Ram Janmabhoomi

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Ram Janmabhoomi (Hindi/Devanagiri: राम जन्मभूमि) is the "Birthplace of Rama." Rama is a major Mythological figure in Indian history and the Hindu religion where he is described as an avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. The exact location of Rama's birth is not stated with any specific accuracy by the Hindu texts, but the term popularly refers to a tract of land in the North Indian city of Ayodhya. From 1528 to 1992 this was the site of the Babri Mosque which was surrounded on all sides by Sita Rasoi (Lord Rama's wife Sita Devi's Kitchen - actually a Temple and other Temples of Hanuman, etc) and the disputed structure sharing walls with Sita and Hanuman Mandir was destroyed when a political rally developed into a riot involving 150,000 people. The original Hindu temple was demolished or dramatically modified on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Babur and the mosque was built in its place. A movement was launched in 1984 by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP party) to reclaim the site for Hindus who want to erect a temple dedicated to the infant Rama (Ramlala), at this spot. Many Muslim organizations have continued to express outrage at the destruction of the disputed structure and carried out the 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack in Ayodhya along with strong opposition to building of the proposed new temple even threatening the Head of current Ram Temple (at same spot since 1992).[1] There were several later mosques in Faizabad district in which pilgrim city of Ayodhya falls. But, Ayodhya has almost negligible[2] Muslim population though there are substantial Muslims 7 kms away at District Headquarters - Faizabad. The Babri Mosque at Ayodhya where Muslims never offered Namaz became famous due to the importance of the disputed site where Hindus have been offering Pujas in to Lord Ramlala from even before 1947 independence. Since, 1948 Indian Government order Muslims were not even permitted to be near the site for atleast 200 yards but locked the main gate and allowed Hindu pilgrims to enter through a side door. Also, the 1989 Allahabad High Court order opened the locks of the main gate and restored the site for eternity to the Hindus. However, when Hindus wanted modifications of the dilapidated Islamic style structure built by General Mir Banki on orders of Mughal invader Babur from Uzbekistan (Farghana town) and did Shilanyas (inauguration) of a proposed new grand Temple with Government permissions, there were Muslim unrests in many parts of India and Government moved court. Since, then the matter is sub-judice and this political, historical and socio-religious debate over the history and location of the Babri Mosque, is known as the Ayodhya Debate. Recently on court orders Archeological Survey of India dug the spot and found a previous ancient temple that was demolished or modified to create the later Mosque under Babur.[3]

Ram Janmabhoomi refers to a tract of land in the North Indian city of Ayodhya which is believed by many Hindus to be the birthplace of the King Ram. The name Ram Janmabhoomi means "birthplace of Ram." Till December 6 1992, there physically existed a historic mosque called as Babri Masjid on this spot which was demolished by Hindu fundamentalist activists. A movement was launched in 1984 by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) eventually leading to the destruction of the Babri Masjid which stood here. The VHP wants to erect a temple dedicated to Ram Lala (infant Ram) at this spot.

It was commonly believed by Hindus until about 1990 that an ancient Ram Janmabhoomi temple was demolished and replaced with the Babri Mosque. The Encyclopædia Britannica of 1986 reported that "Rama’s birthplace is marked by a mosque, erected by the Moghul emperor Babar in 1528 on the site of an earlier temple".[4] According to the Hindu view, the ancient temple could have been destroyed on the orders of Mughal emperor Babur. This view is challenged by Muslims, Indian secular, Marxist [5] and mainstream Indian historians since the early 1990s.


Wikipedia bias and censorship[edit]

Background[edit]

Historical records cited by both groups can be made into any conclusions and even British Imperial records could have been tainted by their necessity to divide and rule a large country as India is.

Hindu groups say that Colonial British records maintain that efforts to replace the mosque with a temple had been on since before independence in 1947, but had been continually stymied by both the central government and various Indian courts.

Some Hindus claim that this the site of Ram's birth is situated in the city of Ayodhya in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh state of India. Ayodhya is a city sacred to devotees of Vishnu, who many Hindus believe took birth as King Ram, and has several temples devoted to the deity. The Ayodhya of Ram is believed to have existed in the Treta Yuga of the Hindu calendar, about 900,000 years ago.

