Analysis

What method in madness!

Original_babri_masjid_demolition_20050620

On 6th December 1992 Hindu zealots, led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L. K. Advani, demolished the 16th century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya claiming that it was the birthplace of their god Rama and wanted to build a temple in its place. The following article carried by Impact International, London, in its 13th March 1986 issue, provides an insight into the brazenness of the followers of fascist ideology of the Sangh Parivar. We are reproducing it for the enjoyment and information of the readers.

Did you know?

That the famous Taj Mahal was in actual fact ‘an ancient Hindu temple-palace complex commandeered for use as Mumtaz’s tomb’!

That ‘Delhi’s Red Fort is Hindu Lalkot’, that the Mughal metropolis Delhi was itself founded by the much earlier Hindu ‘Pandvas or King Anangpal of the 11 th century A.D.’ or ‘some other Hindu monarch’!!

So was the Red Fort in Agra. It was ‘a Hindu building … Fatehpur Sikri is a Hindu city … Townships like Ferozabad, Tughlakabad, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad have been falsely ascribed to this or that sultan though they are ancient Hindu townships’.

An inventory which must cover the whole millennium of Muslim rule in India would be naturally inexhaustible; therefore, suffice it to say that ‘all mediaeval historic buildings in India from Kashmir to Cape Comorin are one and all pre-Muslim Hindu buildings. They were only captured and usurped and put to Islamic use’.

If this appeared to be pretty ‘revolutionary history’, then hold your breath.

‘Ancient Italy was a Hindu country and the Pope, a Hindu priest.’

‘English is a dialect of Sanskrit.’

Ancient England too was ‘a Hindu country.’

‘The term Christmas is Crishna-mas, i.e. the month of Crishna, the Hindu incarnation at the time of the Mahabharata era. The word “mas” in Sanskrit means “month”.

‘Westminster Abbey in London is generally known as a church, as a building where English monarchs are crowned and as a place where Englishmen of distinction are buried, but its fourth and most astounding role which is unknown is that Westminster Abbey is also a very ancient Shiva temple since it continues to house an ancient sacred Hindu stone emblem since 1296 A.D.

‘What is of further and even greater importance is that a sacred Hindu stone continues to be in a way Great Britain’s royal deity almost exactly as Lord Shiva has been the Hindu rulers’ deity in India since time immemorial.’

All these ‘original’ findings were neatly researched and put together as long ago as 1973 by ‘Prof Amarnath, Member, Institute for Rewriting Indian History’, Delhi in his seminal title, ‘Some missing chapters of world history’ (ltihas Shodh Sansthan – Organisation for Purifying History, Mehrauli, New Delhi-30).

Prof Amarnath is himself quite modest and claims to be only a disciple and ‘an ardent admirer’ of another ‘eminent historian’, Professor Mr P. N. Oak, the founder of this ‘purifying’ school. It is to Prof Oak that goes the dubious credit of ‘discovering’ that the Taj Mahal was not what it had been so long supposed to be. It was a temple-palace built by Jaisingh which Emperor Shahjehan ‘commandeered’ to entomb his queen, Mumtaz Mahal and later himself. (Those who know say that Prof Amarnath and Mr Oak are one and the same person. As a matter of fact the so called institute for ‘purifying’ history is only a couple of fictitious names.)

Every country and every people had its own quota of the revisionist fringe and India could be no exception, but so far Mr Oak and his ilk were dismissed in good humour for what they were supposed to be: publicity-seeking school-leavers rather than scholars. However, what at one time appeared to be an illiterate prank has since been revealed as the ‘academic’ build up for a wider policy to ‘purify’ India of both Islam and Muslims.

There was a method in this madness.

Earlier this month on 1st February, the district and session judge of Faizabad, a historical Muslim town in Prime Minister Mr Rajiv Gandhi’s state, V.P., ordered that the sixteenth century Babari Mosque be opened for Hindu worshippers. The district judge, himself a Hindu, had been petitioned by a local Hindu lawyer, Mr Ramesh Chandra Pandey, that he had a constitutional right to pray and worship in what he claimed was a ‘Temple’. The judge concurred, but without even notifying the trustees of the Mosque and giving them an opportunity to respond to the petition or tell the court whether or not any of their own constitutional fundamental human rights were also involved.

This ‘judicial’ intervention was improper also for the reason that the whole ‘dispute’ has been pending with the High Court and a lower court had no jurisdiction to pre-empt or prejudice the decision of a court. But here the question of jurisdiction or propriety did not arise, because !he whole proceeding had been conducted ex-parte and it is evident that this was very much deliberate.

The Babari Mosque was built in 935 Hijri (1528) by Baqi Beg Tashqandi the governor of Oudh province during the reign of the Moghul Emperor Babar. The Persian inscription on the main porch of the Mosque reads:

By the command of’ Emperor Babar. whose justice touches the arch (!f’ Heaven. this place for noble spirits. was built by Mir Baqi. the fortunate Amir (governor). May its goodness lastfor ever.
For it is only goodness which is eternal.

According to historical records of the period, Babar had the Mosque built in order both to commemorate his victory (1526) over the Pathan king of Delhi, Sikandar Lodhi and to honour a Muslim holy man in the town, Shah Jalal.

The Hindu claim over the Mosque is post-dated by more than 350 years. It was first claimed that Babar had attacked or passed by the town in 1528 and ordered the building of the Mosque after demolishing an existing temple. There is absolutely no historical evidence of either Babar coming to the town or of the previous existence of the

India became free on 15 August 1947. On the night of 22123 December 1949, some Hindu priests entered the Mosque stealthily and set up the idols of Rama and his consort Sita inside*. The whole clandestine operation to expropriate the Mosque had been carried out with the collusion of the district administration. The district magistrate, Mr K. K. Nair later, admitted this and he was subsequently made to resign for this gross irregularity. A few months later though, he was elected to the Indian parliament, Lok Sabha.

