Hindu Vivek Kendra

The struggle for the liberation of Sri Ramjanmabhoomi and restoration of a magnificent Ram Temple at Ayodhya has been going on continuously, in one form or the other, for several centuries.  Many generations have participated in it and have paid heavy price in martyrdom.  Only the perverse and blind will say that the Vishva Hindu Parishad is the originator of this struggle.  V.H.P. represents only the latest reincarnation or organised manifestation of this centuries old Hindu aspiration.  The V.H.P. deeply committed to the Hindu ideal of 'Sarva Pantha Sama Bhava', which alone can be the foundation of positive secularism, has been very keen to find a peaceful solution to this centuries old discord.  It has sincerely felt that India's experiment in secularism will succeed only when the present generation of Indian Muslims disassociate themselves from the medieval ideology of religious exclusivism, expansionism and iconoclasism, pursued by foreign invaders like Babur or by intolerant rulers like Aurangzeb and glorification of such acts of vandalism in the name of religion.  And, therefore, VHP has been trying all means of dialogue and persuasion to make Muslim leaders understand and appreciate its point of view.

It is really sad to see that Muslim leaders instead of taking any initiative on their own, to close this centuries old chapter of discord and conflict and to begin a new one of harmony and trust, have only been indulging in a futile exercise of defending such symbols of medieval vandalism.  Instead of identifying themselves with their pre-Islamic ancestors like Ram and Krishna, they are still trying to trace their history from foreign invaders like Muhammad-bin-Kashim, Muhammad Ghaznavi, Mohammad Ghori, Babur, etc.

It became very evident during the recent bilateral negotiations between the VHP and the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC), through a welcome initiative taken by the present Government at the Centre.  It was made very clear at the very outset by the VHP representatives that they have no objection for the talks out prejudice to the schedule programme of the Parishad whether it is Karsewa or the Satyagrah or conferences or anything else.  Thus began the bilateral talks on 1st December between the VHP and AIBMAC in the presence of representatives of the Government.  The VHP was represented by Sarva Shri V.H. Dalmia, B.P. Toshiniwal S.C. Dixit, Moropant Pingle, Acharya Giriraj Kishor, Kaushal Kishore, B.P. Shukla and Surya Krishna.

According to the official minutes of the second meeting held on December 04, 1990, in the presence of the Minister of State for Home Affairs and the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, "Shri Zafar-yab, Jilani, Convenor of the B.M.A.C. claimed that there has been no evidence in support of the fact that the Babri Masjid was constructed at the site after demolishing a Hindu temple.  He said that there is neither any archaeological nor any historical evidence in support of the demolition.  He further said that there is no proof of records in its support." "He further, said that there is no mention of the demolition of temple in any historical account at the site before the construction of the mosque."

Overlooking the centuries old history of discord and conflict, Mr.  Jilani further said that the movement of the V.H.P. is of recent origin.  Even when the idols were placed in the mosque in 1949 there was no intensity in the movement till 1986.  If it could have been the birthplace of Lord Rama, there could have been a continuous agitation and there would have been mention in the records."

When the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Sharad Pawar asked why such a mention is found in Official Gazettes, Shri Azam Khan, a minister in U.P. Government and member of AIBMAC, "claimed that this problem was the creation of the Britishers to divide the Society."

The minutes say, "In the meeting many Muslim speakers asserted that Barbar never visited Ayodhya and hence there is no question of his demolishing the temple".

It was in the face of such assertions made by Muslim leaders that Shri Moropant Pingle, on behalf of V.H.P., suggested that "in the next meeting some three - four experts from each side should take part in the deliberations for placing evidences of respective sides in a coherent way."

The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Shri Bhairon Singh Sekhawat "suggested that the evidence of both sides should be exchanged and examined by experts.  But Mr.  Jilani was of the opinion that first the members of both committees should examine the evidences and then the experts' help should be taken."

As the V.H.P. was keen to find an amicable solution at the earliest, Shri Pingle "suggested that all these should be done within a time-frame."