Chronology of Events

In 1528, the Babri Masjid is constructed on the orders of Muslim leader Babur.

In 1949, it is claimed that idols of Lord Ram appeared in the Babri Masjid miraculously, allegedly placed there by Hindus. The semi-governmental Wakf Board, an Indian Muslim trust owned the land on which the mosque stood. Both Hindu and Muslim parties launch civil suits and the Indian government, declaring the site "disputed", locks the gates to the mosque.[6]

In 1984, a movement is started for the creation of Ram Janmabhoomi temple in place of Babri Mosque by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its political arm the Bharatiya Janata Party, under the leqadership of L K Advani.[6]

In 1986, a district judge of Uttar Pradesh, orders the opening of the mosque to Hindus. This, allegedly, came from the Congress government who tries to balance the favour shown to the Muslims in Shah Bano controversy.[6]

In 1989- 1990, the VHP intensifies its activities by laying foundations of the Ram temple on the adjacent property and partially damaging the mosque. Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar proposes negotiations which only intensify the crisis.

In 1992, on December 6, the mosque is forcibly demolished by Kar Sevaks of the VHP Hindu activists on December 6, 1992.[6] [7] The then Narasimha Rao led Congress government let a makeshift temple appear in its place before moving the courts for status quo. [8] The demolition of the mosque triggered large-scale rioting.

History[edit]

19th century[edit]

Some Hindus claim that they never lost the tradition to worship Ram on the Ramkot hill, and always returned to the site to venerate his birthplace. They cite the British sources which say that, Hindus and Muslims used to worship together in the Babri Mosque complex in the 19th century until about 1855. P. Carnegy wrote in 1870:

"It is said that up to that time, the Hindus and Mohamedans alike used to worship in the mosquetemple. Since the British rule a railing has been put up to prevent dispute, within which, in the mosque the Mohamedans pray, while outside the fence the Hindus have raised a platform on which they make their offerings." [9]

This platform was outside the mosque structure but within its precincts. Hindu protagonists say that they have been demanding the return of the site for centuries, and cite accounts from several western travellers to India during the Mughal rule in India (see also the sections on history and literary sources).Although an important source Tulsidas - who wrote the epic Ram Charita Manas - Ram's biography and who lived at the same time the mosque was constructed failed to record any such event.

Archaeology of the site[edit]

Literary sources[edit]

See also Ayodhya, Harsh Narain

Harsh Narain (1993) cited more than 130 references to the temple in English, French, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian and Arabic.

Joseph Tieffenthaler[edit]

The Austrian Jesuit Tieffenthaler wrote in 1768: “Emperor Aurangzeb got demolished the fortress called Ramcot, and erected on the same place a Mahometan temple with three cupolas. Others believe that it was constructed by Babor.” [10] Tieffenthaler also writes that Hindus celebrated Ram Navami (Rama's birth festival) in front of the mosque, and that the mosque was built on a temple. [11] He wrote: "The reason is that here existed formerly a house in which Beschan (Vishnu) took birth in the form of Rama and where it is said his three brothers were also born. Subsequently Aurangzeb and some say Babar destroyed the place in order to prevent the heathens from practising their ceremonies. However, they have continued to practice their religious ceremonies in both the places knowing this to have been the birth place of Rama by going around it three times and prostrating on the ground." [12]

The tradition of treating the site as the birthplace of Rama appears to have begun in early l8th century. The earliest suggestion that the Babri Masjid is in proximity to the birthplace of Ram was made by the Jesuit priest Joseph Tieffenthaler, whose work in French was published in Berlin in 1788. It says:

"Emperor Aurangzeb got demolished the fortress called Ramkot, and erected on the same place a Mahometan temple with three cuppolas. Others believe that it was constructed by Babar. We see 14 columns of black stone 5 spans high that occupy places within the fortress. Twelve of these columns now bear the interior arcades of the Masjid; two (of the 12) make up the entrance of the cloister. Two others form part of the tomb of a certain Moor. It is related that these columns, or rather the debris of these columns, were brought from Lanka (called Ceylon by the Europeans) by Hanuman, chief of the monkeys." which in French reads as

l'empereur Aurungzeb a détruit la forteresse appelée Ramkot et construit à la même chose placer un temple musulman avec 3 dômes. D'autres indiquent qu'il a été construit par Babar. On peut voir 14 colonnes faites en pierre noire qui soutiennent des découpages. Plus tard Aurungzeb, et certains indiquent que Babar a détruit l'endroit afin d'empêcher des heathens de pratiquer leurs cérémonies. Toutefois ils ont continué à pratiquer leurs cérémonies religieuses dans le places, sachant ceci pour avoir été endroit de naissance de Rama, en le circulant 3 fois et en se prosternant sur la terre..

