The Marxist Spin To Indian History Unearthed In The Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Case

Sridhar Potaraju

Oct 28, 2020, 01:28 PM | Updated 01:28 PM IST

Ram Janmabhoomi site (Pic via Twitter)
Ram Janmabhoomi site (Pic via Twitter)
  • Here is a judicial scrutiny of the narration of history, placed before courts as evidence, and the role played by Marxist academicians and historians in building a narrative of History in the Ram Janmabhoomi case in support of one side, using their positions of influence in public offices.
  • satyena sūryastapati satyenāgniḥ pradīpyate |
    satyena māruto vāti sarvaṃ satye pratiṣṭhitam ||

    It is by the truth that the sun is imparting heat, it is by truth that fire gives light,

    It is by truth that the winds blow, verily, everything rests upon truth.

    Bhishma, Anushasana Parva Ch.74 V.30, Mahabharata

    Truth, is a civilisational value in India from times immemorial. Our land has seen great personal sacrifices of individuals to uphold truth and this virtue has elevated humans to be adulated and revered for thousands of years. Truth is the most cherished constitutional value.

    Most of the Indians trace the virtue of truth from the life of Lord Sri Rama. However, the proof of Lord Sri Rama’s birth in Ayodhya in a specific place was required to be proved in a civil suit for title over about 1500 sq. yards of land in Ayodhya.

    For many Lord Sri Rama’s place of birth being Ayodhya is axiomatic. However, when questioned as to exactly where is the place of birth it became a bone of contest spread over 492 years since 1528 when Babur, an invader from Central Asia, was believed to have built a Masjid at the site of the place of birth. It is not easy to prove axioms in a court of law and that was the task Hindus had to achieve in this case.

    In the pursuit to establish the exact place of birth reliance was placed on description given in Ayodhya Mahatyam in Skanda Purana by Hindus. The significance of the exact place of birth was attributed to the place being chosen by Lord Vishnu himself who took birth as a human in his seventh Avatar as Sri Rama, as was mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana.

    The continuous worship at the same place of birth, notwithstanding the existence of an Islamic structure,from times immemorial was proved through various documentary and oral evidence.

    The subsequent division of the place by the British in 1856/57 did not deter the faith of Hindus and though denied access to the exact place of birth, they still worshipped it from a distance. In fact some of the Muslim witnesses stood by truth and deposed that Hindus believed and worshipped at the same place.

    To put things in perspective it would be useful to see what the Supreme Court had to say in the opening para of its historic judgment pronounced on 9th November 2019:

    The Ayodhya judgment of the Supreme Court has very objectively addressed a very complex and pestering issue which goes to the root of the identity of the world’s oldest living civilisation. Indian judiciary has decided the issues in accordance with modern legal principles accepted as the basis for conflict resolution by civilised nations.

    An issue of dispute over place of worship between Hindus and Muslims was adjudicated by applying secular laws of the land by invoking Constitutional powers conferred on the Supreme Court.

    In the process the Court chose not to be guided by personal laws of Hindus and Muslims alike but has applied the law of the land which applies to all uniformly.

    The pursuit of truth was aided by evidence on existence of faith by both Hindus and Muslims. It was really heartening to mention that amongst several Muslims witnesses who deposed in support of the case of Muslim side stood by truth in admitting that the Hindus believed the place to be the Janmasthan of Sri Ram from times immemorial. In fact, some went to the extent of saying that Ayodhya is to Hindus what Mecca is for Muslims.

    Adherence to truth by the devout Muslim witnesses also reinforced that truth was indeed a highly cherished value for devout followers of Islam. Persons of faith amongst Hindus and Muslims put across their perspectives based on truth or what they bonafide believed to be truth.

    However, the role played by certain persons, some of whom followed marxist ideology, appeared to have no such compulsion to adhere to truth, as was noticed from the case records and the judgment of the High Court and Supreme Court.

    The present opinion seeks to bring out judicial scrutiny of narration of history placed before courts as evidence in the following ways,

    1) Publishing fallacious material under the authority of Government of India,

    2) Reports to the Nation by persons of eminence in academia to build a public opinion to suit their narrative and

    3) Oral depositions by Professors in support of the narratives built over decades by their ideological mentors and peers.

