Posts Tagged ‘historiography’

Historians as witnesses and Sunni Wakf Board Experts!

October 16, 2010

Ramajanmabhumi-Babarimasjid, evidences and Court or

Hisorians as witnesses and Sunni Wakf Board Experts!

Vedaprakash

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.

Vedaprakash

16-10-2010


 

[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/

Advertisements

History, faith and Indian historians A rejoinder to Romila Thapar.

July 16, 2009
History, faith and Indian historians A rejoinder to Romila Thapar.
Published on September 29th, 2007 In Uncategorized |  Views 1116
The following is my response to the Editor, The Hindu. However, “The Hindu” has not been publishing views opposing to its ideology. Generally, it is said that N. Ram does not encourage anything that is against Marxism etc. Whatever, may be the fact, the copy is posted here for debate and discussion:A rejoinder to Romila Thapar Romila Thapar, an eminent historian of India has written her opinion in “The Hindu” under the caption, “Where fusion cannot work – faith and history” (The Hindu, September 28, 2007). For the article, see: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/0928/stories/2007092855231200.htm and with reference to this, I respond as follows:

Historians have never been honest in dealing with the historical issues involving faith and history, and there only faith and history have been brought into conflict. It is not fusing faith and history or vice versa. Historians know very well that it is their belief that history can be only based on what is written or has been written. It is their faith that they do not believe that if lived man of one million or 1 billon did not live if he has not left any historical record. But how scientists would say about it?

Historians believe about past events that they should have happened like this; at the same time other set of historians interpret that the same events could have happened in different way. Historians have accepted that they do not require any objectivity in their historical studies or methodology. So again, it their strong faith that they believe that objectivity is not required. But any other professional would accept it? Therefore historical faith and history cannot be independent. Without faith of the past or faith ion archaeological methods, historians cannot work independently. When historians have decided to differ, there would be difference only. Historians believed that Aryans invaded India destroyed Dravidians and so on. At that time itself, the believers and even Sanskrit scholars clarified that it was gross misinterpretation of Vedas. But none cared. Now, the historians have retracted, but the books remain containing such unhistorical writings. So how can their premises, their methods of enquiry, and their formulations be dissimilar?

You say, “When historians speak of the historicity of person, place, or event, they require evidence — singular or plural — that proves the existence of any of these and this evidence is based on data relating to space and time. The two important spaces in the Valmiki Ramayana are Ayodhya and Lanka, on the location of which scholarly opinion differs”. Yes, what are those “scholarly opinions”? An opinion is nothing but belief or faith only as their views is estimated depending upon their attitudes and outlook.

What you say about the foot print of Mohammed kept in Jama Masjid or the hair kept in a Kashmir mosque? Have you ever recommended for chemical analysis or DNA test? Have historians ever tried their scientific methodology? Where has gone their scientific temper? You claim, “It is said that the Ram Setu is cultural heritage and therefore cannot be destroyed even if it is a natural geological formation and not man-made. Has the idea become the heritage? To search for a non-existent man-made structure takes away from the imaginative leap of a fantasy and denies the fascinating layering of folk-lore”. When H. D. Sankalia [1972:46] asserted that there were no evidences for Asoka, Chandragupta Maurya etc., as no horizontal excavations had been done, historians did not worry and search for Asoka or Chandragupta. When Vincent Smith [1990:231-267] wrote that Asoka killed his brothers etc., you also repeated the song in your book [1963:20-54]. Accepting Kalhana as historian, you ignored the Asoka, as he recorded. So why can’t deny this Asoka and accept the Asoka of Kalhana? It is only “the majority idea / opinion / faith” that only this Asoka could be “Mauryan Asoka” in spite of lacking historical evidences, created and established one Asoka! So even existed person was consigned to imaginary leap of fantasy and made fable!

Even after the so-called “authorized / critical edition” [Vol I-1960, II-1962, III-1963, IV-1965, V-1966, VI-1971], the mention of different Ramayanas is irrelevant, immaterial and incompetent.

As a historian, it is surprising that you have lied to the whole world like this:  “This does not happen with the biographies of those who were known to be historical figures and who founded belief systems: the Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammad. Their biographies adhere largely to a single story-line and this helps to endorse the ‘official’ narrative of their life. Their existence is recorded in other sources as well that are not just narratives of their lives but have diverse associations. The historicity of the Buddha, for example, is established, among other things, by the fact that a couple of centuries after he died, the emperor Ashoka on a visit to Lumbini had a pillar erected to commemorate the Buddha’s place of birth. This is recorded in an inscription on the pillar”.

