Historians as witnesses and Sunni Wakf Board Experts!

Ramajanmabhumi-Babarimasjid, evidences and Court or

Hisorians as witnesses and Sunni Wakf Board Experts!


Ramajanmabhumi-Babarimasjid and eminent hisorians: The eminent historians would appear immediately, whenever “Rama” appears in the headlines of Indian media. They start interpreting historicity of “Ramayana” according to their own way without any regard for the other view or perspective[1]. Even in the case of Sethu-samuthram, they started writing in “the Hindu” and EPW grinding their mills as usual[2]. Of course, the left media does / did not want the opinion of the others[3]. They vociferously lecture and write that they would appeal against the judgment and so on, but disappear thereafter. They exploit every forum like IHC etc., only to project their viewpoint[4]. Romila Thapar roared, “We would appeal against this jugment”, when the so-called “Hindutva judgment” came[5], but nothing happened! And the faithful readers of “The Hindu”, Frontline, EPW and the devoted members of IHC etc., also do not bother as to why their eminent historians tell lies or play such dubious games? Why they believe the eminent historians, because of their eminence or for their duplicity? Have they ever thought about them as to why they behave like that? Now, again these left / eminent intellectuals / historians have been busy with issuing statements. Besides, historians and experts others too join!

130 experts sign – ASI report should be made public, says appeal to Chief Justice[6] (14-10-2010): Now 130 experts have come out with an open letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India! The news reports say like this, “The Allahabad High Court based a significant part of its judgment in the Ayodhya case on the evidence provided by the Archaeological Survey of India’s report on its excavations at the site, submitted to the court in 2003. They accuse that the report is still hidden from the public eye, and a virtual gag order placed on archaeologists who acted as observers during the excavation[7]. Now that the judgment has been pronounced, a group of 130 academics, activists and intellectuals have demanded that the ASI report be published. In an open letter[8] to the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, they urged that the report “be made available for scrutiny in the public domain, especially to scholars, as it is now a part of the public judicial record.” The ASI report, which concluded that a temple had existed at the site, has been criticised by many archaeologists for ignoring evidence such as animal bones, which would not have been found in a temple for Ram, and the existence of glazed pottery and graves at all levels which indicated Muslim residence”[9].

Shereen Ratnagar and D. Mandal were slapped with contempt of court charges by the Allahabad High Court: “In May, archaeologists Shereen Ratnagar and D. Mandal were slapped with contempt of court charges by the Allahabad High Court for sharing their observations in a book, titled “Ayodhya: Archaeology After Excavation”, published by Tulika in 2007. The orders in that case have been reserved”. That means they know the implications of the law. That is why they have been keeping quite since 2003!

The open letter and signatories: “The open letter notes that, “the world at large is equally constrained to silence. Such a judicially ordained zone of uncertainty curbs freedom of expression and fair comment.” Indians have never seen them in other caes where such issues have been involved. Thus, they want to selective!

Signatories: “The letter was signed by well-known Indian academics such as Sumit Sarkar, Uma Chakravarti, K.N. Pannikkar, K. Satchidanandan, Ajay Dandekar and filmmakers such as Anand Patwardhan, as well as less well-known Indian citizens – a software engineer, a textile design consultant, a teacher[10]. Academics from abroad – including those from universities in London, Chicago, Stockholm and Copenhagen – have also signed the letter, as friends of India”. This type of letters have been issued since 1992 and many times, the so-called signatories say that they have simply agreed to include their names in such letters. In some cases, they did / do not know also about the inclusion of their names!

Romila Thapar and others: Statement issued through Sahamat (01-10-2010): Another report goes like this: “Questioning the verdict of the Allahabad High Court on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits, a group of left-leaning intellectuals on Friday said the judgment was “yet another blow to the secular fabric of the country” and the “repute of our judiciary”.  The scholars, including Romila Thapar, K M Shrimali, K N Pannikar, Irfan Habib, Utsa Patnaik and C P Chandrasekhar, said in a statement through the platform of Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) that the verdict had raised “serious concerns” because of the way history, reason and secular values had been treated in it. “The view that the Babri Masjid was built at the site of a Hindu temple, which has been maintained by two of the three judges, takes no account of all the evidence contrary to this fact turned up by the Archaeological Survey of India’s own excavations — the presence of animal bones throughout as well as the use of ‘surkhi’ and lime mortar (all characteristic of Muslim presence) rule out the possibility of a Hindu temple having been there beneath the mosque,” the statement noted.