    The role played by Academicians/Historians in building a narrative of History in support of one side using their positions of influence in public offices was recorded by Courts in their judgments with anguish.

    Firstly, the Archaeological Survey of India Publication ‘Epigraphia Indica, Arabic and Persian Supplement (in continuation of Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica) (Z A Desai Eds), Archaeology Survey of India (1987)’. This has been published by the Director General, ASI and contains a reference to the inscriptions of Babur purportedly on the structure of Masjid.

    The text is attributed to Maulvi M Ashraf Husain and is edited by Z A Desai. This publication was sought to be relied upon to establish the Masjid was constructed in 1528 and how it was correlated to Babur.

    The said publication by ASI was subject to strong observations by the High Court quoted with approval by the Supreme Court as follows:

    The High Court observed that two inscriptions, those on the southern face of the pulpit and on the wall on the right of the pulpit were not available. According to Ashraf Husain, the epigraphs disappeared in 1934 at the time of the communal riot.

    However, reliance was sought to be placed on an alleged “inked rubbing” without explaining the identity or whereabouts of the person from whom it was obtained. The criticism of the High Court is not without basis.

    The identity of the individual from whom the inked rubbings were obtained was not explained. Nor was there any explanation about the manner in which he had in turn obtained it.

    There was indeed nothing to co-relate the text which that individual had obtained with the translation in the text compiled by Ashraf Husain and Z A Desai. The High Court observed: ―

    In this background, the High Court observed: ―

    Secondly, reliance was placed on a document which is titled: “Babri Mosque or Rama’s Birth Place? Historians’ Report to the Nation” dated 13.5.1991 by Prof. R.S. Sharma, formerly Professor at Delhi University and Chairperson of the Indian Council for Historical Research, Prof. M. Athar Ali, formerly a Professor of History in Aligarh Muslim University and President of Indian History Congress, Prof. D.N. Jha, Professor of History, Delhi University and Prof. Suraj Bhan, Professor of Archaeology and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kurukshetra University, Haryana addressed to Mr. Subodh Kant Sahay, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Govt. of India. The report was summarised by the Supreme Court as follows

    The conclusions in the study were:

    The Supreme Court chose not to give any significant weight to the said report as it was prior to ASI Report in 2003. However, observed as follows:

    Another interesting conclusion of these Historians noticed in the Addenda to the Supreme Court judgment is that the 4 Historians have found that the Skanda Purana was published towards of 18th century or beginning of 19th century. The Supreme Court in the Addendum observed as follows:

    Their report was found to be more a reply to the claim of VHP than an original work on Indian History. It was so glaring that the High Court passed strictures against the said historians for brushing aside scientific material available in public domain based on Archaeological excavations as early as from 1969 onwards.

    Their report sidesteps the Archaeological studies done prior to 1991 when they submitted the report to the Nation on the premise that the material was not made available to them.

    One fails to understand why these Historians did not make any independent attempts before 1991 to examine the Archaeological studies conducted from 1969 onwards at least academically, as there were clear indications of the existence of an old temple suggestively in view of the limited excavations done.

    Thirdly, the experts who deposed on oath after the extensive excavations done by ASI under orders of Court to unearth the truth, were again found to be more to raise a defence of their school of history from being exposed as being mere legend or tradition.

    During cross examination it was stated on oath by some of the experts that persons of eminence in History/Archaeology such as Mr. Irfan Habib, Mr. R.S. Sharma, Mr. BNS Yadav, MR D.P. Agarwal, Ms. Romila Thapar, Dr. Suveera, Jaiswal, Prof.Suraj Bhan, Prof. D. Mandal, to be influenced by Marxism.

    Not all of them appeared to depose on oath before the Court but their views were put forth by those who chose to depose as expert witnesses and sujected their narratives and conclusions to cross examination. All these persons on different occasions expressed their opinions that there was no basis to the claim of a pre-existing temple below the disputed structure.

