ON the most sensitive issue in the Ayodhya case, namely, was a pre-existing Hindu temple destroyed to make way for the mosque, Justice SU Khan do not explicitly agree that any Hindu structure was “demolished” to build the disputed mosque. But the learned judge agrees that a massive broken Hindu structure was found under the mosque. Justice Dharm Veer Sharma is unambiguously firm in this regard – a Hindu temple indeed was demolished to build the mosque. On this score, Justice Agarwal analyses the evidence in over some 900 pages (from 3513 to 4415). His contention is that a Hindu temple did predate the mosque at the spot, and on evidence, he says: “it can safely be said that the erstwhile structure was a Hindu temple and it was demolished, whereafter the disputed structure was raised” (p 4415). The Court’s view in this regard is quite clear.
A possible jarring note, though not of legal consequence after the Court’s verdict could be Justice SU Khan’s observation (while agreeing on the existence of a Hindu temple before the mosque came up in 1528 Justice Khan has shied away from the possibility of the temple being demolished)), wherein he says “If a temple standing on the premises in dispute had been demolished and a mosque had been constructed thereupon less than 50 years before Tulsidas wrote Ramcharitmanas at Ayodhya, there was no reason for not mentioning the said fact by him in his famous book (Tulsi’s Ramcharitmanas).” Justice Khan made this observation while rejecting the contention of several counsels appearing for different Hindu parties on this count. Reportedly, these counsels had tried to explain this supposed omission on Tulsidas’ part on the ground that the legendary poet-saint feared that the then Mughal emperor Akbar would not have liked it and caused him harm if he had mentioned it. Justice Khan, for his part has held that such a wild accusation against a poet of such repute and calibre as Tulsidas is rather unpalatable, even to non-Hindus.
Though this is a spurious argument, one may be sure that there will be no dearth of ‘secular intellectuals’ and media busy bodies who would be looking around for any straw to clutch at after having met with a sound defeat in the legal arena – their self-professed recourse they themselves have been espousing for years. Not only does it smack of sinister mischief, it is also a subtle attempt to deflect the argument in yet another endeavour to deprive the Hindu community, the secularists’ much-cherished pet mission.
The Ramcharitmanas – or for that matter any Hindu scripture has never been treated as history by India’s secular lobby, which has made a professional living out heaping calumny and contumely on Hindu history, tradition, culture and heritage and indeed, the very Hindu identity of our nation. Briefly put, for the anti-Hindu secularists and their fellow-travellers in the media and ruling establishment, anything Hindu is summarily derided as “mythology”. Witness the entire debate in the media with derogatory references to Hindus or “the Hindu God Ram” (you won’t find them uttering “the Christian God Jesus”). It is not only downright hypocritical of the same crowd to now take refuge in Goswami Tulsidas’ not having mentioned the 1528 demolition by Babar’s hordes, but also reveals two things clearly: one, Hindu-baiters will seek any means, fair or foul to dispossess the Hindu community in their quest of uprooting the basic Hindu ethos of our nation. Two, facts, logic, evidence and even truth are considered “legitimate” targets by this bunch in their covert war against the nation.
If the complete absence of any mention of the demolition of the Ramjanmasthan Temple in Tulsidas’ seminal work is to be considered as “proof” of the “no temple having existed before the mosque” argument trotted out by the secular lobby, by that token, we must well be justified as dismissing the entire Mughal empire and especially Akbar’s reign as a “figment of history”. After all, Tulsidas makes no mention of them, either. Besides, is the secular lobby prepared to admit that Hindu scriptures – and there are over ten thousand of them along with their respective commentaries – as historical records, given their own history of onslaught against Hinduism and Hindutva? The Ramcharitmanans, as the very name reveals, is an epic of the character and values of Sri Ram, who lived in the Treta era (of course, ‘unacceptable’ to secular peddlers) and the history of His times. Tulsidas, by the way, has not made mention of his fairly well-known contemporary, Abdul Rahim Khana-e-Khana, or simply Rahim, a poet and devotee of Sri Ram, whose compositions in Awadhi were heavily influenced by Tulsidas’ style. Is Rahim’s existence to be dismissed as myth, then?
While Hindu scriptures and treatises on a vast array of subjects can indeed be more logical, accurate and astonishingly clear, that is a separate issue in this context. The one-sided and selective recourse to certain passages – or the purported lack of them – cannot be allowed to be interpreted as “irrefutable argument”, as the ‘secular’ lobby wants everyone else to believe. As Justice Sudhir Agarawal makes it clear, the statement of so many experts appearing on behalf of the plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) asserting that “temples in past were never demolished by then Muslim rulers or invaders from Persia etc, is so blatant a lie” that he was “reluctant to ignore it without referring to some well known historical account of the demolition of Hindu temples”. Interestingly, most of these records have been “written by Muslim writers themselves.” For the record, an English traveller William Finch who visited India in the fourteenth century makes clear mention of the indisputable fact that Ayodhya has been a sacred spot for Hindus for centuries, as they worship Sri Ram, who for them is God at that very spot (meaning the Janmasthan; Early Travels in India, William Finch; pp 176-177). We bet the country’s secular lobby won’t be found within sniffing distance of this piece of evidence.
‘Secularists’ have had a foul record of monopolising the discourse for far too long and by adopting lies, deceit and manipulation of facts whenever it suits them. Hindus have thus far never really nailed them effectively. The judicial defeat secularists and their collaborators have been forced to suffer at Sri Ramjanmabhoomi must in no way make us complacent.
(The author is an independent columnist and can be reached at [email protected])
If the complete absence of any mention of the demolition of the Ramjanmasthan Temple in Tulsidas’ seminal work is to be considered as “proof ” of the “no temple having existed before the mosque” argument trotted out by the secular lobby, by that token, we must well be justified as dismissing the entire Mughal Empire and especially Akbar’s reign as a “figment of history”. After all, Tulsidas makes no mention of them, either.