Your honor! Justice must be blind, not deaf and dumb...
In a 10 page application filed by Mrs. Gauri Advani (Daughter-In-Law of LK Advani and the wife of Jayant Advani) to the Liberhan Commission which brought out the conspiracies behind Babri Masjid Demolition before the commission, she says:
“That right after Somnath Yatra in 1990, during and after the demolition of the Babri mosque, LK Advani got various silver gifts in the form of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, swords and bricks from Hindu individuals, associations and temples. Since LK Advani and his family members do not follow Hinduism, all these silver items/gifts were melted in Bombay (with the help of Sarla Advani who is sister of Kamla Advani and lives in Bombay) to make silver utensils and cutlery items. LK Advani used to claim at home that he does not believe in Hindu Gods and Goddesses and keeping them at home serves no useful purpose. LK Advani therefore, decided to melt these gift items to use the silver to make the utensils and cutlery items. In fact, on many occasions, the applicant had with a heavy heart helped Kamla Advani in packing all these silver gift items associated with the Hindu religion in bags which Sarla Advani used to carry to Bombay by a train. She always used to travel by train because the baggage is not checked as it is done in the air journey. These silver utensils and cutlery items are being used in the house of LK Advani.”
Mrs. Gauri Advani who is a key witness of the whole inside stories of “Rama Janmabhumi Movement”(!) and who also is a solicitor in London says:
“LK Advani started his rath yatra on 1 December 1992 from Varanasi. Before the start of the Rath Yatra, Vinay Katiyar came to meet LK Advani. The applicant was also present in this meeting. It was in this meeting, LK Advani and Vinay Katiyar in the presence of the applicant, conspired to demolish the Babri mosque and discussed the details and finer aspects involved in the action plan to demolish the Babri mosque. LK Advani told Vinay Katiyar that the ultimate aim of the rath yatra, which he had been undertaking right from 1990 and the build up to kar seva by mobilizing the Ram Bhakt Brick movement, is not only to do kar seva and appease Hindu sentiments but also to garner and muster votes and come to power at the Centre. LK Advani categorically linked religion, exploitation of Hindu sentiments and the opportunity to do the kar seva with the real aim of benefiting BJP politically by mustering the Hindu vote bank. He also discussed that in order to create a strong Hindu vote bank, which would vote for BJP, the time has come to encash the Hindu sentiments by carrying out the demolition of the Babri mosque. LK Advani told Vinay Katiyar that the movement to build a Ram Temple at Babri mosque had to be taken to its logical end, ie coming to power at the Centre and that would not be possible without demolishing the Babri mosque as that will unite the Hindu vote bank in favour of the BJP.
While leaving to start the rath yatra, LK Advani told Vinay Katiyar that the right opportunity has come and since a large number of kar sevaks would be congregating in Ayodhya for kar seva, demolition can easily be done. The applicant remembers that LK Advani said ‘‘Iska kaam kar do,’’ then again said ‘‘Kya Babri Masjid ka kalank nahin mit sakta’’. Vinay Katiyar looked at the applicant and then said to LK Advani that ‘Ham to aapke aadesh ka intzar kar rahen hain, aur agar aap bole to masjid ka namo-nishaan mita de.’ LK Advani at that time smiled and then said ‘To intzar kis baat ka, kaam kar do, gulaami ke nishaan kab tak rahenge. Masjid ko dhawasth kar ke dikhao – sahi samay aa gaya hai.’ After this, LK Advani left the meeting to start the rath yatra. The applicant and Kamla Advani came back to Delhi...
...That a big fraud has been perpetrated on this great Nation, Hindu masses and on this Hon’ble Commission by LK Advani. LK Advani and his family do not follow Hinduism and they did not permit the applicant to do Puja at home. In fact, in the privacy of LK Advani’s home, Hinduism is ridiculed, scoffed and made fun of whereas in public LK Advani claims himself to be the guardian and symbol of Hinduism, as he did in the guise of Lord Rama on top of the Ram Rath. All these claims are false, bogus and fabricated to advance his political career by playing a fraud on the sentiments of Hindu masses and to hoodwink them into forming a vote bank which has been used by his party to come to power at the Centre.“ (Milli Gazette Vol:3 No:3)
If the Babri Masjid was really built after unjustly demolishing a Ram Temple and if the Ram believers of this time really wants the temple to be built again on the same place, then no doubt the Muslims are ready for a settlement. But the issue of Babri Masjid is not based on an innocent ‘belief’ of Ram Janmasthan. The Ayodhya movement is a political issue raised by the sangh parivar and the BJP to come to power at the centre. In fact, even Lal Krishna Advani who had played the key role in raising the Ram Temple Movement himself does not have any faith in Hinduism and its mythologies.
Ram Temple is not a matter of faith but a religious card without which BJP cannot come to power.