Thus on the morning of 23 December the Hindu priests had installed themselves in the Mosque and declared that the temple had been repossessed as ‘Rama Janam Mandir’ – the temple of Rama’s birth. A new element had now been added to the earlier claim: that it was the birth land of Ramad.

Did anybody know where exactly Rama had been born? Not exactly, because the whole thing belonged to mythology and not history. The Hindu answer to the questions is: Since we belive that this place is the birth of Rama—Sri Rama Janam Bhoomi—you have to take it so. It is significant that the claim is based on ‘birth-land’ and not ‘birth-place’ as the former could be as wide a territory as the entire North India.
Obviously the whole case about Babari Mosque was based on the same historical ‘rewrite’ as was done by Oak. Amarnath et al whereby even the Westminster Abbey was ‘A Siva Temple’.

When Muslims protested against the high-handed and illegal expropriation of the Mosque, the same magistrate ordered its attachment and placed it under an official (i.e.Hindu receiver.) Muslims were prohibited from entering it and to keep clear up to a radius of 200 yards from the Mosque. The Hindus too were ‘banned’ from entering it, but the district magistrate appointed an official Hindu priest to offer worship and to look after the idols which had been illegally installed.
The case had been pending in the High Court since the last 37 years when on 1 February this month the whole issue was short-shrifted by the district and session judge.

‘Extremist’ Hindu organisations have been agitating for the ‘Liberation of Rama’s birth land’ since the last two years and the movement now has on its list virtually every historical mosque in India, but the prior most were three: the Babari Mosque. the Aurangzeb Mosque in Banaras, and the ‘Idgah Mosque in Mathura (the birth land of Krishna!).

On 19 December 1985, a Hindu delegation comprising half a dozen retired officials had met the UP state chief minister, Mr V. B. Singh and warned him that unless the ‘Temple’ was handed over to them, beginning 8 March, they would launch a mass movement and forcibly occupy it. So perhaps the district judge had acted under executive instructions.

After 37 years of endemic anti­-Muslim riots (8,549 between 1954 and 1984), there appeared to be a new twist to the Indian ruling caste’s method of dealing with Muslims. What cannot be achieved through legislative action can be entrusted to the judges, if not the courts.

Last April a Calcutta High Court judge admitted a most preposterous petition in legal history calling for a ban on the Qur’an. The petitioners were people of obscure background, of no fixed address and ‘engaged in various kinds of social work’ which suggested some kind of Indian intelligence connection. This obviously bizarre and outrageous petition was only a trial balloon and as soon as the news broke out, another judge of the same court dismissed the petition, but not before scores of Muslim lives were lost braving police bullets in India and Bangladesh. The petitioners disappeared into thin air with impunity.

But about the same time something truly atrocious was actually perpetrated by the Hindu judges of the Indian Supreme Court. Hearing an appeal under Muslim Personal Law, the court granted a maintenance case in clear violation of the Muslim Personal Law and the chief justice strictured the government of India for not imposing a uniform civil code and ‘removing disparate loyalties to laws which have conflicting ideologies’. The learned chief justice further opined that they (the Hindu judges) were fully empowered to interpret and put their own construction on Islamic law. The time honoured and inviolable rule laid down earlier by the Privy Council and followed so far by the Indian Supreme Court too was that ‘it would be very wrong for a court … to attempt to put their own construction on the Koran in opposition to the express rulings of commentators of such great antiquity and high authority’ as Hedaya. Fatawa-i-Alamgiri etc.

This was the worst ever blow administered by the highest judiciary to the Muslim community in India.

The Muslims have been putting up with great fortitude the frequent outbreaks of genocidal violence, with gross under­representation in all departments and institutions whether elective or selective, with economic and cultural deprivation, and with discrimination of almost every kind, but now to be deprived of their nominal religious right to be governed by Shari’a in their very private family life was an aggression par excellence.

The community is truly outraged, angry and frustrated, but without being able to see any clear way out of its severest crisis of existence after the freedom of India. To compound the whole agony, there was little evidence of any desire on the part of the country’s Hindu power structure to try even to listen to what they have been saying so passionately. Instead since the past six months, the Indian media has been mounting a blatantly rabid campaign against Islam and Muslims.

The Muslims had been concerned about protecting their Personal Law but they were now being told in so many words that Shari’a itself was a mixture of folklore, customs and superstitions and not something eternally true. The Hindu advice to Muslims was that they should re-examine Islam in the light of modern, secular principles and reform it accordingly. This was all in the ‘good cause’ of divorced Muslim women who have been ‘shabbily treated by Islam’ – on the part of those who never had any tear to spare for hundreds and hundreds of Muslim women widowed in the anti-Muslim riots.

The expropriation of the Babari Mosque was, therefore, seemingly a small episode, that is, considering the larger issues of the Muslim Personal Law and of their religious, cultural, economic and political rights. There was also the larger and terrible reality that according to the Indian government’s own (incomplete) statistics 9,674 mosques in Haryana and West Bengal states were presently in occupation of non-Muslims. Two of them in Calcutta were being used by the India’s national ruling party, the Congress(I). In Delhi under the very nose of the central government, the department of archaeology has locked up 92 mosques. Muslims can neither repair them nor pray there. They have been classified as ‘protected monuments’.

But the ‘judicial’ conversion of Babri Mosque into ‘Temple of Rama’ forebode a sinister turn in India’s Muslim policy.

Courtesy Impact International, London 13 March 1986

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