facts that SC has to take note of on Ayodhya: Irfan Habib

Noted historians Irfan Habib who is an authority on medieval economic and social history has expressed his unhappiness over the recent verdict on Ayodhya and has emphasised that in future the Apex Court has a lot of fundamental matters to consider in its ruling on Ayodhya in the days to come. In an interview to ToI on 3 November he talked at length on the possible loopholes that needs to be taken note of in the Ayodhya dispute and raised some notable points as. 1 ASI is a department of the government of India and that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee downwards were committed to the theory of a temple beneath the mosque. When the ASI report came out, it became clear it was full of fabrications and omissions. Fabrications like the imagined pillar bases and omissions like the presence of bones all over the place and through all levels for which the report devoted only one sentence. 2 Sudhir Aggarwal’s judgement is full of myth, like transfer of the wealth of India to external countries for 1,000 years before the arrival of British, that the Babri Masjid inscriptions are forged. There are also many other inaccuracies like the belief that Mir Baqi is not mentioned in the memoirs of Babur, that Aurangzeb built the Babri masjid. His judgement seems to lack any knowledge of medieval architecture as well as political and economic history of that time.3 Way back in 1993; the Indian History Congress had passed a resolution nearly unanimous protesting against the presidential reference of the Ayodhya matter to the Supreme Court. Even the Supreme Court returned the reference. Then how can a high court decide? It is another matter that the Supreme Court in its subsequent decision justified a high court looking into the matter. The ASI has committed so many wrong precedents in the past that agreeing to excavate seems a minor one. When the high court ordered excavation, the director-general of the ASI was changed. The ASI referred to the high court bench as Ramjanmabhumi Bench, conveniently leaving Babri masjid out of it. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2010 on page no. 14

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