We see on the left a square platform 5 inches above ground, 5 inches long and 4 inches wide, constructed of mud and covered with lime. The Hindus call it bedi, that is to say, the birth-place. The reason is that here there was a house in which Beschan, (Bishan-Vishnu) took the form of Rama, and his three brothers are also said to have been born. Subsequently, Aurangzeb, or according to others, Babar razed this place down, in order not to give the Gentiles (Hindus) occasion to practice their superstition. However, they continued to follow their superstitious practices in both places, believing it to be the birthplace of Rama." Questions of history

This record reveals that Aurengzeb demolished the Ramkot fortress; that either he, or Babar constructed a Masjid there; the 12 columns of black stone pillars were brought from Lanka; and when veneration of Rama became prevalent after the 17th century, a small rectangular mud platform was built to mark the birthplace of Rama.

However, this account does not explicitly mention the existence of a temple but a mud platform.

Mirza Jain[edit]

Mirza Jain was a Muslim who participated in an attempt reconquest the Hanuman Ghari temple (which is a few hundred yards from the Babri Mosque) during Wajid Ali Shah's rule.

Mirza Jan wrote in 1856 that “a lofty mosque has been built by badshah Babar” on “the original birthplace of Rama”, so that “where there was a big temple, a big mosque was constructed, and where there was a small temple, a small mosque was constructed”. [13]
Mizra Jain also wrote: ‘wherever they found magnificent temples of the Hindus ever since the establishment of Sayyid Salar Mas’ud Ghazi’s rule, the Muslim rulers in India built mosques, monasteries, and inns, appointed mu’azzins, teachers, and store-stewards, spread Islam vigorously, and vanquished the Kafirs. Likewise, they cleared up Faizabad and Avadh, too, from the filth of reprobation (infidelity), because it was a great centre of worship and capital of Rama’s father. Where there stood the great temple (of Ramjanmasthan), there they built a big mosque, and, where there was a small mandap (pavilion), there they erected a camp mosque (masjid-i mukhtasar-i qanati). The Janmasthan temple is the principal place of Rama’s incarnation, adjacent to which is the Sita ki Rasoi. Hence, what a lofty mosque was built there by king Babar in 923 A. H. (1528 A.D.), under the patronage of Musa Ashiqan! The mosque is still known far and wide as the Sita ki Rasoi mosque. And that temple is extant by its side (aur pahlu mein wah dair baqi hai) ’ (Mirza Jan: Hadiqa-i Shahada (“The garden of martyrdom”), Lucknow 1856p. 247). Mirza Jan also wrote (quoting a relative of Aurangzeb), that the temples of Rama, Shiva, Krishna as well as Sita's Kitchen (i.e. part of the Ramkot complex) "were all demolished for the strength of Islam, and at all these places mosques have been constructed". [14]

But there are others who contest the writing as an exaggerated version of history in a book that is on Martyrdom and published at least three hundred years later to the construction of the Babri Mosque.

Shykh Muhammad Azamat Ali Kakorawi Nami[edit]

