October 2, 2010 4:34:36 am
Questioning the verdict of the Allahabad High Court on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits,a group of left-leaning intellectuals on Friday said the judgment was yet another blow to the secular fabric of the country and the repute of our judiciary.
The scholars,including Romila Thapar,K M Shrimali,K N Pannikar,Irfan Habib,Utsa Patnaik and C P Chandrasekhar,said in a statement through the platform of Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) that the verdict had raised serious concerns because of the way history,reason and secular values had been treated in it.
The view that the Babri Masjid was built at the site of a Hindu temple,which has been maintained by two of the three judges,takes no account of all the evidence contrary to this fact turned up by the Archaeological Survey of Indias own excavations the presence of animal bones throughout as well as the use of surkhi and lime mortar (all characteristic of Muslim presence) rule out the possibility of a Hindu temple having been there beneath the mosque, the statement noted.
The ASIs controversial report which claimed otherwise on the basis of pillar bases was manifestly fraudulent in its assertions since no pillars were found and the alleged existence of pillar bases has been debated by archaeologist. It is now imperative that the site notebooks,artefacts and other material evidence relating to the ASIs excavation be made available for scrutiny by scholars,historians and archaeologists, it said.
The scholars said the judgment had legitimised violence and muscle power and recognised the forcible break-in of 1949 through which the idols were placed under the mosque dome.
The statement accepts the destruction of the mosque in 1992 as an act whose consequences are to be accepted,by transferring the main parts of the mosque to those clamouring for a temple to be built.
For all these reasons we cannot but see the judgment as yet another blow to the secular fabric of our country and the repute of our judiciary. Whatever happens next in the case cannot,unfortunately,make good what the country has lost, the statement said.