Ayodhya and the mass persecution of Hindus

Rohini Verma

Ayodhya,  situated on the   banks of Saryu river,  is one of the most important holy cities for the Hindus.

The other holiest places of the Hindus are Mathura, Haridwar,   Kashi, Kanchi, and Ujjain. These holy cities are believed to be the places that assure the   visitors Moksha or Nirvana. The difference between Ayodhya and other places is that the   Hindus are forbidden from worshipping at the Ram Janam Bhoomi. The disputed site   has been contentious for over a hundred years now.

Maryada Purushottam

Belief in the Hinduism and feeling of strong nationalism have always complemented   each other. The message of Hinduism and life of Lord Rama is nonviolence, patience   and compassion for all living beings. Shri Ram is the seventh avtaar (incarnation) of   Lord Vishnu. Shri Ram is called Maryada Purushottam i.e. an ideal person.

Findings of the excavations

In 1975-80, the Archaeological Survey of India, under the leadership of Prof B. B. Lal,   took up extensive excavations, in different parts of India. The aim of these excavations   was to establish the various sites mentioned in Ramayan. Similar excavations were   undertaken in Ayodhya, including in two places around the Babri structure. The team   established that the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi site was occupied prior to 7th century BC.   There is enough proof of destruction of a mandir in honour of Shri Ram at Ayodhya in   1528. Two pits were dug near the Babri structure. This led to the discovery of bases of   pillars of the destroyed temple. These were aligned in the same direction. The pillars   had distinctive Hindu carvings of the 12th century period. Even the Muslim records   attest to the fact of the destruction. Archaeological excavations by the Archaeological   Survey of India in and around the disputed site in 1970, 1992 and 2003 have indicated a   large ancient complex existed prior to the Babri structure. Another important evidence   is the land revenue records maintained by the British, that have identified the site as   Janmasthan of Lord Ram.

Destruction of temples: “a Ghazi he became”

The Islamic invaders, all over the world, destroyed the indigenous places of worship.   India also faced these barbaric attacks in which thousands of temples were demolished   and thousands of Hindus were killed. When Babur invaded India, he also had religious   ambitions which are clearly shown in his diary called Babur Nama. He says:  “For Islam’s sake, I wandered in the wilds,  Prepared for war with Pagans and Hindus,  Resolved myself to meet the martyr’s death,  Thanks be to God! a Ghazi I became.”  The fact that the Babri structure was named after Babur also points out to the role of   this Islamic invader in the destruction of the temple in 1528. In 1528, the Babri Mosque   was constructed by Babur’s general, Mir Baqi on the orders of Babur after the   demolition of the Ram Mandir. At that time the janambhoomi was controlled by   mahatama Shyamanand.

Cheating the Hindu Guru Mahatama Shyamanand

Mahatama Shyamanand was so famous among masses that even Muslim saints like   Kajal Abbas Musa came to him for learning religion and philosophy. Another Muslim   Faqir Jalal Shah came to mahatama for getting his teachings. But he was a fanatic who   cheated his Hindu Guru and convinced Kajal Abbas Musa that the Ram mandir should   be demolished. Demolition of this temple would have established strong roots of Islam   in India. Both of them first won confidence of Babur. They forcibly started burying dead   Muslims around the Ram janam bhoomi. Finally they got consent of Mir Baqi to   demolish the temple. Mahatama Shyamanand was deeply upset and he immersed idols   of Lord Ram in the Saryu river and went to Himalayas for meditation.

Killings of Pujaris

Four Hindu Pujaris who tried to save the temple were beheaded. A Hindu king Raja   Mahtaab reached Ayodhya with a force of Ram Bhakats. But in the continous fight with   Mughals spreading over many days, all the innocent Hindu Ram Bhakats were killed in   count of Lakhs. After killing Hindus, canons were used to demolish the Ram mandir.   According to the renowned Historian, Cunnigham, almost 1.5 Lakh Hindus were killed   by forces of Mir Baqi. It believed that in place of water, blood of Hindus was used in the   construction of the Masjid.

Killing of ninety thousand Hindus

With in days, a devout Hindu Devideen Panday collected a force of Ram Bhakats and   attacked the masjid. People from far away villages came to take part in this battle of self   respect. Devideen Panday was hit by bricks by the body guard of Mir Baqi. Later Panday   killed the body guard who had hit him. But Mir Baqi attacked the wounded Devideen   Panday and killed him. Ninety thousand Hindus were killed in this battle.