Shykh Muhammad Azamat Ali Kakorawi Nami (1811-1893) wrote: ‘According to old records, it has been a rule with the Muslim rulers from the first to build mosques, monasteries, and inns, spread Islam, and put (a stop to) non-Islamic practices, wherever they found prominence (of kufr). Accordingly, even as they cleared up Mathura, Bindraban, etc., from the rubbish of non-Islamic practices, the Babari mosque was built up in 923(?) A.H. under the patronage of Sayyid Musa Ashiqan in the Janmasthan temple (butkhane Janmasthan mein) in Faizabad-Avadh, which was a great place of (worship) and capital of Rama’s father’ (p. 9). ‘Among the Hindus it was known as Sita ki Rasoi’ (p. 10).[15] Zak Kakorawi, in his publication of the work of Shykh Azamat Ali Kakorawi Nami, also includes an excerpt written by Mirza Rajab Ali Beg Surur. Mirza Rajab Ali Beg Surur (1787-1867) wrote in Fasanah-i Ibrat that ‘a great mosque was built on the spot where Sita ki Rasoi is situated. During the regime of Babar, the Hindus had no guts to be a match for the Muslims. The mosque was built in 923(?) A.H. under the patronage of Sayyid Mir Ashiqan… Aurangzeb built a mosque on the Hanuman Garhi… The Bairagis effaced the mosque and erected a temple in its place. Then idols began to be worshipped openly in the Babari mosque where the Sita ki Rasoi is situated,’ (pp. 71-72).

However, some observers have likened this account very similar to this Colonial exchange between the British Viceroy and the Prime Minister "Every civil building connected with Mahommedan tradition should be levelled to the ground without regard to antiquarian veneration or artistic predilection." British Prime Minister Palmerston's Letter No. 9 dated 9 October 1857, to Lord Canning, Viceroy of India, Canning Papers.

Guru Nanak[edit]

According to Bhai Man Singh's Pothi Janam Sakhi (late 18th century), Guru Nanak visited Ayodhya and said to his Muslim disciple Mardana: 'Mardania! eh Ajudhia nagari Sri Ramachandraji Ji ki hai. So, chal, iska darsan kari'e. Translation: 'Mardana! this Ayodhya city belongs to Sri Ramachandra Ji. So let us have its darsana (pilgrimage visit).' [16]Though the Guru does not specifically state which temple should be visited.

Abul Fazl[edit]

In Abul Fazl’s Ain-i-Akbari (1598), Ayodhya is called “one of the holiest places of antiquity” and “the residence of Ramchander”. It mentions the celebration of Rama's birth festival (Ram Nomi) in Ayodhya. [17] However, again no specific spot was identified, in this account. He even mentions small details such as two Jewish priests lay buried in Ayodhya. Yet there is not the remotest reference to Ram's birthsite, let alone to any mosque built on it. Clearly the tradition did not continue Ram's birthplace to the existing town of Ayodhya, or the site occupied by the Babri Masjid.

Other sources[edit]

A. Führer wrote that: 'Mir Khan built a masjid in A.H. 930 during the reign of Babar, which still bears his name. This old temple must have been a fine one, for many of its columns have been utilized by the Musalmans in the construction of Babar's Masjid.' [18]

H.R. Neville wrote that the Janmasthan temple "was destroyed by Babar and replaced by a mosque."[19] He also wrote "The Janmasthan was in Ramkot and marked the birthplace of Rama. In 1528 A.D. Babar came to Ayodhya and halted here for a week. He destroyed the ancient temple and on its site built a mosque, still known as Babar's mosque. The materials of the old structure [i.e., the temple] were largely employed, and many of the columns were in good preservation." [20]

William Flinch, AD 1608,the British historian William Flinch who stayed in India during AD 1608-11 gives a detailed description of Ayodhya and the castle of Ramchand (Ramkot), "extensive enough to undertake a search for gold." Though he does not mention the birthplace of Rama, he gives a detailed account of the place where the ashes of Ram are kept. "Some two miles on the further side of the river in a cave of his with a narrow entrance, but so spacious and full of turnings within that a man may well loose himself there if he taketh not better heed; where it is thought his ashes were buried. Hither resort many from all parts of India, which carry from thence in remembrance certain grains of rice as black as gunpowder which they say have been preserved ever since." Had the place been considered sacred for being the birthplace of the Lord Rama, it should have become one of the places of pilgrimage. Instead the place where his ashes are kept was considered a place of veneration.

According to Romila Thapar "If we do not take Hindu mythology in account the first historical description of the city dates back recently to the 7th century, when the Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang observed there were 20 Buddhist temples with 3000 monks at Ayodhya, amongst a large Hindu population. In 1528, nobles under Mughal emperor Babur constructed a mosque over the disputed site. The mosque, called the Babri Masjid, has become a source of contention for some Hindus. At the end of the 19th century, Ayodhya contained 96 Hindu temples and 36 Muslim mosques. Little local trade was carried on, but the great Hindu fair of Ram Navami held every year was attended by about 500,000 people."Template:Inote.