    Some of these expert witnesses tried to argue a completely new case to justify their earlier position that there was no temple existing at the disputed site, even after it was found to be baseless by ASI report in 2003.

    The new case pleaded, not by Muslims for they never amended their plaint to this effect, but by Marxist historians was that the Babri Masjid was built on a Idgah or Kanati Mosque. This suggestion while being quite shocking, only showed the degree of desperation to somehow deny the truth of existence of an ancient Hindu temple.

    In fact it is necessary to point out that some of the Muslim parties to the suit had in fact stated in their pleadings that they shall not claim the place if it is found that the Masjid was built on a temple.

    Some Muslim witnesses in their deposition on oath had stated that for the true followers of Islam prayers offered in a place built over a place of worship of another faith would not be accepted by God. The faith and belief of the Muslim parties deserved to be respected by the expert witnesses appearing on the Muslim’s side.

    Well, it appears that the dispute was only a platform for these experts to enact their own script irrespective of the pleadings before the Court.

    The observations made in the judgment of Justice Sudhir Agarwal, Allahabad High Court, qua the four authors of the 1991 report and academicians who deposed as expert witnesses in History and Archaeology are extracted in the Addendum by the Supreme Court as follows:

    However, the observations of the High Court on the report of the said four historians were found to be “unjustifiably harsh on the four historians” by the Supreme Court and “observations were unnecessary for the exercise which was being embarked upon by the High Court.”

    The attempt by the Historians who deposed on oath as expert witnesses as noticed by the Supreme Court clearly lacked objectivity expected of experts. It only showed their approach was more to oppose a perspective put forward before a Court of Law other than what they approved of was more important to them than truth.

    Unfortunately, in the process they exposed an ugly truth about the manner in which the academicians wedded to an ideology which does not support existence of God, were using the bitter contest of faiths as a platform to widen the divide and perpetuate social unrest. For social unrest and division in the society are essential in the struggle as per the Marxist template.

    They openly took sides and made publications using their position as academicians as also by virtue of the high office they occupied, to influence public opinion as experts on History and Archaeology.

    Their statements and publications had become the basis for public debate in the country. Many Indians trusted their opinions to be objective findings of experts and did not suspect them of being politically influenced.

    A contest between persons of faith over a disputed piece of land seems to have been appropriated by ideologues by using their unique position of eminence in academic arena. It is but natural that the Courts have come down heavily on their conduct for how they breached the trust reposed on them by the nation both as intellectuals and academicians.

    The narrative in support of the case of the Muslims was built over years by Marxist Historians. The reasons for their approach towards Indian History is probably best summarised in the following quote from ‘A Textbook of Historiography 500 BC to AD 2000’ by Historian and author Sri E. Sreedharan,

    Peter Hardy comments: There is the same inarticulate premises that the writing of history should justify the ways of Muslims to men. There is the same assumption that history is purposive, teleological; there is the same urge towards a universal schematic view of history…..The significant feature of Professor Habib’s Marxist interpretation of medieval Indian history is not that Marxism has absorbed Islam but that Islam has absorbed Marxism.”

    The Marxist historians’ narrative on Indian History was not without criticism even amongst Historians and authors. A clear attempt was made to hide certain aspects of History which reflected on bigotry of the medieval rulers.

    One cannot but ask these academicians, if we can be taught about Hitlers holocaust or General Dyer’s blood thirst in Jallianwalla Bagh as part of History, what was the need to air brush the historical wrongs suffered by Hindus for being idol worshippers.

    Truths about medieval India were swept under the carpet to suit certain narratives by these intellectuals. As a consequence, few generations of Indians appear to have been exposed to what may in hindsight be called as ‘re education programmes’ designed to disconnect us from our past, by labelling our civilisational heritage either as mythology or legend if not both.

    It may not be wrong to compare this systematic attempt with what their ideological cousins are practising more transparently now in China qua Uighur Muslims.

    In conclusion, one can only wish intellectuals and academicians, irrespective of whether they believe in God or not remember these words of Mahatma Gandhi (From M.K. Gandhi An Autobiography or The Story of my experiments with truth) “My uniform experience has convinced me that there is no other God than Truth” and stick to the path of truth.

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