings”.

(c) H.T. :  ” Insinuations have also been made about the ASI coming under political pressure. Since the first among the ruling parties at the Centre has long been insistent on the existence of a demolished temple at the disputed site, it is obvious that a government organisation would have been uncomfortably aware of the stance, although that doesn’t mean that it affected its professional judgment ”.

KE : “  Even if the archaeologists had wanted to manipulate the findings, one wonders how they would have been able to pull it off. They were permanently scrutinized by archaeologists and historians employed by the Muslim parties. Moreover, many of the excavators were Muslims, unlikely to be willing accomplices in a pro-Hindu manipulation. Thus, according to the Press Trust of India (11 June 2003): “There were 131 labourers including 29 Muslims engaged in the digging work today ‘. This allegation against the integrity of the archaeologists is loosely made, without any evidence, on no other grounds than that their findings are to the liking of the Hindu nationalists. As if it could have been otherwise. The findings have uncovered the material remains of historical facts, and these facts were public knowledge for centuries, viz. that a Hindu temple had been forcibly replaced by a mosque. Before and after 1989, the Hindu nationalists have simply stood by this public knowledge, while the secularist lobby led the Muslims into disbelieving their own chronicles (which amply attested their pride in having performed the Islamic duty of iconoclasm at Ayodhya) and denying the facts”.

(d) H.T. :  ” The point, however, is not whether a temple has been found, but its historical relevance. On this count, the ‘discovery’ adds nothing to what is already known. It is an accepted fact that Muslim invaders had demolished any number of temples…. when tolerance of the faiths of others was virtually unknown “.

KE : “  He wouldn’t have written that if he had been confident that no temple had been found. In that case, he would have focused on the truth of the matter and not hidden behind the question of its “relevance”.- -  Tolerance remained the rule in medieval Hinduism: for all its untouchability and other flaws, it did tolerate Syrian Christians, Parsis and Jews in its midst (who, unlike in their countries of origin, also learned to tolerate one another in India), and the lively debates between its own numerous sects rarely if ever spilled over into physical confrontations. The problem was not the age but the Islamic doctrine of iconoclasm. Unfortunately, secularists have developed a habit of staring past uncomfortable historical facts, particularly those disturbing the progressive image of any anti-Hindu group or movement or religion “.

(e) H.T. :  “  Moreover, the places of worship were regarded with suspicion since they were the meeting places of ordinary people and, hence, could facilitate the hatching of a conspiracy. So if Babur’s general, Mir Baqi, did demolish a temple and built a mosque in its place, it is not surprising.”  

KE :  “  – – And then we are served another old lie, peddled so often in the preceding years by the secularists. But conspiracies were typically the work of those close to the ruling
clique (and not of ” the ordinary people “,  as this pop-Marxist interjection wants us to  believe), which in those days meant that they were Muslims and their places of worship were mosques. Yet these mosques were never destroyed by Muslim rulers. The conspiracy gambit is one of those escape routes used by people who realize that the massive Islamic destruction of Hindu temples cannot be denied forever, but who refuse to pin any blame on Islam itself”.

(f) H.T. :  ” However, that doesn’t justify the emulation of medieval norms, as on December 6, 1992.”

KE:   “  This is an all too predictable diversion: now that a report puts the spotlights on the demolished Hindu temple, the Indian media insist on eclipsing it behind their evergreen pet reference to “December 6, 1992”, the most glorious/shameful (cross out the wrong alternative) day in independent India’s history “.

[ The H.T. Editorial “Structural Flaws”, and Dr. KE’s crtique can be reat at:]



(URL:, respectively please.

As short note on the ‘Buddhist Gambit’.  Dr.KE wrote:

” More or less since the beginning of the historical dispute, some secularists have felt that the denial of Islamic iconoclasm in general and of its application to Ayodhya in particular would be unsustainable. So, to weaken the Hindu position vis-à-vis the historical debt which Islam has incurred, they attributed a similar iconoclasm to Hinduism, with Buddhism as the victim. But in the present round of the Ayodhya debate, there has not been more than a vague hint at this scenario, and for good reason”.

” There was a little problem with this thesis, viz. the inconvenient fact that Buddhism has flourished in India for 17 centuries under almost uninterrupted non-Buddhist Hindu rule, and that many Buddhist monasteries and universities were still functioning in India at the time of the Muslim invasions. It was the Muslim conquerors who destroyed the entire Buddhist establishment of North India in just a few years following the fatal battle of Tarain (1192), where Mohammed Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan to storm into the Gangetic plain. But here again, the secularists counted on their own overwhelming grip on the influential media to get away with their newly launched myth. So now, numerous people in India and abroad (most damagingly in Buddhist countries which should have been India’s natural allies) actually believe that there was a time when Hindus demolished Buddhist temples and slaughtered Buddhist monks”.

” The material implication of anti-Buddhist iconoclasm at the site, whether Hindu or Muslim, is that distinctively Buddhist temple remains should be found below the mosque, either directly below it or underneath a layer of Hindu architecture. However, the archaeological search in the 1970s and in 1992 has not uncovered any such exclusively Buddhist artefact. And in 2003 again, nothing specifically Buddhistic has surfaced at the site”.


