From Marxist to liberal. Gunga Din all the way.

Here is the “evolution” of the communist propagandists from the Delhi “Historians” Group: Post cold war, from socialist, Marxist, these worthies now flatter themselves with epithets like progressive, liberal. Any other talk of “ability to learn and evolve” is pure hogwash. How many of these worthies and their indoctrinated students expressed any dismay, leave alone protested, when communist terrorists in Nepal burnt down an entire university? But of course, surely, that was for the greater good of the coming revolution. Hang on, I should correct myself. Surely, that progressive act was for the greater good of secularism and liberalism in “South Asia”. It is hardly surprising that these ideologically and politically motivated academics serve as good Gunga Dins of Western Euro-American centric academics.

Meera Nanda’s hollow rhetoric on ‘Voice of India’

Instead of clumsily attempting to discredit the pioneering Voice of India publication house, through the proxy of Breivik, I would like to see Meera Nanda try to discredit the data presented by VOI publications through hard evidence and reasoning. But since characters more capable than Nanda have abysmally failed to do so, I can see why she chooses instead to throw muck at VOI without actually even attempting to debunk the veracity of data presented in VIO publications.

Nanda insinuates, the claim that Muslims enslaved Hindus and drove them to their death in the Hindu Kush mountain ranges is questionable. I would like to point to no other than Al Beruni, the Muslim chronicler who has himself written in support of the irrefutable veracity of that claim. This is history straight from the horse’s mouth. I would also like to direct the curious to Elliot’s “The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period” for further evidence of the unimaginable atrocities committed by Islamic invaders on India’s native population. Elliot’s work is merely an English translation of accounts by Muslim scribes in Persian. Again, history straight from the horse’s mouth.

What Breivik’s madness presents is an opportunity for an open dialog and honest debate to analyze the reasons behind religious conflict and terrorism in the Indian subcontinent starting from medieval to modern periods. Such a dialog needs to accept history without whitewashing and needs to be open to free speech from different spectrums. Unfortunately, an open dialog is unpalatable for the torch bearers of Indian secularism, since that will expose their duplicity and empty scholarship. No wonder they feel the need to resort to hollow rhetoric.

An excellent comment by Anand Kumar on Marxist history engineers

Raju Narisetti, in LiveMint blogs[1], writes on Upinder Singh’s book on Indian history. Emphasis added.

In August 2008, it was the turn of another daughter, Upinder Singh, to come out with her sixth book, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, a 704-page, rich, thankfully non-Marxist (read Romila Thapar) reinterpretation from a liberal historian of India’s rich history, available at a rather capitalist price of about $87 a copy.

In this context, following comment was made by shrI Anand Kumar under the said blog post. Emphasis added.

From Anand Kumar (email comment) September 22, 2008 9:49 AM

You use the term “non-Marxist reinterpretation” as though Marxists have interpreted history. Marxists do not interpret history. They unquestioningly follow a doctrine. A nonsensical doctrine. While they are loud and are quick to label their critics with names, it is really surprising that the details of their version of history has not been discussed in public.

According to the Marxists, the entire history of every society is a history of class struggles. That is not all. The history of every country has exactly six stages, the first three punctuated by revolutions. The first three stages are primitive socialism, feudalism and capitalism. Wait! It gets even more interesting here because they also predict the future history of every country. After the coming revolution, we’ll have socialism followed by communism followed by the withering away of the state. And who better than the Marxists themselves to usher in the era of Communism.

This progression of history is true of India, United States, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea or whatever society you name. Of course, after primitive socialism came a revolution (class struggle) and the next stage (feudalism) was ushered in. After feudalism came another revolution and then came capitalism. Of course, China is proof that they had to follow these steps. They tried to bypass socialism and took a “great leap forward” in communism and failed.

You can see the above doctrine in the works of Romila Thapar too. She casually mentions that the existence of some structures proved that there was a large degree of cooperation among people. In other places, she mentions that the structures showed city planning by a central authority. What she really tries to do is to place the time of some excavated buildings in either the first or the second phase. Anyway, coming back to the story, the second phase was followed by capitalism.

The Indian Marxists encountered a minor problem though. Marx and Engels had both agreed in their correspondence that the Mohammedan Revolution had destroyed the trade in southern Arabia or whatever part of the desert they sold their wares. So Islam could not be criticized. Now this was a real dilemma. Enter DD Kosambi, the father of Indian Marxist historians. He pulled a term from Stalin (“revolution from above”) and rephrased it and proclaimed that feudalism had two sub-stages – in the first sub-stage, it was feudalism from above, in the second, it was feudalism from below and hence the Islamic rulers were not practitioners of feudalism! Voila! Problem solved! The next stage was of course capitalism brought about by the colonialists.