The verdict on Ayodhya: a historian’s perspective[11] (01-10-2010): Under this caption, the view of romila thapar appeared in “The Hindu”. It goes like this, “It has annulled respect for history and seeks to replace it with religious faith.

“The verdict is a political judgment and reflects a decision which could as well have been taken by the state years ago. Its focus is on the possession of land and the building a new temple to replace the destroyed mosque. The problem was entangled in contemporary politics involving religious identities but also claimed to be based on historical evidence. This latter aspect has been invoked but subsequently set aside in the judgment.

“The court has declared that a particular spot is where a divine or semi-divine person was born and where a new temple is to be built to commemorate the birth. This is in response to an appeal by Hindu faith and belief[12]. Given the absence of evidence in support of the claim, such a verdict is not what one expects from a court of law. Hindus deeply revere Rama as a deity but can this support a legal decision on claims to a birth-place, possession of land and the deliberate destruction of a major historical monument to assist in acquiring the land?

“The verdict claims that there was a temple of the 12th Century AD at the site which was destroyed to build the mosque — hence the legitimacy of building a new temple.

“The excavations of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and its readings have been fully accepted even though these have been strongly disputed by other archaeologists and historians. Since this is a matter of professional expertise on which there was a sharp difference of opinion the categorical acceptance of the one point of view, and that too in a simplistic manner, does little to build confidence in the verdict. One judge stated that he did not delve into the historical aspect since he was not a historian but went to say that history and archaeology were not absolutely essential to decide these suits! Yet what are at issue are the historicity of the claims and the historical structures of the past one millennium.

“A mosque built almost 500 years ago and which was part of our cultural heritage[13] was destroyed wilfully by a mob urged on by a political leadership. There is no mention in the summary of the verdict that this act of wanton destruction, and a crime against our heritage, should be condemned. The new temple will have its sanctum — the presumed birthplace of Rama — in the area of the debris of the mosque. Whereas the destruction of the supposed temple is condemned and becomes the justification for building a new temple, the destruction of the mosque is not, perhaps by placing it conveniently outside the purview of the case.

“Has created a precedent[14]: The verdict has created a precedent in the court of law that land can be claimed by declaring it to be the birthplace of a divine or semi-divine being worshipped by a group that defines itself as a community. There will now be many such janmasthans wherever appropriate property can be found or a required dispute manufactured. Since the deliberate destruction of historical monuments has not been condemned what is to stop people from continuing to destroy others? The legislation of 1993 against changing the status of places of worship has been, as we have seen in recent years, quite ineffective.

What happened in history, happened. It cannot be changed[15]. But we can learn to understand what happened in its fuller context and strive to look at it on the basis of reliable evidence. We cannot change the pas[16]t to justify the politics of the present. The verdict has annulled respect for history and seeks to replace history with religious faith. True reconciliation can only come when there is confidence that the law in this country bases itself not just on faith and belief, but on evidence”.

Earlier stand – Irfan Habib (01-10-2010): “With the three judges pronouncing differing opinions on the historical and archaeological aspects of the case in the Allahabad High Court’s judgement on the disputed land in Ayodhya, many leading historians have been left bemused. “It’s not a logical judgement with so many parts going 2-1. One does not accept the logicality of the judgement,” said Irfan Habib, a noted historian and a former Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research who earlier taught at the Aligarh Muslim University. He noted that the verdict seemed to legitimise the events of 1949[17], when an idol was placed inside the mosque, by constant references. On the other hand, by minimising any mentions of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, the court seemed to be disregarding it, he said. He also expressed surprise that two judges questioned the date of construction of the Babri Masjid, as well as the involvement of emperor Babar or his commander Mir Baqi, since there had been clear inscriptions to this effect before the demolition. “Things that are totally clear historically, the court has tried to muddy,” he said[18].

D. N. Jha: “The historical evidence has not been taken into account,” said D.N. Jha, history professor at the Delhi University. Noting the judgement’s mention of the “faith and belief of Hindus” in reference to the history of the disputed structure, Dr. Jha asked why the court had requested an excavation of the site.“If it is a case of ‘belief,’ then it becomes an issue of theology, not archaeology. Should the judiciary be deciding cases on the basis of theology is a question that needs to be asked,” he said.

