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Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Ayodhya -Who was Babur? Editor @ Trinetra Online Meaning Of Ayodhya: Fact And Fiction (Dispute is over historical truth, not brick and mortar)
Ayodhya -Who was Babur? Editor @ Trinetra Online
Meaning Of Ayodhya: Fact And Fiction (Dispute is over historical truth, not brick and mortar)
The ancient city of Ayodhya, according to the Ramayana, was founded by King Manu. For centuries it was the capital of the descendants of the Surya dynasty, of which Lord Rama was the most celebrated king. Ayodhya during ancient times was known as Koshaldesha. The Atharvaveda describes it as a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself. The illustrious ruling dynasty of this region were the Ikshvakus of the solar clan (Suryavansha). According to tradition, Ikshvaku was the eldest son of Vaivasvata Manu, who established himself at Ayodhya. The earth is said to have its name Prithivi from Emperor Prithu, the 6th king of the line.
During the barbaric Islamic invasions of India, it is believed that over 30,000 ancient Hindu temples were desecrated and destroyed by the invaders belonging to a backward civilisation. Babur, the grandson of Chengis Khan was one of the first Islamic invaders to loot and vandalise Hindu sites of worship - one of them is Ayodhya Ram Janmabhumi, where he built a mosque known as Babri Masjid on top of the ancient temple site. In a two part issue we take a closer insight into the history and character of Babur and the controversy of the Ayodhya issue.
BHARAT MATA (by Anwar Shaikh)
Meaning Of Ayodhya: Fact And Fiction (Dispute is over historical truth, not brick and mortar)
Hindu historical Awareness
As we approach the new millennium, it is time to take a look at what was perhaps the defining event of modern Indian history and historigraphy - the demolition of the so-called Babri Masjid at the site known as Ram Janmabhumi.
It is historically important because it was the most visible symbol of the rising Hindu historical awareness, a point made among others by V.S. Naipaul. It is important from a historigraphical point of view because it served to expose the venality of a tribe of scholars and politicians who had prospered by associating themselves with the destroyers of their civilization.
This article therefore has two goals.
First, to summarize the relevant information relating to the temple-mosque controversy over the site known since time immemorial as Ramajanmabhumi.
Second, to bring into focus the real issues involved - issues that have been obscured by the cloud of controversy surrounding it. Upon carefully examining it, one discovers that the dispute is not so much about the right of possession to the ancient site known as Ramajanmabhumi as it is over the version of history that is sought to be imposed on the people of India. It is a serious contraction of the scope and meaning of the Ayodhya episode of December 6, 1992 to treat it as a dispute over a piece of land, and brick and mortar; the dispute really is part of a struggle being waged by an ancient people to recover their own history from the clutches of imperial surrogates.
Hence what a lofty mosque was built there by king Babar in 923 A.H. (1528 A.D.), under the patronage of Musa Ashiqqan! (Harsh Narain: p 105)"
The next source I wish to cite is a Persian text known as Sahifah-i-Chihal Nasa'ih Bahadurshahi written in 1707 by a grand-daughter of the Moghul emperor Aurangazeb, and noted by Mirza Jan in his Urdu work Hadiqah-i Shuhada (and other writers like Mirza Rajab 'Ali Beg Surur). Mirza Jan quotes several lines from it telling us:
"... keeping the triumph of Islam in view, devout Muslim rulers should keep all idolaters in subjection to Islam, brook no laxity in realization of Jizyah, grant no exceptions to Hindu Rajahs from dancing attendance on 'Id days and waiting on foot outside mosques till end of prayer ... and 'keep in constant use for Friday and congregational prayer the mosques built up after demolishing the temples of the idolatrous Hindus situated at Mathura, Banaras and Avadh ... (Harsh Narain: pp 23-24.)
Spoken like a true child of Aurangazeb! Let us next look at what archaeology has to say about the Ayodhya site. Here is what a leading archaeologist, Dr. S.P. Gupta (former director of the Allahabad Museum), wrote about recent excavations at Ayodhya.
"From 1975 through 1980, the Archaeological Survey of India under the Directorship of Professor B.B. Lal, a former Director General of the Survey, undertook an extensive programme of excavation at Ayodhya, including the very mound of the Ramajanmabhumi on which the so-called "Janmasthan Masjid" or Babri Mosque once stood and was later demolished on 6th December 1992."