Analysis of the verdict:
It is the first time in world history, a court of a secular country makes a mythical hero into a historical reality by spotting its birth place! Paradoxically, even the leaders of sangh parivar had earlier reiterated that the issue of Ram Janmabhumi is a matter of mere faith and had rejected the authority of courts in the matter! In fact, Justice must be blind, in a sense impartial & objective and arguments must be weighed only on the grounds of evidences. Unfortunately, after 60 years of legal battle the Allahabad high court gave the judgement on the basis of astha and belief. This is the burial of rule of law. The core of the case on title suite lies on the question, who is the real owner of the disputed land. Instead of giving verdict on this central dispute on the basis of evidences, the court has made a settlement formula to divide the land into 3 (un)equal parts. That too was favouring the arguments of sangh parivar, about Ram Janmasthan.
The following are some of the relevant questions that need to be raised after the judgement:
2. If the title is for Hindus then how come one third is given to Muslims?
3. When was Ram born? When and where was Ram's Samadhi?
(As per court documents, statement made by a very popular Hindu priest while answering questions in the court said that Ram was born before 9 Lakh years! Ironically, no man existed on the phase of earth before 9 lakh years! And The place of Samadhi is more important than the blace of birth as per any faith.)
4. Is 'Ramayana' a mythology or a factual history document?
5. It is evident that there is difference of opinion (beliefs) within the Hindu scholars on the location of “Ayodhya” and the exact spot of Ram Janmasthan (Books written by Prof. Sukumar Sen and Prof. Suneethi Kumar Chatergy explains of 23 different places believed to be Ram Janmasthan!). What was the court's logic of spotting the exact Janmasthan nullifying all other ‘beliefs’?
7. What is the court's logic of defining 'faith'? If Hindu faith is defined by Hindu scriptures which is the authentic text which spots Ram Janmasthan?
8. Did ASI submit a single unambiguous tangible excavation evidence of a demolished Ram temple? If so what was it? (One of the judges has clearly stated in his judgement: “No temple was demolished for constructing the mosque.”- GIST OF THE FINDINGS by S.U.Khan J. - No:3)
9. If tomorrow people of different faiths without evidences start to believe and make claims on lands and constructions, on what grounds will the court judge?
10. High Court says, the land existed as a property of joined ownership of Hindus and Muslims for a long period starting from 1885 and the solution must be equal division of the land. How can the division be on the grounds of only one party’s unproved religious belief, when the other party does not share the same belief?
The whole issue is related with the historicity of the claim of Ram Janmasthan. In the judgment, 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! Least to say regarding the judgement is that both parties did not expect a layman’s judgement to come from a court of law.
The intelligentsia worldwide, civil right activists and historians had unanimously questioned the credibility and logics of the Lucknow bench Babari verdict. Justice Rajinder Sachhar (Former chief justice of India) in a statement said, “Now it is obvious to the meanest intelligence that it is impossible to prove that the birthplace of Lord Ram was under the masjid — it may be a matter of faith, genuine or contrived or otherwise, but that is no proof, nor can it ever be put forward as a legal ground to take away the land from the mosque... Babri Masjid has been in existence for over 400 years till it was demolished by goons of the VHP/RSS in 1992. Legally speaking, the Sangh Parivar would have no right even if a temple had been demolished to build Babri Masjid.” Rajeev Dhavan, Lawyer of Supreme Court has compared the destruction of the masjid to the demolition of the Buddha statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan.
It is also unfortunate that the Allahabad high court did not condemn the criminal act of demolishing Babri Masjid which is a historic monument and a place of worship. A strong wave of frustration had developed throughout the country not only in the Muslim community but also the society at large following the verdict. The Allahabad high court verdict is more apprehensive than disappointment. Let me appreciate my brothers of India of demonstrating a matured reaction and setting a classical example of patience, which could have not been witnessed if the judgement would have been otherwise. If half of security forces which guarded UP on the day of verdict would have been present on the day of demolition it must not have happen. And had the masjid been alive on the day of verdict, would the verdict be the same?!!
Regarding the demolition of Babri Masjid the Supreme Court in its judgment of 1994 said: "Within a short time, the entire structure was demolished and razed to the ground. Indeed, it was an act of ‘national shame.' What was demolished was not merely an ancient structure, but the faith of the minorities in the sense of justice and fairplay of the majority. It shook their faith in the rule of law and constitutional processes. A 500-year-old structure which was defenceless and whose safety was a sacred trust in the hands of the State government was demolished." This time it was the Allahabad High Court that shook the minority community’s faith in the rule of law and constitutional processes. The verdict has literally put the whole Judicial System of Secular India at stake. If not invalidated by the Supreme Court, this judgment will turn India’s legal position from a Secular Democracy to a Ram-Mythology based Theocracy.
The ASI report
Many of the newspapers published that the verdict is based on the ASI report submitted after excavation of the land where Babri Masjid existed. If the excavation proves it unambiguously that Babri Masjid was built after demolishing a Ram temple then there is no question of claiming the land by Muslims again. But the ASI report is one on which the court itself has a heap of ambiguities.