Supriya Verma, one of the observers: Professional archaeologists also noted that the judges did not seem to rely heavily on the Archaeological Survey of India’s court-directed excavation of the site in 2003, at least in the summaries of their verdict available on Thursday evening. “Somewhere, there is doubt about the credibility of that report,” said Supriya Verma of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, who acted as an observer during the ASI excavation. She noted that neither Justice Sudhir Agarwal nor Justice Dharam Veer Sharma even referenced the ASI report to support his conclusion on the existence of a temple on the site before the mosque was built. “It is almost as though they themselves were not convinced by the evidence. They are clearly conceding that there was no archaeological evidence of a temple or of its demolition…It is a judgement of theology,” she said.

Jaya Menon, one of the observers: Another observer of the ASI excavation, Jaya Menon of the Aligarh Muslim University, noted that the ASI report itself did not provide any evidence of a demolition, and only asserted the existence of a temple in its conclusion. “So I don’t know on what basis they made their judgements,” she said. The ASI report had been criticised by many archaeologists for ignoring evidence such as animal bones, which would not have been found in a temple for Ram, and the existence of glazed pottery and graves which indicated Muslim residents.

The eminent historians as witnesses of Muslims in the Allahabad case: The eminent historians, historical experts  and leftist manufacturers never bother about their secular credentials.  It is not known as to why these coteries should always support for the Masjid or Muslim cause. Ironically, the following have been the witnesses of the case in question, which is criticised by them:

Sl.No Witness no Name of the witness
1 Witness No. 63 R.S. Sharma
2 Witness No. 64 Suraj Bhan
3 Witness No. 65 D.N. Jha[19]
4 Witness No. 66 Romila Thapar
5 Witness No. 70 Irfan Habib
6 Witness No. 72 B.N. Pandey
7 Witness No. 95 K.M. Shrimali
8 Witness No. 99 Satish Chandra
9 Witness No. 102 Gyanendra Pandey

Then, where is their loci standi in criticising the judgment and Court? As witnesses, definitely, they could have deposed before the judges presenting their “historical facts” as they only know how to interpret! The public perhaps, even today do not know that in secular India, these historians stood witnesses to the Muslims! Why none has appeared for Hindus or temple cause? When the cold-blooded terrorist and heinous killer like Kasab is given legal aid, why none appeared for the non-Muslim and non-mosque group? Where is secularism? Would they come out in the public what they told to the judges in the Court? However, the poor show showed in the court by them raises many questions.

HC judge exposed experts espousing Masjids cause: Waqf Board Line-Up Accused Of Having Ostrich-Like Attitude:  The role played by independent experts, historians and archaeologists who appeared on behalf of the Waqf Board to support its claim has come in for criticism by one Allahabad High Court judge in the Ayodhya verdict. While the special bench of three judges unanimously dismissed objections raised by the experts to the presence of a temple, it was Justice Sudhir Agarwal who put their claims to extended judicial scrutiny. Most of these experts deposed twice. Before the ASI excavations, they said there was no temple beneath the mosque and, after the site had been dug up,they claimed what was unearthed was a mosque or a stupa. During lengthy cross-examination spread over several pages and recorded by Justice Agarwal, the historians and experts were subjected to pointed queries about their expertise, background and basis for their opinions.
To the courts astonishment, some who had written signed articles and issued pamphlets, were withering under scrutiny and the judge said they were displayed an ostrich-like attitude to facts. He also pointed out how the independent witnesses were connected one had done a PhD under the other, another had contributed an article to a book penned by a witness.

The vociverous historians could not give evidences properly as witnesses with all their extertise[20]: Some instances underlined by the judge are[21]:

  • Suvira Jaiswal[22] deposed whatever knowledge I gained with respect to disputed site is based on newspaper reports or what others told (other experts). She said she prepared a report on the Babri dispute on basis of discussions with medieval history expert in my department.

  • Supriya Verma[23], another expert who challenged the ASI excavations, had not read the ground penetration radar survey report that led the court to order an excavation. She did her PhD under another expert Shireen F Ratnagar.

  • Verma and Jaya Menon[24] alleged that pillar bases at the excavated site had been planted but HC found they were not present at the time the actual excavation took place.

  • Archaeologist Shereen F Ratnagar has written the introduction to the book of another expert who deposed, Professor Mandal. She admitted she had no field experience.