Notice that in this version of history, anyone who is proud of his or her heritage will necessarily have to confront the Marxist version of history which considers such heritage as feudalistic.

In neighboring Nepal, Prachanda has taken this folly to an extreme. He has declared that he will encourage businesses, because, hold your breath, Karl Marx had decreed that there will be a capitalist stage between the feudalistic and socialist stages! I am not joking. Check this out – – “Our fight is against feudalism, not against capitalism,” he clarified. In between the feudal stage and socialist stage there will be capitalist stage, he said, adding he will follow mixed economic model and encourage creation of wealth through the means of capitalism. So watch out for the next revolution that he will wage against himself! The Nepal Maoists have credited JNU (a.k.a. Kremlin on the Yamuna) for teaching them their politics.

Here is other stuff that Marxist “scholars” have indulged in.

Marxists cut open the head of Lenin looking for the source of his genius and famously declared that they had located it in his oversized pyramidal cells.

In USSR, they banned the field of genetics because it was inconsistent with “dialectical materialism.” Same with probability theory. Famous probability theorists like Kolmogorov and Gnedenko were persecuted for pursuing a field that was not consistent with dialectical materialism. Quantum Mechanics escaped this fate after the Marxists were told there would be no atom bomb without this field. Both Marx and Engels have criticized the field of mathematics and Marx even called mathematicians as chimerical.

And we are supposed to believe that Romila Thapar and Co. are “intellectuals” and “scholars?” Sure! Why not? And why not teach all the above “history” as credible stuff in schools and colleges and extol those who ban genetics and the theory of probability? They must be for the common good that will help the coming revolution.



Disclaimer: I do not own the copyright to shrI Anand Kumar’s comment, as is provided in this post. His comment in its entirety is provided here in an effort to advance a comprehension and appreciation of matters pertaining to this site. In this context, I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If LiveMint, or Anand Kumar or Raju Narisetti believe it violates any copyright, please let me know and I will remove the comment or provide only an excerpt as necessary. Also, please refer to the “Legal” page of this site for any other questions or concerns.


Ayodhya Verdict and Machinations of Marxist Historengineers

This article is provided courtesy of journalist, shrI Raman Nanda[1][2]. The article was originally posted in his blog[3]. I am thankful to shrI Nanda for assenting to my request of reproducing his well researched article in its entirety in my blog.

Marxist Historians’ Fictitious Critique – I

Marxist historians’ critique of the Ayodhya verdict is remarkable for the eminence of the critics and reliance on brazen lies about the verdict itself. It exposes  fault lines of the secularist discourse; it also raises concerns  about intellectual probity and writing of history itself.

Historians’ critique — widely endorsed by mainstream media — relies on inventive assumptions: the verdict “ignored” evidence and relied on “Hindu beliefs”. [1]

The Allahabad High Court, while unanimously pronouncing that Babri Mosque was built over temple(s), rejected historians’ narrative ruling out ‘Ram temple or any temple”. [2] Relying on Prof. D.N.Jha and others work, Muslim parties pleaded that Babri Masjid was built in 1528 on virgin land. [3] This argument collapsed. Excavations showed that Babri Mosque was built atop a previous structure, which was conceded by archaeologists of Muslim parties. Archaeological Survey of India said this structure, dated to 10th -12th century, had “distinctive features associated with temples of north India”. Professors Irfan Habib and Suraj Bhan came up with a new theory: the excavated structure could be a Sultanate period one-wall Kanati mosque or a roofless Idgah, presence of animal bones and use of surkhi-lime established exclusive Muslim presence. Muslim parties, significantly, did not plead this theory. Historians’ critique reiterates these formulations: the one that was conceded and another that was not even pleaded!

They alleged that Justices Sudhir Aggarwal and Dharam Veer Sharma’s inference of a Hindu temple (a) “takes no account of presence of animal bones and use of ‘surkhi’ and lime mortar” which are “characteristic of Muslim presence”; (b) relies on “manifestly fraudulent” inferences about “debated” pillar bases and  (c) with “no proof” accepts Hindu “belief”. Historians also alleged that the verdict converted Hindu “belief” into an argument for property entitlement. Each of these allegations is baseless.

Prof Romila Thapar heads the list of “impartial” critics which includes several historians and archaeologists who deposed on behalf of pro-mosque parties.[4]

Animal Bones a ‘decisive’ evidence?