One of the Justices in his judgement had clearly mentioned that, “No temple was demolished for the construction of mosque” (S.U.Khan J. -Gist No:3). On the contrary, Justice SD Sharma says in his judgment: "The A.S.I.report was obtained which proved the earlier construction of religious nature". Justice Agarwal also mentions “construction of religious nature”. Constructions of religious nature can be anything. It can even be a masjid too!
Dr Sushil Shrivastava (Historian and author of the book "The disputed mosque: A historical inquiry") states that the structure beneath Babri Masjid was nothing other than another mosque built in the 3rd century which might have fallen because of weakening of its base by flow of river water. Regarding ASI report’s mentioning of Hindu, Budha & Jaina elements in stone columns used in the construction of mosque, Dr Sushil says: "several Indian artisans were employed for purposes of construction. The Indian artisans, who were admired for their skills, freely employed their indigenous art and technique to construct buildings for the Muslims. As such, it was natural to observe Hindu, Buddhist or Jaina elements in the carvings of the pillars or decorations in columns holding the wall. The presence of numerous Hindu, Buddhist or Jaina elements in the cutting of stone blocks and carving of stone pillars in Muslim buildings of that period is more of a tribute to the skill of the local artisan than a comment on the alleged iconoclasm of the Muslims.” He also says that it was James Forgusson in the 19th century who firstly circulated the idea that muslim invaders destroyed Indian places of worship and used its materials to erect mosques.
Some important points that need to be raised on the excavation and report of ASI:
· Nowhere in the entire ASI report did it mention of a demolished Ram temple nor there is mentioning of Ram Janmasthan.
· Even if for the sake of argument, If ruins of a temple lie beneath the mosque, there is no scientific evidence for claiming that the architects of the mosque were the ones who did the demolition.
· The excavation was not done under the place where Babri Masjid really existed; but several meters away.
· The objects obtained by ASI excavation were not from natural soil but from dumbed soil (just 4.5-5 feet beneath the ground), which is not accepted as proof as per archaeological norms.
· After examining the ASI excavation, witnesses submitted by six historians in the court stated that no temples were demolished to construct mosque.
· Cut pieces of animal bones which are proved to be eaten remaining were also found in excavation.
· The presences of ‘Surkhi’ and lime morthar beneath the mosque are all characteristics of masjid/shrine.
· Three important site notebooks (minute books) in which all excavation details are recorded had disappeared from ASI office.
· Why is the report not being made available for public?
Ten veteran historians of India had also challenged the statement made by the then minister of cultural affairs in NDA Govt, Jagmohan in the Supreme Court. The statement was that articles obtained by ASI excavation resemble those in ancient Hindu temples of North India. Since India is a cradle of ancient cultures of idol worship, items of these kinds can be obtained anywhere if excavated. It has got nothing to do with birthplace Ram.
Lahore Gurdwara Verdict of 1940
Gurdwara Shahid Ganj is a holy place for both Muslims and Sikhs in Lahore (Pakistan). The Gurudwara was built in the 18th century after demolishing a mosque. The Sikhs believed that Bhai Taru Singh with some 3000 captives were killed at this place and so it is named as ‘Shahid Ganj’ and so it is a sacred place for them. Instead of demolishing the structure, Muslims filed a case in 1850 for reversion of the mosque. On Jan 26, 1938 the case was dismissed from the High Court and there after further appealed to the judicial committee of the Privy Council met. On 2nd of May 1940 the final verdict was delivered dismissing the claim of Muslim. Since the structure was very old the damages caused to the Gurudwara was recently renovated by the Pakistan government.
The above mentioned judgment is very important as far as the Babri Masjid title suite is concerned. Pre-Independence Privy Council judgments are very often cited by lawyers in Indian courts to strengthen their arguments. The verdict was with reference to the doctrine of adverse possession. A rightful owner of a property can lose his title over a property if another person occupies it for a particular period without being challenged. This is an important legal provision in solving property disputes. As per this provision, the title suit of Babri Masjid land goes wholly to the Muslims. Unfortunately, the Allahabad high court Lucknow bench at the final moment lost all guts to bring the dispute to a logical end.
The Allahabad high court verdict is not the end of judicial process and surely both sides will appeal to the Supreme Court soon. A positive attitude is expected from the higher court. The frustration on the issue of verdict however must not create disappointment and hopelessness in the Muslim youth of this country. Patience is what Islam teaches us on this occasion. The Holy Quran reminds us of a situation faced by Prophet Moosa (PBUH): Musa said to his people: Ask help from Allah and be patient; surely the land is Allah’s. He causes such of His servants to inherit it as He pleases, and the end is for those who guard (7:128). And Allah teaches in His holy book: And they planned and Allah (also) planned, and Allah is the best of planners. (3:53). Resistance by peaceful and democratic means is the only way forward. Keeping the political, legal and historic analysis of the verdict, this is also a time to discuss on the concept of Hinduism on God, deity and idols. This is a good opportunity to trigger such basic and fundamental discussions in the society and campus.