Alleged Censorship[edit]

Hindu parties cite that several attempts to censor information regarding the destruction of the Ram Janmabhoomi (and other temples) have been discovered. The book "Hindustan Islami Ahad Mein" by Maulana Hakim Saiyid Abdul Hai, which included a chapter that described the demolition of the Ram Janmabhoomi and other temples, was suddenly missing in most libraries. The English version (1977) has the passages that described the destruction of temples censored out.

The book Muruqqa-i Khusrawi by Sheikh Mohammed Azamat Ali Nami, published by Zaki Kakorawi with the financial aid of the F.A. Ahmad Memorial Committee, has a chapter describing the destruction of the Ram Janmabhoomi censored out. Zaki Kakorawi later published the relevant chapter independently. He wrote about this incident that the ‘suppression of any part of any old composition or compilation like this can create difficulties and misunderstandings for future historians and researchers’. [21]

Ram Janmabhoomi Temple Construction[edit]

File:Mandirhead.jpg
Shown here, is the proposed model of Ram Janmbhoomi temple
.

The matter is under court investigation but this does not deter the Hindu parties in preparing for its grand construction and some models and basic stone work has already been completed channelled by different organisations including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad which gains substantial amount of cashflows from the expatriate but devout Hindu populations in the US and Europe. Various workshops in different parts of India are working continuously since Sept. 1990 non-stop. Till 2001, about 45% of the work on Ground Floor was completed.

The Ayodhya Debate[edit]

See Babri Mosque#The_Ayodhya_Debate

The descriptions of temple destructions in Muslim chronicles have been the matter of some controversy.

Moreover, the Shah Bano controversy that turned down the divorce provisions of Muslim personal laws in India and the aftermath in which the Indian parliament enacted a law to reinstate them contributed to some Hindus claiming that Muslims were enjoying a favoured status. Some observers see this as the major factor for the flare of this movement at the same time the Muslims regarded this as an attempt to curtail their religious freedom.

The Hindu nationalist movement has been pressing for reclaiming these Muslim buildings and calls this period a period of Hindu slavery and foreign rule. This is often unpalatable to the minority Muslim community and secularists who consider this period as culturally Indian noting that these rulers made India their own home and enriched India's varied traditions.

Hindu organisations like VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS claim more than 3000 places of Muslim worship to be built over their temples and in the immediate they are asking for one and some three of them .[22] Forced by this situation, Indian government enacted a law to maintain status quo of all the religious places as on 1947 except Babri Masjid which is sub judice. Even then there have been a spate of controversies created by the Hindu Separatist movement including Bhojshala,Baba Budan Giri,Hubli Idgah are some of them.

The legal case continues on the title deed of the land tract which is for the major part a Muslim trust (Wakf Board) or government controlled property ;while the Muslim parties have agreed to hand over the land (not unlike the Masjid Shaheedganj case in Lahore) if it is proven a temple existed, the Hindu side agrees to accept a positive verdict in its favour or a law in parliament to have it constructed in case of negative judgement saying faith in the existence of Ram Janmabhoomi can not be decided in a court of law.

The situation regarding the RamJanmabhoomi has been compared to the Temple Mount issues and Jewish claims in Israel by Scholar Daniel Pipes [3]

The Ayodhya debate also had effects on neighbouring countries. In 1992 there were incidents of loot, arson, rape and temple destructions committed against the Hindu community in Bangladesh. [23]

However, several contemporary archaeologists such as Prof. B.B. Lal and Western historians, such as Prof. Koenraad Elst have provided historical evidence that lends a greater legitimacy to the Hindu claims of the Ram Janmabhoomi. Elst has alleged that the counterclaims made by Muslims and 'mainstream' Indian historians are politically motivated rather than those having a scholarly legitimacy. He has also alleged 'open hostility' on the part of (predominantly J.N.U. - based) Indian History - academia to his scholarship.[4][5][6].