Historians have alleged that finding of animal bones — “decisive evidence” that established Muslim presence and ruled out a temple — was ignored by the verdict. Whereas, the verdict examines this evidence in abundant detail. The verdict cites Muslim parties’ contention that animal bones were found in “NBP, Gupta, post Gupta, Early Medieval, Medieval and Mughal levels”; that “bone fragments with cut marks are a sure sign of animals being eaten at the site and, therefore, rule out the possibility of a temple existing at the site at relevant time”; that “animal sacrifice has not been claimed for any Ram temple” and that ASI did not get bones examined scientifically, hence its report was tainted.[5]

Muslim parties’ claims were contradicted by their own archaeologists. Prof. Suraj Bhan and Dr. Jaya Menon deposed that animals were sacrificed in certain temples. Dr. R.C.Thakaran said he had read excavation reports on temple sites where animal bones had been found though, in those cases, there was no dispute about Idgah/mosque.[6] Dr. Supriya Verma said “bones are not associated with any particular community” and “tell us about the food habits of the society”.

Justice Aggarwal observed that examination of animal bones – reported from fills brought from neighbouring areas to level the ground – will throw light “only about the area of their origin”, they will have “no bearing on the nature of the layers of the excavated site”, hence objections against ASIs inference on grounds of animal bones had “no substance”. Further,

“it is not the case of the plaintiffs (Suit-4) or other witnesses that bones in such abundance could have been found in Islamic religious place i.e. Mosque, Idgah etc. The Islamic scriptures clearly show place of worship cannot be used for residence purpose or for eating, sleeping etc. It is prohibited.” [7]

Justice Sharma observed:

“Bones have been found in and from the layer of the Gupta period when Islam had not come into existence from which fact it is crystal clear that the user of the flesh of those creatures if any were not the Muslims”. He further said, Lord Ram himself used to hunt; saints, cows, parrots etc. attached to a temple are buried in temple compound, hence bones can be found at a Hindu Shrine, but not at a mosque site, for,  “building mosque over bones is strictly prohibited.” [8]

The judge also cited a Supreme Court verdict:

“In Rg. Vedic times goats, sheep, cows, buffaloes and even horses were slaughtered for food and for religious sacrifice and their flesh used to be offered to the Gods.” [9] Justice Aggarwal concurred: partaking animal flesh as prasad and depositing bones below the floor of temples where animal sacrifice was practiced was well known. [10]

Relying on a precedent[11] that documents collected incidentally during execution of a ministerial task do not constitute evidence Justice Sharma observed:

“ASI excavation team was not appointed to collect the bones from the different strata and get those bones chemically examined. ASI excavation team has collected bones and made inventory thereof which was not necessary for drawing the conclusion that whether there was any existing structure prior to 16th century or not. As such challenge to the ASI report on this superficial ground is liable to be rejected.”[12]

Historians’ allegation – animal bones ignored – is baseless; their claim that animal bones ruled out a Hindu temple is contrary to the deposition of their archaeologist co-signatories as also living tradition of animal sacrifice in several temples to celebrate Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya.[13]

The ‘Islamic’ Surkhi-lime

Historians’ allegations that the court ignored surkhi and lime mortar are baseless, and, misdirected.  Muslim parties contended that use of surkhi-lime mortar was a distinctive feature of Islamic construction and “no single example is offered by the ASI of any temple of pre-Mughal times having such a lime-surakhi floor”.[14]The Hindu parties’ countered: Lime-surkhi was used in temples from pre-Mogul, indeed pre-Islamic times. Pre-6th century construction at the disputed site itself used surkhi-lime, brick temple of Gupta period in Bhitari (Gazipur, UP) used sand and lime in 6:1 ratio, 10th century A.D. Lingaraj temple at Bhubhaneshwar used lime plaster with 3:1 lime-silica ratio.[15] They also cited Marxist historian Prof. R.S.Sharma’s work according to which in Basti and Mathura “flooring was made of brick concrete mixed with lime” which “indicates the use of Surkhi” during “early centuries of Christian era”. [16]  Pro-mosque experts conceded use of lime mortar in India from pre-Islamic times. Prof. D. Mandal said:

“Lime mortar was definitely used from Neolithic period."[17]

Prof. Suraj Bhan concurred:

lime mortar was found to have been used in the 3rd century AD during the Kushana period in Takshshila and Pakistan, but its use was very limited.”[18]

“Whether lime mortar or lime plaster was from a particular period or not”, Justice Aggarwal observed, was a “subsidiary” question since the “experts of the objectionists parties” had admitted that the disputed structure was not built on unoccupied land and that there existed a previous structure whose walls and foundations were used by the disputed structure. [19] Besides, the judge observed, evidence on Kanati Mosque-Idgah theory – since it had not been pleaded before the court — was impermissible in law.

Thus, the allegation that the court took “no account of” arguments about surkhi and lime mortar, besides being incorrect, is also misdirected.

