Ayodhya Verdict – An Historian’s Perspective

“Two questions have always been the center of the Ayodhya issue. One being the existence of lord RAMA – Which is ancient history and other being the existence of the temple in Ayodhya – Which is recent history”, says Dr. Koenraad Elst, a Belgium based Historian, at Mytic Society, Bangalore while speaking on a topic of Ayodhya Verdict – An Historian’s perspective on 15th December 2010.
Court, political parties and Historians have played safely when it comes to verdict by not asked to prove the belief of the people about the existence of RAMA. On the other hand it backs on the evidences that are supportive about the existence of RAMA temple.
Dr. Elst spoke about the issue taking it back to the times of Vikramaditya when the RAMA JANMA SHATAL was claimed to be located by the king. However, some secularists have an all together different argument for this. They say, Vikramaditya’s intention of claiming Ayodhya to be the Janma shathal was purely for propaganda of his kingdom and nothing more. However, we have evidences of the remains of the temple for more than 2000 years now. The scriptures found at the site speak about the deity of the temple to be an incarnation of lord Vishnu who killed a ten headed demon (Ravana). The style of these artifacts were that of 13th-14th century.
The existence of the temple is now proved. The demolished Babari Masjid was infact being built on the remnants of the already existing temples. However, it is still not known if Babar builds it by demolishing the temple? OR did he build a mosque on an already ruined temple? Mr. Elst also spoke about Babar’s Diary which speaks about a storm which might have possibly destroyed the temple. However, many pages of the same diary are missing, giving room to more confusion.
Coming to the politics behind Ayodhya, Dr. Elst said that more than BJP it was congress Prime Ministers who pushed this case of RAMA JANMA BHOOMI to become a property of Hindus. During the times of Rajiv Gandhi, an anti Islam book The Satanic Verses and Beyond by David A. Kerr was banned with an intension of favoring the Muslim society in return of the Ayodhya site. Subsequent Prime Ministers including P.V.Narasing Rao stressed on the historical evidence of the existence of the temple – which they internally knew was supportive to Hindu community. Because of this, there was a sudden change in the purpose of excavation interests of many historians and archeologists. 
Answering to a question asked by one of the audience about the diminishing Hindu Culture and tradition, Dr. Elst said, there is a beautiful solution for this. He said, instead of considering Hindutva as an asset of a group of people (which BJP considers), Hindutva should be more open and separated from political motives. Instead of waging wars against each other, both the communities should try to enlighten their ignorant brothers and sisters of the other group about their beliefs and culture. He said, he sees a lot of maturity in people about the issue, which evidently is reflected by their clam and non violent reactions to the ayodhya Verdict by the court.

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