Normally, courts do not make adverse comments on the deposition of a witness and suffice it to consider whether it is credible or not, but we find it difficult to resist ourselves in this particular case considering the sensitivity and nature of dispute and also the reckless and irresponsible kind of statements…[25] the judge noted. He said opinions had been offered without making a proper investigation, research or study in the subject. The judge said he was startled and puzzled by contradictory statements.When expert witness Suraj Bhan deposed on the Babri mosque, the weight of his evidence was contradicted by anotherexpert for Muslim parties, Shirin Musavi, who told the court that Bhan is an archaeologist and not an expert on medieval history[26]. Justice Agarwal noted that instead of helping in making a cordial atmosphere it tends to create more complications, conflict and controversy. He pointed out that experts carry weight with public opinion.

When the matter is subjudice, one has to obey law: It is a simple matter that whenever, any issue / case is pending with the Court, as the matter is subjudice, it should not be discussed or the decisions cannot be drawn in favour of anybody. However, these left historians etc., have been always speaking and writing supporting for Muslim cause or against Hindus, as is evident from their own recorded / printed statements / articles always published in the selected in few journals / ndewspapers. Unfortunately, they have even agreed to be witnesses for the Wakf Board in the Allahabad Court as their names are figuring. Ironivcally, they are called as Sunni Wakf Board experts![27]

When religions rely upon belief system, so also secularism historians too belive so ignoring objectivity: Like believers and dis-believers historians too believe and compel others to believe their perspective without any objectivity. As their objectivity differes, their perspective also differ, but try to argue with ideology, as could be understood by others. With belief system, no two ideologists could come together; with objectivity no two historians could accept the same historical event in the same view or pwerspective; here, the media has been projecting only one view. So what about the other view and why the media does not provide opportunity to accommodate their view? Should “audi alteram partem – hear the other side and decide” be applicable only to the Courts according to the principle of natural justice or the historians do not want to follow?

The same pattern as noted in the case of DK, DMK and other rapid atheists and radical experts is noted in the case of these eminent historians or Sunni Wakf Board experts: As it is pointed out in the case of DK[28]-DMK[29] radicals and rabid atheist groups that they do not come to Courts or face courts, though, they used to cry and roar that they are not afraid of Courts and so on. Here, also, suppressing the facts, these historians talk and write one thing in the dailies and cover up their mumbling and bungling in the court. The court recordings of the witnesses have been actually exposing their hollowness of expertise, deceptiveness of historical knowledge and their dubious role as witnesses. That they accuse even without seeing, even without reading or just discussing with others etc, prove their capacity of manoeuvring and manipulation of academics. How they get PhDs etc., only prove such academic degradation and professional pampering without any shame or remorse. It is open secret that the JNU, AMU, DU, IHC, ICHR and others at one side and BMAC, Sunni Wakf Board, AIMPLB at the other side have been playing communalism under the guise of secularism. Just by accusing others they cannot live, survive and continue their careers in this competitive world.

Why the eminent historians and Sunni Wakf Board experts did not respond to the remarks of the Judge? Definitely, the remarks of the Judge have been questioning the integrity of the eminent historians and Sunni Wakf Board experts, who deposed before the court as witnesses! They cannot simply brush aside such exposure, as it casts aspersion on their position. The English reading Indians and Indian students may doubt their veracity, reliability and uprightness, as they read their writings or listen to them. Therefore, they should go to court to clear the mess instead of shooting out letters to the Chief Justice just like politicians.

Indians and Indian youth should note as to whether these Sunni Board experts should teach history. Very often, it is said, claimed and propagated that India is / has been secular. Yes, how then the eminent historians professional archaeologists acted as Sunni Wakf Board experts and deposed as witnesses to the Muslims? Why these retired historians, senile professors and their working agents always make clamor about history, historicity and historiography in India, as if they are the sole selling agents of such stuff? Nowadays, the fact is that a few have been takers for history and most of the universities have dispensed with history subject. Definitely, the so-called historians have lost their importance and thus they tried to struggle for survival with the political and communal support. Now, the documents are available to all and the facts are known to everybody who access them through internet or otherwise. Common people may not know or understand the deceptive talkings and writings of the eminent historians or Sunni Wakf Board experts, but slowly they come to know. They easily understand that who want to settle the dispute and who want to continue the dispute for their stakes. Definitely, Muslims and Hindus want to settle the issue once for all, but these history gamblers and politicians want to continue. Therefore, the will of people prevail.




[2] Romila Thapar, “Where fusion cannot work – faith and history” (the Hindu, dated September 28, 2007).

