A study of the 1045 page long verdict of Supreme Court on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhumi disputed land shows that instead of relying on the historical and archeological facts, the SC has relied on faith, that it was the Hindu forces hold the record for comparatively more consistent period of faith that it was Ram Janmabhumi where the Masjid was constructed! The Babri Mosque was constructed in 1528-29. Till it was closed down in 1949 following the forcible insertion of Ram idols by the Hindu Mahasabha goons and the state administration refusing to get them removed, it was a mosque where namaz was taking place continuously. And in its orders the SC itself accepts that the 1949 insertion of idols and demolition of it in 1992 were illegal acts. So what are the historical facts:
1) The Babri Masjid was constructed during 1528-29. During 1856-58, when the British colonialists tried to annex Avadh, the forces of Begum Hazrath Mahal, with the support of Hindus and Muslims defeated them causing great damages. Realizing that without breaking the Hindu-Muslim unity Avadh cannot be conquered, based on a booklet published by a British army captain alleging Babri Masjid was constructed after demolishing the Ram temple existing there, a hate campaign against Muslims was provoked using fanatical Brahmanical forces recruited by them. It was these fanatical forces who damaged the Babri domes in 1856 as a part of their campaign. After weakening the Hindu-Muslim unity in this manner, the British attacked Avadh again, defeated it and hanged Hazarat Mahal.
(2) Though the allegation was repeated by the Hindutva forces occasionally, it was during the communally surcharged period before 1947 partition and following it, this question was ignited again by the Hindu Mahasabha. In 1949, its goons with the backing of K K Nayyar, then Faizabad district magistrate (who became a leader of Jan Sangh after retirement), stealthily inserted Ram idols inside the Masjid. Though the central government ordered their removal, it was not implemented by the UP government led by Congress chief minister, Govind Ballab Pant. Instead, it closed down the Masjid and used it for appeasement of Hindu voters to win the by-election to Faizabad Lok Sabha seat taking place then.
(3) Following the SC verdict on Shahbano case in 1985, when the Rajiv Gandhi government amended the Constitution for appeasement of Muslim clergy, the RSS Parivar intensified the campaign demanding the opening of the Babri Masjid for Shilanyaz, for worshipping the bricks brought from different parts for the construction of the Ram mandir at the disputed site. In 1986 the locks were opened and the RSS parivar started worships and later went ahead with the Shilanyaz. Though, RSS had hatched plans and its parivar was openly calling for demolition of Babri Masjid and construction of Ram mandir at the same place called disputed land by that time , the courts were sleeping over the cases related to it and the governments at centre and in UP compromising with the RSS.
(4) As the campaign for Ram mandir intensified, especially after the mandal Commission Report was released by V P Singh government in 1989 and introduction of neoliberal regime by Manmohan Singh, the finance minister of Narasimha Rao government in 1991, acting upon many petitions the SC had got assurance from the Congress government at cente and the BJP government in UP that they will take all necessary actions to protect Babri Masjid. But, violating the SC orders the BJP govt in UP allowed mobilization of Hindutva goons in large numbers at Ayodhya and even their training for the demolition. In spite of intelligence reports, the central govt did not act against the state govt’s actions. And when the karsevaks led by L.K.Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharathi and scores of other leaders went ahead with the demolition on 6th December, instead of protecting the Masjid, the goons were allowed to complete the demolition and to disperse. That is, the huge security force from police to military deployed by state and central govts, instead of protecting the Masjid as the SC had ordered, were in effect giving protection to the goons to complete their demolition. Following this, instead of arresting the criminal forces who did it, they were allowed to start worshipping the Ram idols there, while violating the rights of the Muslims to worship there. These are historical facts. Instead of basing on these, the SC Bench led by the CJI Ranjan Gogoi depended on secondary or tertiary evidences like myths, stories and travelogues to show that Hindus had a longer record of believing that it is where Ram was born! It refused to look in to the findings of the archeological investigations also. The demolition had led to many archeological investigations to find the truth. But, except finding few remnants of some old structures, none of them could establish that these were remnants of a Ram temple.
It is interesting that though there are mentions of the search for the birth place of Ram based on myths and puranas, the historical search for what happened in India stops at what happened to Somnath temple in the 14th century, But the SC Bench should have gone back at least up to 8th century, when under the aggressive Brahmanical offensive of Adi Sankara, the ancestors of the Hindutva goons who demolished the Babri Masjid, burnt down or vandalized or destroyed Charvak, Lokayat institutions and thousands of Budhist centers and seminaris, if they wanted to know what really happened in Indian history.
Once the SC verdict came out, why the CJI was in such a hurry to complete the hearing and to announce the order before he retires became crystal clear. He and others in the Bench with him were acting like a group with a contract from RSS to bring out a verdict handing over the disputed 2.77 acres, where Babri Masjid stood till 1992, to the very same forces who illegally interfered twice and finally demolished it. This order based on a travesty of facts will help only the RSS which wants to make India a Hindurashtra very fast. It will only help the majoritarian Hindutva forces, while it terrifies the Muslims, dalits, Adivasis, women and all other oppressed classes and sections in our society. If the SC Bench really wanted to use Article 142 to deliver ultimate justice, it could have reinforced the composite character of the site and the plural traditions of the country by asking the trust to build a public place like a centre of knowledge, a university or a hospital, while punishing those responsible for the demolition. The present verdict will only help the divisive forces. It will not help the rule of rights. So, it should be reviewed and justice should be given to the affected in the spirit of our Constitution and based on facts and evidences, not faith.
K N Ramachandran
CPI (ML) Redstar
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(ML) Red Star discussed the final unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court on the fractious Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhumi disputed land issue and has issued the following statement:
From the time attempts were made by communal forces and vested interests to communalize the issue and to divide the people, leading to tragic consequences for a long time, we have called for a negotiated settlement or judicial resolution to put an end to this dispute and establish peace so that the people can concentrate on the joint struggles for the settlement of their cardinal issues. So, in the context of today’s unanimous SC’s order, we appeal to all sections of people not to be misled by vested interests and strive for mutual understanding and unity.
At the same time, the affected people have the right to continue discussions on this order to prevent recurrence of such disputes, especially using this order as a pretext to rake up similar other issues.
By this order the Court has handed over the 2.77 acre disputed land to the Hindu side for the construction of a temple through a trust. An alternate plot of five acres is allotted to the Sunni Wakf Board in Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque. It is an attempt to issue an apparently balanced order.
But, it is contradicting the SC’s own observations that the insertion of Ramlala idol inside the Masjid in 1949 was illegal, and demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 was a criminal act. The SC also accepts Muslim ownership of this land for five centuries. It also did not agree with the argument that remnants of the structure found below Babri Masjid are of a temple. In spite of these, handing over the entire disputed site to Hindu side does not look like a fare decision. Especially when the SC has so far refused to act on the petitions challenging the scrapping of Article 370 by central government on 5th August, it is natural that apprehensions are raised about the fairness of this decision.
In this context, it is imperative on the part of the SC and the administration to ensure that no further disputes on religious places take place utilizing this order as a precedent.. The 1991 Places of Religious Worship Act should be strictly followed, and the administration and concerned courts should take up the long pending cases pertaining to 1949 and 1992 illegal acts speedily in the same manner followed by the SC to issue this order.
CPI(ML) Red Star.
9th November 2019