Faulting Judges for ‘ignoring’ Idgah that wasn’t pleaded

The manner in which Professors Irfan Habib and Suraj Bhan propounded the hitherto unheard of Kanati Mosque – Idgah theory betrays their attitude to history. As Prof. Suraj Bhan told the court:

“I and Prof.  Habib had given this statement that remains of old mosque or Eidgah had been found beneath the disputed site and not of any temple. If this propaganda that remains of temple were found at the disputed site, had not taken place, there would have been no occasion for me and Prof. Irfan Habib to give the above statement.” (Justice Aggarwal, Para 3826; emphasis ours)

A new theory concerning a sensitive temple-mosque dispute declared to the nation to counter media reports! Prof. Suraj Bhan conceded that he challenged ASI’s report “based on my knowledge existing prior to the submission of ASI’s report in court.” That Prof. Suraj Bhan challenged ASIs report without reading it did not go down well with the court. Justice Aggarwal, referring to Prof. Suraj Bhan’s allegations of bias and lack of professionalism in ASIs report, noted:

“We find on the contrary, predetermined attitude of the witness against ASI which he has admitted.” (Justice Aggarwal, Para 3826)

Deposition on this theory evidently led to an odd situation. Amidst opposition by Hindu parties to evidence on it, Dr. Jaya Menon said:

“It was Dr. Supriya Varma and myself, who, for the first time, said that there was an Idgah under the disputed structure. I did not know that the plaintiffs of OOS no. 4 of 1989 had not claimed any Idgah under the disputed structure."[20]

Justice Aggarwal recorded:

“Normally, it does not happen but we are surprised to see in the zeal of helping their clients or the parties in whose favour they were appearing, these witnesses went ahead than what was not even the case of the party concerned and wrote totally a new story. Evidence in support of a fact which has never been pleaded and was not the case of the party concerned is impermissible in law.” (para 3986).

Historians’ critique impliedly – and Prof. Irfan Habib, in his writings, explicitly – have assailed the verdict for “ignoring” Idgah-Kanati Mosque theory. Doesn’t matter that it was not even pleaded by the Muslim parties! None of the judges gave any finding on it. Historians’ allegation that the court – or rather two judges – “ignored” evidence about Idgah is misdirected and bizarre, to say the least.

Wishing away Pillar Bases

Contrary to historians’ allegations, their professorial archaeologist co-signatories affirmed the integrity of excavations and conceded pillar bases. "In my presence, nothing took place such as the said archaeologists building something secretly or forcibly, Prof. D. Mandal told the court.[21] Prof. Suraj Bhan concurred:

“The ASI Report had a feature not amenable to criticism. It was that they (the excavators) have discovered many walls and floors and some pillar bases beneath the Babri mosque, and all these constitute evidence.” [22]

Dr. Supriya Verma said pillar bases that form “part of the Z series of trenches are acceptable to me” [23], Dr Jaya Menon, on being shown Plate no. 36, 37, 38 of the ASI report said “all these photographs are insitu photographs of pillar bases”.[24]

Pillars hardly needed to be found. Fourteen kasauti pillars, with engravings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, were used in Babri Mosque itself, they are detailed in narratives from late 18thcentury onwards, their pictures were on record and are available online in annexures to the verdict. Some pillars and their fragments were also found. As Dr. Jaya Menon acknowledged: “The motif of Ghat (pot) is visible on this pillar…”[25]

The “debate”, if any, related to only four of the fify pillar bases excavated by ASI.[26] Justice Aggarwal, while not agreeing with allegations about creation of pillar bases, observed

“even if, for a moment, we assume” that the experts thought pillar bases in trenches G-2 and F-6 were created, “that will not be sufficient to belie and also cannot explain several other pillar bases found by ASI whereagainst no such complaint is there.” (Justice Aggarwal, para 3895)

Historians have chosen to orchestrate disproven – and rather dubious — allegations of two of their archaeologist co-signatories.  Dr. Supriya Verma and Dr. Jaya Menon alleged – on the basis of “close observation” – creation of pillar bases in trenches G2, ZF1, F3 and F6. On examining site records, the court found that the experts were not even  present at the site on the days pillar bases were discovered in these trenches. Dr. Supriya Verma admitted:

“I do not know as to when the trenches referred in para 3 of objections dated 7th June, 2003 were excavated, since I was not present at the time of excavation of above referred trenches”.[27]

Justice Aggarwal also noted a pattern: allegations about creation of pillar bases mostly related to trenches where GPR survey had reported anomalies and there was a likelihood of finding pillar bases.

“It can easily be appreciated that the mind of two experts instead (of) working for the assistance of the Court in finding a truth, tried to create a background alibi so that later on the same may be utilized to attack the very findings.”[28]

The experts did precisely that. [29]

Converting possession into ‘belief’

Historians have, rather mischievously, argued that the verdict offered “no proof” of antiquity of “Hindu belief” in Lord Ram’s birth-site being the disputed site.  The relevant issue, as framed by the court, was: “Have the Hindus been worshipping the placein dispute as Sri Ram Janam Bhumi or Janam Asthan and have been visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since times immemorial?”[30] This, obviously, was an issue of evidence, not belief per se.