6      This does not happen with the biographies of those who were known to be historical figures and who founded belief systems: the Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammad.

It is well known that there are no biographies of Buddha, Jesus Christ and Mohammed as you asserted. This is blatant lie. Give me references of such biographies. What was written after such existed or non-existed personalities after them perhaps even after 300 years cannot be a biography. About different Buddhas, I am surprised that you say nothing is there. You do not remember how a Buddha had to come to fight with Adi Sankara? Moreover, it is well known about the different versions of Jesus, Christs etc., even before and after the so-called Jesus Christ combine. About Mohammed, I am also afraid of giving details just like you. Any way, just I tell there are books – M. Cook [1983:65], P. Crone [1987:75-76], Ibn Warraq [1995:66-85].

6      Their biographies adhere largely to a single story-line and this helps to endorse the ‘official’ narrative of their life.

Why they should largely adhere to a single line? How this helps “official” narrative? How “official” it could be of “their life”? Why can’t you write as a historian instead of believer here?

That the “biographers” were compelled or forced to accept or adhere to a single line proves that many lines were left out. And still small number of biographers who did not adhere to a single line is also exposed. Then, what you are talking about? Majority view and minority view? Condemn the “lesser” and accept or approve the Larger”! Adhere to one-line and forget many lines! What sort of historian you are? That man Karunanidhi has become a senile man and talks differently. Do you also do the same think as a senile lady?

How you endorse such one-liners? Is there any historical methodology to that effect? Which University teaches such approving of one-line biography by eminent historians like you?

Do not fool Indians. Ernest Renan, J. M. Robertson and so many reputed authorities are there on the subject matter of Jesus Christ and Christianity. Any way, it is your cowardice gets exposed, as you never whispered anything, when there was much Christian opposition to screening of “Da Vinci Code”. However, when the so-called “Hindutva judgment” came out, you vociferously jumped and asserted that “We would go to Court”. Everything appeared in “the Hindu” itself with your face. Madam, what happened? But now you come siding with atheists, anti-Hindus, anti-nationals as a historian suppressing the recent past and forgetting your own past!

6      Their existence is recorded in other sources as well that are not just narratives of their lives but have diverse associations.

So also Rama.

Why then your argument goes differently.

In fact, their associations differ. But, Ramayana core story, as H. D. Sankalia in his “Ramayana Myth or Reality” that it had been there nearly for 3000 years [1972:62].

How “That their existences is recorded in other sources” help you to decide?

It may be noted that historians and scholars have pointed out that Christ story was copied from
Krishna! Rama was repeatedly mentioned in different literature not because of variance, but influence and impact created on the people well before 2500-3000 YBP. Was the Sangam poet a fool to record in his poem about his discussion with his army about the mode of crossing over the ocean to Lanka”. How that poet was imaging that that Lanka should have been the Lanka of Ramayana in his times i.e, 2500 – 3000 YBP?

6      The historicity of the Buddha, for example, is established, among other things, by the fact that a couple of centuries after he died, the emperor Ashoka on a visit to Lumbini had a pillar erected to commemorate the Buddha’s place of birth. This is recorded in an inscription on the pillar

Recently, there has been lot of information coming out as to how the British historians including the ASI officials, specifically Alois Anton Furher had fabricated the Stone Casket with Asokan inscriptions and planted there. For his forgey, he was dismissed from the service. The sudden disappearance of Buhler also intriguing in the context. For more details see: http://www.lumkap.org.uk . note now also the ASI officials are in a soup!

6      “From the point of view of archaeology and history, the Archaeological Survey of
India was correct in stating that there is to date no evidence to conclusively prove the historicity of Rama. The annulling of this statement was also a political act. Reliably proven evidence is of the utmost significance to history but not so to faith”.

The present ASI officials are not like A. A. Fuherer to fabricate or forge Asokan inscriptions or like John Marshall to suppress the ASI report of Banrejee. They could have verified the greatest Indian archaeologist view in their affidavit. But, evidently, being the stooges of politicians, as politicians they acted ad they would get the sack, unless they are innocent or have guts to expose the politicians, who ordered them to do so. Leave alone the ASI people. The ASGCS / other standing councils who drafted the affidavit, vetted the affidavits etc.., also are responsible. Therefore, if all acted as a gang to malign and blaspheme Rama, it is not history but mystery. And do not you think that such culprits should be punished?