Therefore, "with the consultation of all including the three Chief Ministers and the Minister of State for Home Affairs, the following decisions were taken:

(a) Both sides should furnish evidences to the Minister of State for Home Affairs by 22.12.1990.

v(b) The MOS(H) will make available photocopies of evidences to all concerned parties by 25.12.1990, and

(c) After reviewing the evidences both parties will meet further on 10.01.1991 at 10.00 A.M.

To carry the story of these bilateral negotiations, an official document prepared by the office of the Minister of State for Home Affairs under the title "Synopsis of the evidences presented by the V.H.P. and AIBMAC to the Government for discussion on 10.1.1991", says, "as per the agreement reached between the representatives of the two contending parties on 23.12.1990, the two sides had to submit rejoinders on these evidences by 6.1.1991.  The V.H.P. submitted the rejoinder in which it tried to refute claims of the AIBMAC pointwise.  The AIBMAC did not react to the evidences put forward by the V.H.P. Instead, it submitted photocopies of more evidences in support of its claims.  Since the AIBMAC did not give comments on the evidences put forward by the VHP, it is not possible for the Government to decide the areas of agreement and disagreement."

On 10th January, 1991, the two sides met at Gujarat Bhavan, in the presence of Government representatives.  Three experts namely Prof.  B.R.  Grover, Prof.  Devendra Swaroop and Dr.  S.P.  Gupta invited by the VHP also attended the meeting and presented a summary of the evidences submitted by the VHP before the meeting.  It was decided that the documents submitted by both the parties would be distributed under four heads - historical, archaeological, revenue and legal and both the parties would submit names of their respective experts, who after having studied the documents would assemble on 24th and 25th January, 1991 to discuss them and to submit their comments before 5th February, 1991, when the two parties would again meet to arrive at some decision on the experts' report.

But, for reasons best known to them, the AIBMAC started dithering and retracting after this.  While the V.H.P. submitted its list of experts on the appointed date, the AIBMAC failed to do so.  They submitted a list on 18th January, but went on changing it till the last day.  Ultimately, the experts presented by them on 24th January included four office bearers of the AIBMAC itself and four outsiders namely Dr. R.S. Sharma, Dr. D.N. Jha, Dr. Suraj Bhan and Dr. M. Athor Ali, while the VHP side was represented by legal luminaries as Justice Guman Mal Lodha, M.P., Justice Deoki Nandan Agarwal, Justice D.V. Sehgal, Senior Advocate Shri V.K.S. Chaudhury, academicians as Prof. B.R. Grover, Prof. K.S. Lal, Prof. B.P. Sinha, Dr. S.P. Gupta, Dr. Harsh Narain and Prof. Devendra Swaroop.  The AIBMAC experts right from the beginning started claiming that they had not read the evidences submitted earlier and had not even visited Ayodhya, and hence they would need minimum six weeks time to study them.  And actually on 25th January they did not turn up, keeping the VHP panel of experts waiting for two long hours.

Significantly, the evidence submitted by both the sides does establish that the present structure called Babri Masjid, was built in the year 935 A.H.  (1528 A.D.) by Meer Baqi at the order of foreign invader Babar.  The question remains as to why this particular site was chosen to build this mosque? Did Babar/Meer Baqi find this spot lying vacant or was an earlier Hindu shrine/structure standing on the site was demolished and converted into a mosque? Was there any historical significance attached to the site?

It was to answer these central questions that the VHP had collected literary, archaeological, revenue and legal evidences.  Instead of accepting or challenging this evidence, the AIBMAC and its experts have thought it better to walk away or to side-track the central issue.

Faced with such a piquant situation, the VHP announced to place the whole evidence before the Court of Public Opinion to enable it to make its own judgement and so here you find it.  The evidence speaks for itself and needs no commentary.

While placing on record its deep gratitude to all the historians and legal experts, who took great pains in digging out this valuable evidence, the VHP dedicates their labour of love to the people of India, who as arbiters of India's destiny will recompensate it by their further determination to liberate the Rama Janmabhoomi, at whatever cost which may have to be paid for this cause.

Surya Krishna
Secretary, V.H.P. (CENTRAL)
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