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Published in the 16-30 Sep 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

SPECIAL REPORT

Rama's "son" surfaces after 1,81,60,105 years!

By Rizvi Syed Haider Abbas

Lucknow: A history of sorts has been created not with a whimper and not without a bang in the Babri Masjid/Ramjanambhoomi saga. A person has come forward to claim that he is the third son of Lord Rama! This “secret” was brought to light after a fresh petition came up before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The petitioner Brahamchari Yogi Nirmal Kumar has claimed to have personally approached the Commissioner of Faizabad (UP) and informed him that he is the only son of Bhagwan Purshottam Ram and that, he is the only one who could construct the temple of Ramjanambhumi adjacent to Ram Chabutra (outside the outer courtyard of Babri Masjid/Ramjanambhumi disputed site at Ayodhya). The petition was field on July 29, 2004.

Brahamchari Yogi Nirmal (age not disclosed) claims to be residing with Ajay Pratap Singh of Shahganj, Baragaon in UP’s Gonda district. He sought to draw attention of the Court that, being a family member of Lord Rama, as his third son after Luv and Kush, he has every right to change the nature and shape of the temple and reconstruct it according to his wishes. He claimed this to be his fundamental right. He claimed that when Lord Rama took birth, his family members and devotees constructed a temple and a Chabutra (platform) known as Ramchabutra and that Ramjanambhumi-Ram Chabutra were reconstructed before the British rule (no date again) by the devotees of Lord Rama and that its’ area is 17 x 21 feet.

The petitioner, in yet another bold move made an oblique reference to the Muslim community which, according to him, is also staking a claim that there also existed a Babri Masjid in Ayodhya which the Muslim community also claims to have been demolished on 6 December 1992. "It is submitted that there existed no Babri Masjid in the area of Ramjanambhumi/ Ram Chabutra," he claimed.

Targeting the Muslim community, he pronounces that Muslims never performed prayers (Namaz) at the place. He brings in history to assert his point of view. He claims that in Ayodhya’s Mohalla Kot Ramchandra, also known as Ram Kot Town, there existed no Muslim colony and no Muslim was ever seen coming to that Mohalla nor going from there..

Brahamchari Nirmal in his flight of imagination seems negated the historical truth that after the establishment of Sultanate (1206 AD), Muslims held sway and control over Ayodhya and that they chose it as their regional capital. This continued until 1722 AD when the regional capital was first shifted to Faizabad and then to Lucknow in 1774 AD. One fact, however, which Yogi Nirmal could not deny was with regard to the map appended to his own petition. On page 10 of his 21-page petition is produced a diagramatic map denoting Ram Chabutra and on all the four sides there exists a graveyard! Had Muslims not visited the Ramjanambhumi-Ram Chabutra locality as alleged by Yogi Nirmal, how could graveyards manage to surround Ram Chabutra from all sides?

Notwithstanding the contents, what has baffled everyone is the pertinent question: how come a third son of Lord Rama has surfaced now? Did Lord Rama marry anyone else apart from Sitaji and what scientific proof would prove the validity of his claim to be the third son of Lord Rama? Perhaps, even a DNA test will fail because with whose DNA will his be matched? 

So, what could be the possible objective of this petition. It is nothing but an attempt to delay the disposal of the case as now the arguments for and against the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) excavation report of the Babri Masjid site at Ayodhya are drawing to a close.

"The petition will hurt the feelings of both the communities and especially those of Hindus as he is claiming to be Rama’s third son," feared VN Bhatia, advocate general of UP, while appearing on behalf of the state government.

It is important to note that these matters are subjudice and no new party has been allowed to be impleaded in these suits for the last seven years because evidence in the suits has been substantially recorded and therefore impleadment of any new party is bound to delay the final disposal of the cases. 
What would happen if the petition gets a hearing before a bench since the suit No 5 of 1989, previously known as regular suit No. 236 of 1989, and suit No. 3 of 1989, originally called as regular suit No. 26 of 1959, have said that Lord Rama was born fifteen and a half lakh (1.55 million) years ago. 

Interestingly, Jagadguru Ramanandacharya produced on behalf of Nirmohi Akhara, as witness No. 14, from the Hindu side, during his ongoing witnesses account, did say it before the Full Bench on July 28, 2004 that Lord Rama was born 1,81,60,103 years ago, only to confirm it more accurately (on July 29, 2004) that Lord Rama was born 1,81,60,105 years back and that he has been elected to be the spokesman representative of 9.6 million Sadhus belonging to Ramananda sect.

Brahamchari Yogi Nirmal petition asking for permission to construct a temple of his choice is likely to be rejected as it may also be known that the Supreme Court in a landmark judgement passed on 24 October 1994 between Ismail Farooqui vs Union of India case had declared that status quo is to be maintained in the entire area of land acquired by the Central Government, until the title suit of Ramjanambhumi/Babri Masjid is decided. The recording of Muslim witness accounts concerning the title suit have finished and the Hindu side is also likely to wind up its witness depositions very soon. Therefore, the judgement regarding the title-suit is likely to be delivered in the near future. The 67.4 acres land around the Ramjanambhumi/ Babri Masjid site was acquired by Central Government in 1993.
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