6      Blasphemy does not lie in doubting historicity.

Yes, Romila you doubt the historicity of others also as listed – Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed – Do not be contended with one-line official version. You are a historian. You should go by primary sources – historical documents. Nothing more, nothing less!

To what extent you can doubt the historicity of them along with Rama or otherwise, we are going to see. Or children will wait and see!

Of course the question of blasphemy, who will decide? The Courts? Let us see!

6      The historian is not required to pronounce on the legitimacy of faith. But the historian can try and explain the historical context to why, in a particular space and time, a particular faith acquires support. And we need to remind ourselves that our heritage has been constantly enriched not just by those of faith but also by those who contend with faith.

Yes, you know very well if you start analyzing with the legitimacy of faith of – Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed.

So you decide which faith has to be supported in a particular space in time?

Accordingly, it is evident that you do not support the faith of Rama.

Yes, Rama baktas have been living with content even after what you historians have done in the case of Ramajanmabhumi issue.

Of course, they may not be knowing what your people have been doing in the Indian History Congress presenting papers taking Ayodhya to Afganisthan etc. Note that even in
Calicut, during last IHC, you have to live on Rama just like Karyu. The lady who got selected as GS said some thing on Rama! Poor Rama-baktas kept quite.

6      If there is a strong faith — in the religious sense — among millions of people, then it does not require to be protected through massive demonstrations and the killing of innocent persons, through political mobilisation. Nor do archaeology and history have to be brought in to keep that faith intact. Faith finds its own place and function, as do archaeology and history. And the place and function of each is separate.

Yeah, oh woman, you do not know how many Ramabaktas were burned and killed. You want Rama-baktas to forget everything. But try to interpret mischievously, what happened to the three in Bangalore. Note, it is because of Karu, that happened. Fighting with Karnataka, he earned enormous enmity with Kannadigas. And this man used to come there and say as he used to go to Gopalapuram and Oliver Road

. So not vulgarize the issue with your perversity. Do not suppress the facts.

The honesty of archeologists and historians, only Indians have to certify.

6      To say that the partial removal of an underwater formation in the Palk Straits is going to hurt the faith of millions is not giving faith its due. Is faith so fragile that it requires the support of an underwater geological formation believed to have been constructed by a deity?

You can blast Bamian Buddhas, you can destroy IVC. Like Aurangazeb you can go on demolish temples. Like Dr. F.J A. Flynn, you can smuggle artifacts and coins. Your historians and archaeologists aid and abet. But he would be caught red-handed in
Delhi airport. So demolish Rama-sethu! Yes, nothing will happen or happens.

6      Making faith into a political issue in order to win elections is surely offensive to faith?

Karu is doing that. Cong is coding that. None else links it with politics.

6      What is at issue is not whether Rama existed or not, or whether the underwater formation or a part of it was originally a bridge constructed at his behest. What is at issue is a different and crucial set of questions that require neither faith nor archaeology but require intelligent expertise: questions that are being willfully (sic) diverted by bringing in faith. Will the removal of a part of the natural formation eventually cause immense ecological damage and leave the coasts of south India and Sri Lanka open to catastrophes, to potential tsunamis in the future? Or can it be so planned that such a potentiality is avoided?

Scientists have discussed enough. I do not think you have ay competency here.

6      What would be the economic benefits of such a scheme in enhancing communication and exchange? Would the benefits reach out to local communities and if so, how? Equally important, one would like to know precisely what role will be played by the multinational corporations and their associates in
India. Who will finance and control the various segments of such an immense project? It is only when such details are made transparent that we will also get some clues to the subterranean activities that are doubtless already simmering. These are the questions that should be asked of this project and that at this point in time should be occupying public space.

Oh now, it is clear. You write like what Karu talked and talking. Do you have any alliance with Karu? The “Mount Road Maha Vishnu” has marriage alliance with Karu. You have connection with Ram. So also Karu, Kanimozhi and Ramajayam with “The Hindu”. So what is the alliance. At whose behest, you are writing and talking the language of Karunanidhi?

Any way thank you for exposing yourself.

Thank you for revealing that Karunanidhi, Congress, you and others are doing this only for election.

VEDAPRAKASH

(29-09-2007)

57, Poonamalle High Road,

Maduravoyal, Chennai – 602 102.

letters@thehindu.co.in, vedamvedaprakash@yahoo.com

To

The Editor,

The Hindu,

Mount Road,

Chennai – 600 002.