Evidence on Ayodhya, and indeed Lord Ram’s birthplace, as a pilgrimage pre-dated Babar’s arrival in India. Such evidence included Sikh religious records on Guru Nanak visiting Ayodhya in 1510-11, bathing in Saryu river and having darshan of Lord Ram (i.e. Ram’s idol). [31] The tradition of pilgrimage, judges note, continued despite demolition of the temple and construction of a mosque at the site.

* Excavation of a 10th-12th structure with distinct temple features at the site and discovery of a ‘Vishnu Hari Temple’ inscription, authentically dated to that period, discovered at the site. [32]

* William Finch, in India from 1608-11, mentions reverence for Lord Ram’s birthplace in ruins of his ‘castle and houses’,  presence of Brahmins and practices associated with major Hindu pilgrimages: Brahmins recording names of visitors who bathe in river Saryu. This custom, Finch records, was said to be continuing for four lac years.[33] (Finch, judges note, makes no mention of mosque)

* Austrian Jesuit priest Joseph Tieffenthaler, sometime during 1766-71, observed Hindus worshiping at the ‘three-domed Mohamadden temple".

“On the left is seen a square chest, raised, five inches from the ground covered with lime… The Hindoos call it Bedi, the cradle; and the reason is, that there formerly stood here thehouse in which Beshan (Vishnoo) was born in the form of Ram …They still pay a superstitious reverence to both these places; namely, to that on which the natal dwelling of Ram stood, by going three times round it, prostrate on the earth.”[34] (This account, Justice Aggarwal notes, is the earliest mention of a mosque at the site)

*Tiefenthaler also wrote:

“On the 24th of the month Tshet (Choitru), a large concourse of people celebrate here the birth-day of Ram, so famous throughout India.”

*Gazetteer of India — published in 1854, republished in 1858 – says: a ‘quadrangular coffer of stone’, pointed out as “the cradle in which Ram was born” is “accordingly abundantly honoured by the pilgrimages and devotions of the Hindoos.”[35]

* P. Carnegy, Commissioner, Oudh, wrote: “Hindus and Mahomedans alike used to worship in the mosque-temple” upto 1855 when violent clashes occurred. British rule put up a railing “within which in the mosque the Mahomedans pray, while outside the fence the Hindus have raised a platform on which they make their offerings”, Carnegy wrote in his report in 1870. [36] (This is the earliest reference cited by Muslim parties on namaz being offered at the site, Justice Aggarwal notes.)

*Disregarding the Iron-grilled partition put up in 1856-57, Hindus and Sikhs installed the ‘nishan’ of Lord Ram and were performing puja inside the mosque, Mohammad Asgar, alleged keeper of the mosque, said in his complaint dated 30th November, 1858. The complainant wanted the ‘nishan’ and those praying inside the mosque to be removed. Judges note that there is no evidence of any eviction having taken place. [37]

*From 1856 to 1934 too there is evidence of Hindus worshipping in the inner courtyard. Further, there is “no evidence on record” suggesting any restriction on praying inside the building. “It was the admitted case of Muslim parties and their witnesses that the doors of the iron grilled dividing wall were never locked until December 22, 1949”, Justice Aggarwal observed.[38]  Interestingly whereas Justice Aggarwal observed that from 1855 till 1934 there is “no evidence whatsoever that Namaz was actually offered in the inner courtyard”, Justice Khan concluded that “till 1934 Muslims were offering regular prayers”.

* Post-1934 riots till 1949, Hindus were worshiping in the inner courtyard on a regular basis, Muslims were offering namaz “only on Fridays”, Justices Sudhir Aggarwal and S.U. Khan inferred. [39]

Yet, historians claim that the verdict offers ‘no proof’ of antiquity of Hindu ‘belief’! Lest the word ‘proof’ cause any confusion, the verdict cites Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, which says:

"A fact is said to be proved when, after considering the matters before it the Court either believes to exist or considers its existence so probable that a prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition with its existence." (emphasis ours)

Evidence cited by the verdict, as is obvious to any prudent person, more than adequately measures up to legal test.

