Politics

Ram Mandir Judgment: How Supreme Court Took Leftist Historians To Task For Their Distortions

The Supreme Court of India. (SAJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • The Supreme Court has called out Leftist historians in the Ayodhya judgment.

    The humiliation meted out to these ‘eminent’ historians, first at the High Court and later at the Supreme Court, is richly deserved.

The perfidies of leftist historians on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute are well known.

For decades, they have constantly tried to mislead the country on this issue and always played to the Islamist gallery in total disregard for facts, thereby not only doing a great disservice to their profession but also weakening the social fabric of the nation.

If it weren’t for their machinations, it would’ve been easier for the Muslim side to reach an amicable solution with Hindus and saved everyone a lot of agony.

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K K Muhammad, former regional director of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), had said that, “The Babri issue would have been settled long ago if the Muslim intelligentsia had not fallen prey to the brain-washing by leftist historians.”

Every time their lies got exposed by hard evidence, they invented new ones and shifted goalposts. Before the ASI started excavations, they said there was ‘no evidence of any ruins’ beneath the Babri mosque.

When digging at the site actually unearthed columns and pillars on which the mosque was raised, they said there was ‘no evidence that ruins belonged to an erstwhile temple’ and that ‘those could very well be from a mosque or a stupa’. Then they said those could’ve been ‘planted from outside’.

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And on and on they went until their manufactured mansion of falsehood imploded with the presentation of irrefutable facts.

The Allahabad High Court, in 2010, while delivering its judgment had taken these ‘expert’ historians to task for misleading the public (Read it in detail here and here).

Now, the Supreme Court has also called out their distortions.

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In May 1991, four Left historians — R S Sharma, M Athar Ali, D N Jha, and Suraj Bhan — had put together a report titled ‘Historian’s report to the nation’ in a bid to counter the wildly popular campaign of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

The report contained several erroneous assertions which were first put in the dock by the Allahabad High Court in 2010 and have now been discredited by the apex court.

Though the rebuke in the main judgment is mild, where the judges say that the Allahabad HC was harsh on these historians because they did “not have the benefit of inspecting the material on the basis of which Dr B B Lal had conducted his research in 1979,” these historians weren’t even interested in the findings of Professor Lal.

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He was derisively dismissed as a ‘Hindutva’ archaeologist. In fact, Professor Lal had to publish his findings in a Sangh-leaning publication, Manthan, in the 90s rather than in mainstream research papers.

The ASI excavations in 2003 proved Lal right.

Today, history stand discredited. And the highest court’s commentary on their report is the final nail in the coffin.

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One of the five judges had dealt with the Historian report in detail in the addenda.

The report claimed that, “Our study shows neither any evidence of the existence of a temple on the site of Babri Masjid nor of the destruction of any other structure there prior to the construction of the mosque.”

Muslim side advocate Rajeev Dhawan relied on the report to make his case that the there was no evidence even in scriptures to show that the Janmasthan is the same place which is the site of the disputed structure.

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But the court refers to shlokas 18 to 25 of Chapter X of Ayodhya Mahatmya of Skanda Purana and finds that as per shlokas, janmasthan is ‘situated to the east of Vighnesvara, to the north of Vasistha, and to the west of Laumasa.’

The court has further relied on statements of Mahant Ram Chandra, Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Rambhadracharya, Mahant Ram Vilas Das Vedanti, Swami Avimuktswaranand Saraswati and those of the witnesses produced by Muslim parties to conclude that even though clear boundaries have not been given of the Ram Janma Bhoomi, indications have been given about the legends situated on eastern, western and northern side and how to reach the Ram Janma Bhoomi. And these are “sufficient indication to locate the Ram Janma Bhoomi.”

The judgment notes that, ‘The report jumped to the conclusion that it is even doubtful that belief (of Janmasthan is same as the disputed structure) is earlier than the late eighteenth century.’

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The report claimed that Ayodhya Mahatmya of Skanda Purana was composed towards the end of the eighteenth century or the beginning of the nineteenth century.

But the addenda notes that this view cannot be accepted as P.V. Kane has clearly established that Skanda Purana ‘cannot be placed earlier than seventh century and not later than ninth century A.D.’

In fact, one of the leftist historians, Shirin Musavi, who deposed as a witness in the court herself, admitted to Skanda Purana belonging to the ninth century A.D.

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The report, while recording the legends mentioned in the Ayodhya Mahatmya of Skanda Purana, refers to “Laumasa” with present Rin Mochan Ghat. The SC labels this identification as “palpably wrong”.

The judgment notes that in the site plan and map prepared by Court Commissioner (which was relied on by the Allahabad HC), Laumasa is south-eastern corner of Janma Bhoomi and not Rin Mochan Ghat, which is on the banks of Saryu.

The report tried to play down the importance of the Janmasthan in scriptures, stating that 100 verses in Skanda Purana were dedicated to Swargdwar Tirth, while only 8 verses were dedicated to Janmasthan. The SC notes that this in no way dilutes the importance of Janmasthan.

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In a scathing indictment of the report, the author of the addenda junks it as “nothing but objection to the case of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.”

“The report, thus, has been prepared as the counter to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad case, which itself suggests that the four historians had not treated the entire subject dispassionately and objectively,” the addenda concludes.

Professor BB Lal had found bases sustaining pillars, south of the Babri Masjid during excavations in 1975-76.

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In the report, the historians dismissed this saying that “there is nothing to show that the pillar bases existing at a distance of about 60 ft to the south of the Babri Masjid structure are in alignment with the pillars used in the Babri Masjid.

In fact, no importance can be attached to the structure postulated on the strength of the pillar bases.”

Now that massive excavations carried out by the ASI in 2003 have proved Lal right, the apex court says that the ‘Historian’s report cannot be relied upon’.

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The humiliation meted out to these eminent historians, first at the High Court and later at the Supreme Court, is richly deserved.

They sacrificed their professionalism at the altar of ideology. They treated history with disdain. Now, it’s time for history to return the favour.

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