…………………., Historical Memory without History, in Economic and Political weekly, VOL 42 No. 39 September 29 – October 05, 2007, pp.3903-3905.

K. N. Panikkar, Myth, history and politics, Frontline, October 5, 2007, pp.21-24.

Suraj Bhan, “Government should have stood by ASI”, Ibid, pp.19-20.

[4] During the 2007-IHC session, Suvira Jaiswal was making such satatements. Then, in Delhi also they tried take up the matter. Now, in February 2011 at Malda, they may raise the issue. However, the Indians have to weait and see.

[5] In “the Hindu”, as usual, the news appeared with her photo and all, but after that everbody would have forgot about it! However, their warrior-like talk, veiled threatening and tactics of suppression of facts cannot be acquired by others.

[6] The Hindu, ASI report should be made public, says appeal to Chief Justice, Published: October 14, 2010 01:54 IST | Updated: October 14, 2010 02:03 IST; http://www.hindu.com/2010/10/14/stories/2010101464751800.htm

[7] How this has been a blatant lie has been exposed by the judge and that is why these guys have now tried to save their image by writing such letters. Of course, the media gives due publicity to such hypes and gimmicks.

[8] However, their mumbling, jumbling and bungling deposes before the Court have been kept as closed secret!

[9] Thus the eminent historians look for a non-vegetarian kitchen of Muslims there instrad of a temple. The same experts declared that the 16” inscription was planted by the Karsevaks in 1992.

[10] When Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti works on the same lines, the same eminent historians make fun of having such diversified experts, but now they themselves have such signatories, just to project their strength.

[11] The Hindu, Published: October 2, 2010 00:41 IST | Updated: October 2, 2010.

[12] There is nothing new in Romila’s argument, as she repeats the same matter again and again. The unfortunate thing is that she like her friends always want others should accept their views!

[13] How they contradict in their views legally can be noted in such statements. When convenience comes, they forget law, when law is against them, they start talking generalization or raise the bogey of “Hindutva”!

[14] Law precedence is created in the Court. Yes, definitely, the judges are the persons to create and others have to accept. Of course, the appealable legal remedy is there.

[15] But whatever happened also cannot be forgotten. When the same historians want to whitewash the temple destruction of the Muslims and accept only the Muslim contribution, such type of exclusivist logic is not explained. Why the students should not know the facts? In law it is said audi alteram partem – hear the other side and decide. How then historians want to decide without knowing the other side?

[16] Why then the interpretation of the past is always different for different historians? Nowadays, historians do not want objectivity also. How then they woerry about accuracy, when they themselves are not worried about it?

[17] Acts and Rules are within the time frame work. All know that Places of Worship Act is there and it e3xempts only this place and not others. Why then they talk about pre-1947 and after 1947, when law its4elf  cannot do so?

[18]The Hindu, Historical evidence ignored, say historians, dated October 1, 2010, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article805087.ece

[23] It is interesting to note that the ASI report talks about a shrine followed by a temple with different structural phases, it also talks of “animal bones recovered from various levels of different periods”. If any shrine and a temple existed how can anyone account for the animal bones, Supriya Verma asks? She also maintains that stones and decorated bricks could have been used in any building, not necessarily only in a temple. Also, the carved architectural members have come from the debris and not from the stratified context.

[24] She got appointment in the AMU after she started supporting the cause of mosque and appeared as Sunni Wakf Board expert!

[25] The historians who deposed as witnesses and as well as others should carefully read this and understand their postion. They cannot pretend as if nothing happened or pose as great authorities and roam here and there in historical forums and conferences. Now Indians have also understood their double-games, double-speak and double-standards.

[26] Nowadays, just like medical experts or specialized doctors, these historians ad archaeologists trading charges like this – so-and-so is an expert in that field and he alone can know the truth and others cannot know the truth. Such type of exclusive mind-set exposes their arrogance and weakness and not the real expertise.

[27]Asghar ali Engineer, Archaeological Excavations and Temple, September 1-15, 2003,  http://www.csss-isla.com/arch%20150.htm

[28] Vedaprakash, Old Judgments and  New thoughts in the present context: S. Veerabadran Chettiar vs E. V. Ramaswami Naicker  others., http://vedaprakash.indiainteracts.in/2008/08/09/old-judgments-and-new-thoughts-in-the-present-context-s-veerabadran-chettiar-vs-e-v-ramaswami-naicker-others/


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