Notes[edit]

  1. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Ram_Janambhumi_trust_chief_threatened/articleshow/2562582.cms
  2. http://www.censusindia.net/
  3. http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/aug/25ayo1.htm
  4. 15th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1986, entry "Ayodhya", Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.
  5. e.g. Romila Thapar. Tom Bottomore: Dictionary of Marxist Thought, Blackwell, Oxford 1988, entry “Hinduism”.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 BBC.com Timeline: Ayodhya Crisis, 5 July, 2005
  7. [1] BBC Mark Tully, Eyewitness: Ayodhya destruction London, UK, July 5, 2005
  8. [2] Kuldeep Nair, Editors and Prime Ministers Rediff
  9. P. Carnegy: A Historical Sketch of Tehsil Fyzabad, Lucknow 1870, cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 818550416 p.8-9, and by Peter Van der Veer Religious Nationalism, p.153
  10. (Quoted by R.S. Sharma et al.: Historians Report, p.19)
  11. (A.K. Chatterjee: “Ram Janmabhoomi: some more evidence”, Indian Express, 27-3-1990 and History and Geography of India, by Joseph Tieffenthaler, (published in French by Bernoulli in 1785))
  12. Joseph Tieffenthaler, History and Geography of India,1785, publisher: Bernoulli, Frace, cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 818550416 p.8-9, and by Peter Van der Veer Religious Nationalism, p.153
  13. Mirza Jan, Hadiqa-i Shahada (“The garden of martyrdom”),1856, Lucknow, cited by VHP evidence bundle History vs. Casuistry, Voice of India, Delhi, 1991, p.14; also cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 818550416 p.8-9, and by Peter Van der Veer Religious Nationalism, p.153
  14. Sahifa-i Chahal Nasaih Bahadur Shahi, Letter of the Forty Advices of Bahadur Shah, also cited in VHP evidence bundle. History vs. Casuistry, p. 13-14.), cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 818550416 p.8-9, and by Peter Van der Veer Religious Nationalism, p.153
  15. Shykh Azamat Ali Kakorawi Nami, Muraqqah-i Khusrawi or Tarikh-i Avadh cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 818550416
  16. Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, pp 14-15, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 818550416
  17. (R.S. Sharma et al.: Historians’ Report, p.16.)
  18. ( A. Führer: The Monumental Antiquities and Inscriptions in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh, Archaeological Survey of India Report, 1891, pp 296-297) cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 818550416
  19. (H.R. Neville in the Barabanki District Gazetteer, Lucknow, 1905, pp 168-169)
  20. H.R. Neville, Fyzabad District Gazetteer, Lucknow, 1905, pp 172-177) cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 818550416
  21. (Amir Ali Shahid aur Ma’rkah-i Hanuman Garhi, p. 3)
  22. The Hindu, Praveen Togadia cited atFight secular Hindus, says Singhal February 08, 2003
  23. State of Human Rights, 1992, pp. 95; State of Human Rights 1992. 1993. Dhaka: Coordinating Council for Human Rights in Bangladesh.; http://www.hrcbm.org/plugins/BBS/hrdiscus1_ubb/Forum1/HTML/000001.html

References[edit]

  • Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor. 1996. Edited, translated and annotated by Wheeler M. Thacktson. New York and London: Oxford University Press.
  • The Ayodhya Reference: Supreme Court Judgement and Commentaries. 1995. New Delhi:Voice of India. Ayodhya and the Future of India. 1993. Edited by Jitendra Bajaj. Madras: Centre for Policy Studies.
  • Elst, Koenraad. 1991. Ayodhya and After: Issues before Hindu Society. 1991. New Delhi: Voice of India. [7]
  • Elst, Koenraad, Ayodhya, The Finale - Science versus Secularism the Excavations Debate (2003) ISBN 8185990778
  • Elst, Koenraad, Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple (2002) ISBN 81-85990-75-1
  • Emmanuel, Dominic. 'The Mumbai bomb blasts and the Ayodhya tangle', National Catholic Reporter (Kansas City, August 27 2003).
  • S.R. Goel: Hindu Temples - What Happened to Them, Voice of India, Delhi 1991. [8] [9]
  • Harsh Narain. 1993. The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources. Delhi: Penman Publishers.
  • Rajaram, N.S. (2000). Profiles in Deception: Ayodhya and the Dead Sea Scrolls. New Delhi: Voice of India
  • Thakur Prasad Varma and Swarajya Prakash Gupta: Ayodhya ka Itihas evam Puratattva— Rigveda kal se ab tak (‘History and Archaeology of Ayodhya— From the Time of the Rigveda to the Present’). Bharatiya Itihasa evam Samskrit Parishad and DK Printworld. New Delhi.
  • Ayodhya ka Itihas evam Puratattva— Rigveda kal se ab tak (‘History and Archaeology of Ayodhya— From the Time of the Rigveda to the Present’) by Thakur Prasad Varma and Swarajya Prakash Gupta. Bharatiya Itihasa evam Samskrit Parishad and DK Printworld. New Delhi. (An important work on the archaeology of the temple.)
  • History versus Casuistry: Evidence of the Ramajanmabhoomi Mandir presented by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to the Government of India in December-January 1990-91. New Delhi: Voice of India.