Flawed assumptions about law

Marxist Historians then proceed into the legal terrain on erroneous assumptions about the facts of the verdict as also law. They voice concern that “such belief” was “converted” into an argument for property entitlement.  Firstly, the court did not go merely by “belief”; it went by evidence of possession/use of place for worship. Secondly, it did not go by evidence of possession by Hindus alone, but by both communities. Thirdly, possession is an eminently valid legal argument in a suit for title. The bench unanimously inferred that none of the litigants could prove their title, the property was ‘nazul’, i.e. government property, and, since the state did not stake its claim the court went by well established principle, ‘possession follows title’. Justices Sudhir Aggarwal and S.U.Khan’s majority verdict – on evidence of possession – ordered a three-way division.  Outer courtyard was undisputedly in possession of Nirmohi Akhara; in the inner courtyard, including the building, Hindus and Muslims had been praying. The court’s order that the area worshiped as Lord Ram’s birth-site[40] under the central dome be included in the 1/3rdshare of Hindus is consistent with Supreme Court verdict which held:

"Places of worship of any religion having particular significance for the religion stand on a different footing and have to be treated differently and more reverentially".[41]

Incidentally, the Supreme Court judgment – delivered on an appeal in connection with this very case – was relied upon by all the three judges.  One is at a loss to figure out which aspect of three-way division is contrary to evidence, law or “secular values”.

Historians’ allegation that the verdict — which is on a civil suit — gave “legitimation” to demolition of  Babri Mosque in 1992 and did not affix liability for the demolition is wide off the mark for that was beyond the scope of the civil suit.

Let’s also briefly look at the larger picture from the standpoint of “Hindu values”, wherein, desecration or demolition of places of worship is abhorred. It can well be argued that the judges unanimously held that Babri Mosque was built over temple(s) with two judges categorically ruling that a Hindu temple had been demolished to build the mosque. The bench also unanimously held that Hindus have been continuously praying at the site. The judges who inferred that Muslims too prayed at the site observed that they did so intermittently. Pro-temple lawyers argued that the Hindu temple was usurped by Muslims and used for prayers on the strength of Mughal/British rule. From the standpoint of equity – and secular respect for all communities right to their places of worship – the inference should be obvious. A speculation: What if the Supreme Court decides that the site legitimately belongs to the Hindus? Would that, then, be a blow to “secular values”? Or a recognition of rights of all religions to their places of worship consistent with secular values?

(To be continued)

