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Published in the 1-15 Feb 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

No proof of temple on Babri site

Lucknow: Rajinder Singh, a Sikh witness of Paramhans Ramchandra Das in Babri Masjid ownership case said in the Court of Special Commissioner, Hari Shankar Dubey, on January 5, while answering the question of Zafaryab Jilani, that there was no historical proof of construction of a temple by Chandragupta Vikramaditya on Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya and that it was merely an opinion that he had built a temple. Singh added that the Janmasthan temple mentioned in the Skand Puran was not built by Chandragupta Vikramaditya, the temple built by Vikramaditya could have been built two thousand years ago. Maharishi Vyas, was born 5000 years ago and the Jamabhoomi temple was built before him. There is a mention of a temple in the Skand Puran which was authored by Maharishi Vyas.

In reply to another question put up by Jilani he said that the Babarnama has been written in Turkish language and its copies preserved at many places. Mughal Emperor Akbar translated it into Persian by his courtier Abdur Rahim Khankhana and it was translated into English in 19th century. Rajinder Singh who is the author of a book Sikhs and Ram Janmabhoomi said that in the original Babarnama and in all its English and Hindi translations there was no mention that Babar had ordered to demolish a temple. He stayed near Ayodhya from 28 March to 1 April in 1528 and took steps for the improvement of the surrounding areas. Babar had also gone to Gwalior and praised the Hindu temples and idols there and did not demolish any of them.

Babar had ordered to demolish naked portion of statues at Urva Ghat, but not all the statues. Babar had travelled to Dholpur in 1528 and had seen the temples of this place. In Dholpur he had ordered the construction of buildings, tanks, wells, a platform and a mosque. He added that some pages of the Babarnama have been missing. Babar has written in the Babarnama that one day after offering taravih namaz, he was writing his memoir (Babarnama) and there was suddenly a heavy storm and rain there and it became difficult for him to put together all the pages. 

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