In fiction[edit]

The Babri riots are depicted in the 1995 film Bombay.

Quotes about Ram Janmabhoomi[edit]

18th century[edit]

  • Emperor Aurangzeb demolished the fortress called Ramcot, and erected on the same place a Mohammedan temple with three cupolas. Others believe that it was constructed by Babor.
    • Joseph Tieffenthaler in 1768, quoted by R.S. Sharma et al.: Historians' Report to the Nation, People's Publ., Delhi 1991. p.19.
  • The reason is that here existed formerly a house in which Beschan (Vishnu) took birth in the form of Rama and where it is said his three brothers were also born. Subsequently Aurangzeb and some say Babar destroyed the place in order to prevent the heathens from practising their ceremonies. However, they have continued to practice their religious ceremonies in both the places knowing this to have been the birth place of Rama by going around it three times and prostrating on the ground.
    • Joseph Tieffenthaler, History and Geography of India, 1785, publisher: Bernoulli, France, cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 8185504164 p.8-9, and by Peter Van der Veer Religious Nationalism, p.153
  • Mardana! this Ayodhya city belongs to Sri Ramachandra Ji. So let us go for his darshan [visit with God].
    • Guru Nanak, as quoted by Bhai Man Singh's Pothi Janam Sakhi (late 18th century), In: Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, pp 14-15, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 8185504164


19th century[edit]

  • It is said that up to that time, the Hindus and Mohamedans alike used to worship in the mosque-temple. Since the British rule a railing has been put up to prevent dispute, within which, in the mosque the Mohamedans pray, while outside the fence the Hindus have raised a platform on which they make their offerings.
    • P. Carnegy: A Historical Sketch of Tehsil Fyzabad, Lucknow 1870, cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 81-85504-16-4 p.8-9, and by Peter Van der Veer Religious Nationalism, p.153


  • Wherever they found magnificent temples of the Hindus ever since the establishment of Sayyid Salar Mas’ud Ghazi’s rule, the Muslim rulers in India built mosques, monasteries, and inns, appointed mu’azzins, teachers, and store-stewards, spread Islam vigorously, and vanquished the Kafirs. Likewise, they cleared up Faizabad and Avadh, too, from the filth of reprobation (infidelity), because it was a great centre of worship and capital of Rama’s father. Where there stood the great temple (of Ramjanmasthan), there they built a big mosque, and, where there was a small mandap (pavilion), there they erected a camp mosque (masjid-i mukhtasar-i qanati). The Janmasthan temple is the principal place of Rama’s incarnation, adjacent to which is the Sita ki Rasoi. Hence, what a lofty mosque was built there by king Babar in 923 A. H. (1528 A.D.), under the patronage of Musa Ashiqan! The mosque is still known far and wide as the Sita ki Rasoi mosque. And that temple is extant by its side (aur pahlu mein wah dair baqi hai).
    • Mirza Jan, Hadiqa-i Shahada (“The garden of martyrdom”),1856, Lucknow, p. 247. cited by VHP evidence bundle History vs. Casuistry, Voice of India, Delhi, 1991, p.14; also cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 8185504164 p.8-9, and by Peter Van der Veer Religious Nationalism, p.153
  • According to old records, it has been a rule with the Muslim rulers from the first to build mosques, monasteries, and inns, spread Islam, and put (a stop to) non-Islamic practices, wherever they found prominence (of kufr). Accordingly, even as they cleared up Mathura, Bindraban, etc., from the rubbish of non-Islamic practices, the Babari mosque was built up in 923(?) A.H. under the patronage of Sayyid Musa Ashiqan in the Janmasthan temple (butkhane Janmasthan mein) in Faizabad-Avadh, which was a great place of (worship) and capital of Rama’s father’ (p. 9). ‘Among the Hindus it was known as Sita ki Rasoi’ (p. 10).
    • Shykh Azamat Ali Kakorawi Nami (1811–1893), Muraqqah-i Khusrawi or Tarikh-i Avadh cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 8185504164
  • Mir Khan built a masjid in A.H. 930 during the reign of Babar, which still bears his name. This old temple must have been a fine one, for many of its columns have been utilized by the Musalmans in the construction of Babar's Masjid.'
    • A. Führer: The Monumental Antiquities and Inscriptions in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh, Archaeological Survey of India Report, 1891, pp 296-297) cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 8185504164