[1] Joint statement by 45-odd intellectuals including historians Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, D.N.Jha, K.N. Panikkar K.M. Shrimaliand Arjun Dev, published in several newspapers.
[2] Justices Sudhir Aggarwal and Dharam Veer Sharma inferred that a Hindu temple was demolished to build Babri Mosque, Justice S.U.Khan inferred that the structure beneath the mosque was a temple, but could “also” be a Buddhist temple and that this structure was not demolished.
[3] D.N.Jha, Suraj Bhan, R.S.Sharma and Athar Ali’s  booklet, ‘A Historians Report to the Nation’ in 1991was, as the verdict records, “heavily relied upon” by Muslim parties. The authors claimed: “1. No evidence exists in the texts that before the 16thcentury (and indeed before the 18th century), any veneration attached to any spot in Ayodhya for being the birth-site of Rama. 2.There are no grounds for supposing that a Rama temple, or any temple, existed at the site where Baburi Masjid was built in 1528-29.”
[4] The critics who deposed before the court are: historians Suvira Jaiswal and Shireen Moosvi and arhcaeologists Prof. Suraj Bhan, Prof. D.Mandal, Dr. Supriya Verma, Dr. Jaya Menon, Dr. R.C.Thakran, Dr. Ashok Dutta and Dr. Sita Ram Rao.
[5] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3960
[6] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3969.
[7]  Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3968
[8] Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s verdict Pg 82-83
[9] Supreme Court verdict in Mohd. Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar AIR 1958 cited in Justice Sharma’s verdict on Pg 82-83
[10] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3969-70
[11] Jagat Bhai Punja Bhai Palkhiwala & Ors. v. Vikram Bhai Punja Bhai Palkhiwala & Ors, Gujarat, 1985.
[12] Justice Sharma’s verdict, Page 50;
[13] Animal sacrifice in temples on Diwali continues to be  reported from Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tripura. During four-day celebrations, cattle, goat and sheep are sacrificed in temples amidst singing of mantras in Ani and Nirmand (Kullu district), Shillai (Sirmaur) and Chopal (Shimla) district in Himachal Pradesh where this festival, interestingly, commences on the dark ‘Amavasya’ night, a month after Diwali in the rest of India; news of Ram’s return to Ayodhya, according to folklore, reached here later (Deccan Herald, December 4, 2011) .  Animal sacrifice in connection with Diwali continues in Udaipur in South Tripura, where buffaloes, goats and pigeons are sacrificed at night in the presence of thousands of devotees at Tripura Sundari Temple (Hindustan Times, Oct 17, 2009), this practice continues in Kartarpur near Jaipur, Rajasthan (The Hindu, Nov 1, 2010). Sacrifice of animals in temples and public places during ‘Ayudha Puja’ continued till recently in Karnataka, where it was banned in 2007 (The Hindu,Oct 19, 2007)
[14] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3991, 4.5 and also in Annexure 3, Pg 56
[15] "Town planning,building and building materials" by H.C.Bhardwaj, cited in Justice Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3991, X-XV
[16] Perspectives in Social and Economic History of Early India by R S Sharma, Pg 181, cited in Justice Aggarwal’s verdict,  Para 3991, IX
[17] Prof. D. Mandal deposed: “I agree with the observation of Prof. H.C. Bharadwaj at page 73 of his article that gypsum mortar/plaster was used in the Harappan period. I agree with the observation in the latter part of this para that gypsum was used as mortar in the Kalibangan period also. . . . Lime mortar was definitely used from Neolithic period." (Justice Aggarwal, Para 3799)
[18] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3799
[19] Justice Aggarwal’s verdict, para 3986
[20] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3983
[21] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3799-b
[22] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3719
[23] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3737
[24] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3738.
[25] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3959
[26] Of these four pillar bases, according to Justice Aggarwal’s verdict, three were in trench F-6 and one in trench G-2.
[27] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3715
[28] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 3990
[29] Dr. Supriya Verma and Dr. Jaya Menon, writing in EPW Dec. 11, 201, implied that they were present at the site when they claimed to have made close observation but did not sign the register. However, Dr. Supriya Verma, has deposed that she was “not present” at the site when pillar bases were excavated. The experts have also erroneously claimed that Justice Aggarwal upheld their allegations about creation of pillar base in trench F6 whereas the judge clearly said “we are not agreeable to the allegation”, but “even if, for a moment, we assume….”.
[30] Issue No. 14, OOS 4 of 1989
[31] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 4384
[32] The inscription was deciphered by Epigraphist Dr. K.V. Ramesh, whose expertise was accepted by rival parties. Justice Sharma saw the inscription as evidence of Ram temple at the site; Justice Aggarwal said the inscription, though authentic, “by itself” was not conclusive evidence that such a temple existed at the site itself. For, the inscription had been found among the debris on Dec 6/7, 1992.
[33] Finch wrote: “Heere are also the ruines of Ranichand [S] castle and houses, which the Indians acknowled[g]e for the great God, saying that he tooke flesh upon him to see the Tamasha of the World. In these ruines remayne certaine Bramenes, who record the names of all such Indians as wash themselves in the river running thereby, which custome, they say hath continued foure lackes of yeeres”
[34] Justice Sharma’s verdict, Pg 55-56
[35]  Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 4224
[36] Justice Sudhir Aggarwal’s verdict, Para 4258
[37] The context is spelt out in a letter by a local thanedar to his superiors on October 28, 1858: “Today Mr. Nihang Singh Faqir Khalsa resident of Punjab, organised Hawan and Puja of Guru Govind Singh and erected a symbol of Sri Bhagwan, within the premises of the Masjid. At the time of pitching the symbol, 25 sikhs were posted there for security.” (para 2961-62)
[38] Justice Aggarwal, para 1903
[39] Justice S.U.Khan’s verdict, Pg 231
[40] Justices Aggarwal and Sharma held that on the portion of the site believed and worshipped as Lord Ram’s birth place since time immemorial stood the central dome of the mosque, Justice Khan held that it was so worshipped only since recent times.
[41] Dr. M. Ismail Farooqi Vs. Union of India, SC 1994

Readers are also directed to the following articles for more on the machinations of Marxist historengineers:

  1. How Allabahad HC exposed ‘experts’ espousing Masjid cause[4]
  2. Ayodhya: Why are some historians angry?[5]
  3. Eminent historians displeased with the Ayodhya verdict[6]
  4. IMAGINED HISTORIES – The court watched a parade of the good, the bad and the ugly[7][8]

[1] ^

[2] ^!/ramannanda

[3] ^

[4] ^

[5] ^

[6] ^

[7] ^

[8] ^

Meera Nanda Continues with her Ignorant Rants

In response to Meera Nanda’s polemics on OpenMag seeking to mendaciously decouple yoga from Hinduism[1], Swaminathan Venkataraman of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF)[2] gave a very fitting reply[3] decimating her ignorant assertions. In response to Venkataraman’s rebuttal, Nanda retorted with a characteristically arrogant and haughty piece[4] which yet again but not very surprisingly was bereft of any veracity to back her aforementioned attempts. In fact the sanctimonious and intemperate tone of Nanda’s piece coupled with a near complete lack of any pedantic references, provides a nice insight into what really drives her. In her latest diatribe, if we discount the quotes she provides from Koenraad Elst and David Gordon White[5], all that remains are ignorant rants, consummate red herrings, and of course an ample offering of uninhibited bile regurgitated upon HAF.