"Professor Lal took as many as 14 trenches at different places to ascertain the antiquity of the site. It was then found that the history of the township was at least three thousand years old, if not more ... . When seen in the light of 20 black stone pillars, 16 of which were found re-used and standing in position as corner stones of piers for the disputed domed structure of the 'mosque', Prof. Lal felt that the pillar bases may have belonged to a Hindu temple built on archaeological levels formed prior to 13th century AD ..."
Lal's insight was verified by further excavations. He had actually found evidence for possibly two temples, one that existed before the 13th century, and another between the 13th and the 16th centuries. This corresponds very well indeed with history and tradition. We know that this area was ravaged by Muslim invaders following Muhammad of Ghor's defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain in 1192 AD. This was apparently rebuilt and remained in use until destroyed again in the 16th century by Babar.
Then came the explosion of December 6, 1992, which changed the picture dramatically. Several old inscriptions were found of which one proved to be crucial. It is written on a large stone slab, in 12th century AD Devanagari script and belongs therefore to the period before the onslaught of the Ghorids (1192 AD). The inscription was read by Ajay Mitra Shastri, Chairman of the Epigraphical Society of India. He gives the following summary.
"The inscription is composed in high-flown Sanskrit verse, except for a very small portion in prose, and is engraved in 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 stones ... , and beautified with a golden spire ... unparallelled by any other temple built by earlier kings ... This wonderful temple ... was built in the temple-city of Ayodhya situated in Saketamandala. ... Line 19 describes god Vishnu as destroying king Bali ... and the ten headed personage (Dashanana, i.e., Ravana)."
Need we say more - a temple for Hari-Vishnu who killed the ten-headed Ravana, in the temple city of Ayodhya?
Defeat of the negationists
Ayodhya represents more than a battle over a site and a building. It is a struggle by Indians to recover their true history from the grip of imperial surrogates - the Islamicists and the Secularists. These are the residue of defunct imperial movements. They are now partners in negation trying to preserve their previleges and positions as representatives of imperialisms past. Negationism - which means denial of historic crimes against humanity - has been their main tactic. They find Ayodhya unbearable because it has called their bluff.
Central to the Secularist program is the effort to impose the Islamic view of history on Ayodhya. The Islamic view holds that the history of any place begins with its Muslim takeover, and nothing that took place before the takeover is of any account. According this version, the demolition of the Babri Masjid is a crime, but the destruction of previous temples at the site (or anywhere else) is of no account. This is part of a larger Secularist-Islamic program to impose such a negationist version on all of Indian history
A point that cannot be overemphasized: any effort aimed at understanding the history leading up to the Ayodhya demolition must be careful not to view the events of December 6, 1992 in isolation, ignoring the thousand year history leading up to it.
This would cause one to lose sight of the single most important historical theme in India today: the ongoing struggle between the two versions of history - the nationalistic and the imperialistic.
The latter is negationist - for it seeks to negate the evils of Islamic imperialism by whitewashing their record and transferring the blame to the Hindu victims. Those calling themselves 'Secularists' in the Ayodhya dispute are agents of defunct imperialisms - the Islamic and the European. These negationists are fighting the nationalists trying to recover their national history. This is the real battle over Ayodhya.
The negationist (or 'Secularist') version of Indian history requires accepting the Islamic view of history - to wit, that the history of any place begins with its Muslim takeover; nothing that happened before is of any account. This is how Muslims view the history of all the conquered lands - from Egypt to Iran and even Pakistan. They have been defeated in their purpose to impose this version of history on India also. The Hindus refuse to accept this imperialistic distortion - one that sees the victims as villains and imperialist vandals as heroes. The struggle over Ayodhya is but a facet of this larger struggle.
This distortion of Indian history is probably the most insidious legacy of India's imperial past. For communal harmony to prevail in India, her people must come to terms with history. A privileged group like the Secularist-Islamicist nexus cannot go on propagating a negationist version of history that serves its own interests, while heaping abuse on anyone who challenges them. This will only harden attitudes, and make an already difficult situation impossible. If this goes on much longer, it will soon reach a point of no return. It is fervently to be hoped that we are not already there.
As far as the Babri Masjid is concerned, by no stretch of the imagination can it be called a place of worship. It was not meant as one by Babar, nor seen as such by either the Hindus or the Muslims in more than four centuries. Both sides understood that it was erected to mark the defeat and humiliation of the Hindus at the hands this invader with his hostile ideology to destroy and uproot India's ancient civilization.
Posted by Free Thinker at 12:09 PM
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