To compound his felony, Sanghvi wrote: ” The beauty of Advani’s position was that it paid no attention to history. He did not say that he had proof that Lord Ram was born there.
Nor did he claim to have proof that Muslims had destroyed a temple that stood on that site. His position was based on faith. If millions of Hindus believed that Lord Ram was born on that spot, then that should be enough to cause Muslims to re-consider. After all, what is religion but a matter of faith?”

On the aspect of ” FAITH “,  here’s Arun Shourie : ” But there is no proof that Ram himself existed; nor are any of the other facts about him proven.” [The AIBMAC point]

The four Gospels themselves, to say nothing of the work that has been done in the last hundred years, differ on fact after fact about Jesus – from the names of his ancestors to the crucifixion and resurrection. The Quran repudiates even the most basic facts about Jesus Christ – it emphatically denounces the notion that he was the Son of God, it repudiates the notion of his virgin birth, it insists that he was not the one who was crucified but a look alike, thereby putting the question of resurrection out altogether.  And which member of the AIBMAC will say that the Quran is not an authentic recounting of the facts? Does that mean that every single church rests on myth?

Nor is the historicity of the Prophet the distinguishing feature about him. Every ordinary person living today is historically verifiable after all. The unique feature about the Prophet is that Allah chose him to transmit the Quran, but it would be absurd to ask anyone to prove the fact of Allah having chosen him. It is a matter of faith.

Indeed, the uniqueness of the Quran itself is a matter of faith. What we have read, and revere, is the reproduction of the original which lies in heaven inscribed on tablets of gold. And it is the contents of that original which Allah transmitted through the angel Gabriel to the Prophet. Heave, the original on tablets of gold, Allah’s decision, Gabriel — do we prove these?

They, too, are matters of faith. And every mosque is a celebration of those separate foci of faith.

Specific mosques are even more so. The great Al-Aqsa mosque marks the print which the Prophet’s foot made as he alighted from the winged horse which had carried him on his journey. The winged horse, the imprint of one particular foot — in regard to these would we entertain a demand for “proof”? The Hazratbal mosque in Kashmir enshrines what we revere as the hair of the Prophet. Would we think of proving the matter?

And yet that is what we are insisting the devotees of Ram do “.


Any answers Mr. Vir Sanghvi?? !!! Toeing the ‘ H.T.’ line ?!!

The entire ‘ Ayodhya – Babri Masjid ‘ controversy would never have reached this ‘ Theatre of the Absurd ‘ state, but for a monograph, entitled ” The Political Abuse of History: Babri
Masjid – Ram Jhanmabhumi Dispute ” issued by the faculty members of the Centre for Historical Studies, JNU. The signatories, among others, included ‘ Their Eminences ‘ -Sarepalli Gopal, Romila Thapar, Bipan Chandra, Harbans Mukhia et al.

In the opinion of the ‘Intellectual Kshatriya’ (late) Sita Ram Goel, ” – – the big buffoon in the debate was the Stalinist Professor R.S. Sharma. In Jan 1991, he led 42 ‘academics’ in a public statement that there was absolutely no evidence for a ‘pre-Babri Hindu Temple’ at the disputed site. The AIBMAC was led to believe that it had found a powerful advocate for its case. But when the chips were down, their stalwart was the first to turn tail and run away from the contest. It had been easy for him to make statements and allegations in the partisan press. But confronted with genuine scholars who place authentic information on the conference table, Sharma and ‘comrades’ found themselves cornered”.

And, this very same ‘buffoon’ was a Member of the “Committee of Eminent Persons”, appointed by the Govt. of India, in 2007, to go into the various aspects of the ‘Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project” or “Ram Sethu”, headed by the former Vice Chancellor of the Madras University. One doesn’t need extraordinary crystal gazing powers to know the ‘considered recommendation’ of this ‘Marxist Eminence’ !!

However, there are also ‘sane voices’ in academia, who refuse the toe the ‘ Eminences ‘ Line of ‘ ideological History Writing ‘.  One such voice was Prof. A.R. Khan, Prof. of History,
H.P. University, Shimla. Prof. Khan had carried out an ‘intellectual critique’ of the JNU Historians paper above. Concluding his critique, Prof. Khan wrote:

” A few historians giving ‘ FATWAS ‘ from the pulpit of a prestigious institution distantly located from the masses cannot combat the popular beliefs of the masses nourished through centuries, recently fostered and strengthened through the more popular and powerful media of TV, merely by mustering a ‘ few pieces of evidence of dubious credibility ‘. No social scientist can afford to ignore popular beliefs in the analysis of a society. What we need is not the evidence in the present crisis, but a sympathetic understanding of the beliefs of others, respect for such beliefs and concomittant efforts at accomodation and coexistence of incompatible beliefs of others, rather than attempts to proselytize others to one’s beliefs under the garb of ‘historical evidence’.  We have to accept what appear to us today to be the  ‘ follies ‘ of our history and live with them.  A nation built upon patch-work cannot survive long. What is required is the courage and INTEGRITY to accept and own our history, FACE  THE TRUTH and set an example of [TRUE] secularism for the building of our Nation”.

(REF: ” Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them ” -Vol I – Voice of India, New Delhi, pp-252.Also, published in the “Indian Express”, New Delhi – 01 Apr 1990)

And, ‘ TRUTH ‘ has been the ‘ FIRST CASUALTY ‘ in the media reporting of the ‘Ayodhya-Babri Masjid’ controversy !!


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