20th to 21th century[edit]

  • Future historians will include the no-temple argument of the 1990s as a remarkable case study in their surveys of academic fraud and politicized scholarship.
  • Until 1989, there was a complete consensus in all sources (Hindu, Muslim and European) which spoke out on the matter, viz. that the Babri Masjid had been built in forcible replacement of a Hindu temple."
  • "The Janmasthan was in Ramkot and marked the birthplace of Rama. In 1528 A.D. Babar came to Ayodhya and halted here for a week. He destroyed the ancient temple and on its site built a mosque, still known as Babar's mosque. The materials of the old structure [i.e., the temple] were largely employed, and many of the columns were in good preservation."
    • H.R. Neville, Fyzabad District Gazetteer, Lucknow, 1905, pp 172-177) cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 8185504164
  • The team found that the objects were datable to the period ranging from the 10th through the 12th century AD, i.e., the period of the late Pratiharas and early Gahadvals. (....) These objects included a number of amakalas, i.e., the cogged-wheel type architectural element which crown the bhumi shikharas or spires of subsidiary shrines, as well as the top of the spire or the main shikhara ... This is a characteristic feature of all north Indian temples of the early medieval period (...) There was other evidence — of cornices, pillar capitals, mouldings, door jambs with floral patterns and others — leaving little doubt regarding the existence of a 10th-12th century temple complex at the site of Ayodhya."
    • Prof. S. P. Gupta , quoted in Narain, Harsh. 1993. The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute
  • The inscription is composed in high-flown Sanskrit verse, except for a small portion in prose, and is engraved in the chaste and classical Nagari- script of the eleventh-twelfth century AD. It was evidently put up on the wall of the temple, the construction of which is recorded in the text inscribed on it. Line 15 of this inscription, for example, clearly tells us that a beautiful temple of Vishnu-Hari, built with heaps of stone (sila-samhati-grahais) and beautified with a golden spire (hiranya-kalasa-srisundaram) unparalleled by any other temple built by earlier kings (purvvair-apy-akrtam krtam nrpatibhir) was constructed. This wonderful temple (aty-adbhutam) was built in the temple- city (vibudh-alaayni) of Ayodhya situated in the Saketamandala (district, line 17) (...). Line 19 describes god Vishnu as destroying king Bali (apparently in the Vamana manifestation) and the ten-headed personage (Dasanana, i.e., Ravana).
    • Ajay Mitra Shastri, Chairman of the Epigraphical Society of India, (writing about the the Hari-Vishnu inscription found after the Babri Masjid demolition) In: (Puratattva, No. 23 (1992-3), pp. 35 ff.)
  • However, contrary to his [Pollock's] claim, one must examine the fact that Ayodhya had already been the capital of kings in the pre-mauryan era for hundreds of years.[1]
    • Rajiv Malhotra, Battle for Sanskrit

See also[edit]

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  • Reference is to Pillai 1997. While the Mauryas shifted the capital to Pataliputra, Samudragupta made Ayodhya his capital once again, beginning about 350 CE.
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