Venkataraman’s article[3] however provides very specific references from the haThayoga pradIpikA, shiva saMhitA, gheraNDa saMhita, maitrAyaNIya upaniShad, shrItattvanidhi to conclusively demolish Nanda’s assertions in her previous rant filled article[1], as well as their continuation in her latest piece[4]. He provides statements from both Singleton and Sjoman (Nanda’s own sources from her previous piece[1]) that actually go against her position.  Venkataraman mentions svAmI YogeshvarAnanda‘s book in 1970 titled “First Steps to Higher yoga” containing 264 Asanas. He also mentions other non-kR^iSNAmAchArya yoga traditions, dance poses of shiva, as well as the Indian government’s move to compile a digital database of yogAsanas[6] that has thus far resulted in documentation of 1,300 Asanas with the cooperation of nine traditional yoga institutions. All of which decisively demolish Nanda’s ignorant rants. Readers are directed to Venkataraman’s article[3] for more.

While Venkataraman’s article is very restrained and erudite, Nanda chooses to write in anger and throws dung at HAF even after her assertions have been decisively decimated. Many people have previously pointed Nanda to a well researched article[7] by Sarvesh Tiwari that provide historical evidence for yogAsana being a Hindu dhArmika tradition. Evidence that goes against what Koenraad Elst says in the quote Nanda has provided. Not to mention debunking Nanda’s pontifications. In fact Sarvesh himself has challenged Nanda for an open debate[8]. Which to my knowledge has gone unanswered.

Both Sarvesh’s and Venkataraman’s articles provide incontrovertible evidence that go against Elst’s assertion on this particular issue, which Nanda has gleefully quoted. Yet Nanda conveniently chooses to ignore any such evidence and  continues with her ignorant rants. Not to mention throwing hate-filled innuendos and verbal vomit at HAF in particular and Hinduism in general.

In a paper by Nanda some years back, she said,[9]

The more prominence Hinduism gets abroad, even for wrong reasons like the new age and paganism, the more prestige it gains in India.

This quote provides a very clear insight into the motivation behind the ignorant, hate-filled rants in her sorry attempts to mendaciously decouple yoga (or yogAsana to be more specific) from Hinduism. Which presumably she, back then, perhaps in an attempt at derision, referred to as “the new age and paganism”. Make no mistake, if instead of yoga another school from Hinduism say pUrva mImAMsA had been this popular, the same idiotic arguments and perfidious polemics would have been used by Meera Nanda and her bedfellows to try and decouple pUrva mImAMsA from Hinduism.

In response to the aforementioned quote by Nanda, this is what the very Koenraad Elst that she now quotes, had to say[10]. Emphasis added.

Here, she really lays her cards on the table.  It is very good that, unlike many other "secularists", she does not try to be clever and claim to speak for "true Hinduism" against a "distorted Hinduism" of the Hindu revivalists. Instead, she clearly targets Hinduism itself, deploring any development which might make Hinduism "gain prestige".  Let us see if I can translate that correctly: wanting something or someone to suffer rather than to prosper is what we call "hate". She hates Hinduism, and her academic work is written in the service of that hate.

Notwithstanding Meera Nanda’s apparent deep hatred for Hinduism and the resultant mendacious rants, she would do well to learn from this saMskR^ita gem, “alpa vidyA bhaya~NkarI”. Or, its English equivalent, to quote Alexander Pope, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. What is really amazing however, is that in spite of her articles having been dissected and deconstructed multiple times and her assertions conclusively disproved and decimated[3][10][11][12][13], she still has the audacity to keep regurgitating with her characteristically arrogant haughtiness. A result perhaps of her ideological moorings[12] or her ignorance. Or perhaps it is a combination of both.

Truly, the following text from the vAlmIki rAmAyaNa, ayodhyAkANDa, is befitting to Meera Nanda.

बालाः पण्डित मानिनः

bAlAH paNDita mAninaH

(ignorant considering himself/herself to be learned)


Swaminathan Venkataraman makes a second reply[14] to Meera Nanda, whom he rightly calls a “self-appointed pseudo-scholar” and aptly takes to task for her browbeating and ranting after her mendacious polemics being decisively decimated by the veracious references in his previous piece.

[1] ^a ^b ^c

[2] ^

[3] ^a ^b ^c ^d

[4] ^a ^b

[5] ^ White’s quote being a total non-sequitur to her mendacious thesis of yoga largely being un-Hindu

[6] ^

[7] ^

[8] ^

[9] ^ Dharmic ecology and the neo-Pagan international: the dangers of religious environmentalism in India", presented at panel no. 15 at the 18th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, 6-9 July 2004

[10] ^a ^b

[11] ^

[12] ^a ^b

[13] ^

[14] ^

[15] Given Sarvesh’s erudite, well researched article and the references that Venkataraman provides in his article, I won’t dwell on historical and scriptural evidence for yoga’s (and/or yogAsana’s) relationship with and undeniable inseparability from what is now known as Hinduism, in this post. Readers are directed to their articles.