King of Hanswar, Ranvijay Singh fought a battle with Mir Baqi with 25000 Hindus.   After a battle of 10 days, all 25000 Hindus perished in the war. Three thousand Hindu   brave women under the leadership of widow of Ranvijay Singh attacked the masjid. But   this time too the Mughal forces defeated Hindus.  Swami Balramchari formed a force of Hindus and attacked the masjid 20 times. Around   15 times he captured janambhoomi but this control lasted for little time. Due to   continued and long wars Swami Balramchari’s health started deteriorating and he died.

Formation of a small chabootra under reign of Akbar

Akbar formed a small temple/chabootra for worship at Janambhoomi. That was his   political policy to maintain a control over Hindus.

Massacre of Hindus by Aurangzeb

When Aurangzeb captured power, he attacked Ayodhya multiple times and demolished   many temples and idols. During his reign, in 1640, Baba Vaishnav Das fought a battle   against Mughal general Janbaj Khan. A separate force of sages and saints joined the   Hindu force and defeated the Mughal Force. This way, the temple made under the rule   of Akbar was protected.

In 1660, Aurangzeb sent another force under Sayyad Hasan Ali. He fought the combined   force of Hindus and Sikhs under the Guru Gobind Singh. Mughals were defeated and   the Mughal general was killed.

In 1664, Mughal forces again attacked and killed more than 10000 Hindus. Many   battles continued even after this battle. The chabootra or the temple destroyed by Aurangzeb was rebuilt.

In 1858

Hindu leader Baba Ramcharan Das tried to capture the janam bhoomi but he was hanged by the British. The tree on which he was hanged, was cut by the British so that it does not become a shrine for Hindus. Wherever Muslims demolished the Hindu structures, new Islamic buildings were made on the ruins of the   Hindu buildings to give a political message that the Hindus have been conquered by the   Muslims.

Proof of demolition in Babur Nama

In the English translation of the Persian Babur Nama, Annete Beveridge mentions   specifically the destruction of the temple. She says that Babur was impressed with the   dignity and sanctity of the ancient Hindu temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. As an   obedient follower of Mohammed, Babur regarded the substitution of the temple by a   mosque as a dutiful and worthy action. So demolition was done to spread Islam. The   Babri Masjid was a monument of the slavery and subjugation of the Hindus. When the   temple was demolished, its construction matter was used in building the mosque.

Demand of only the important sites

The Hindus are not asking for the thousands of the vandalised sites, but only the most   important to them.  Prior to 1947, there have been a total of 77 recorded attempts to   wrest the control of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi from the clutches of Islam. The first   recorded communal clashes over the site date back to 1853. In 1859 the colonial British   administration put a fence around the site, denominating separate areas of worship for   Hindus and Muslims. The Mahants were allowed to construct a raised platform in front   of the mosque – the chabootra – to commemorate the birthplace of Ram. A grill fence   was raised between the space of the mosque and that of the mandir.

Sacrifice of a cow and appearance of idols of Shri Ram

In 1934, clashes occurred on Id-ul Zuha day, when, following the sacrifice of a cow, the   Bairagis of Hanuman Garhi took over the mosque and destroyed two of the domes. But   any further action was stopped by government forces.

In December 1949, the idols of   Shri Ram and Sita appeared in the Babri structure. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru   ordered that the idols be removed, but the court restrained the order and allowed the   puja to continue.

In 1986 a district judge ordered the gates of the mosque to be opened   after almost five decades and allowed Hindus to worship inside the disputed structure.   The Court declined the removal of the idols and prohibited Muslims within 200 feet of   the idols. In February 1986, on court orders the locks at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi   were removed. In effect, the mosque was shut down.

During the prime ministership of V   P Singh, Chandrashekar, and Narsimha Rao great efforts were made to recover the   complete site. But all the Prime ministers lacked the political will to do so due to vote   bank politics. They would have lost the Muslim votes if they had taken any pro-Hindu   step. The practice of secularism in this country means that Hindu sentiments are not to   be considered.

Movement for temple

The movement for temple was launched in 1984 by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to   reclaim the site for Hindus by erecting a temple dedicated to the infant Rama   (Ramlalla), at this spot. The former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had said   that the construction of a temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi is an expression of the   national sentiment. The site belongs to the Hindus. The Babri structure that stood there   cannot be considered to be a place of worship. It was a political monument to remind   the Hindus that they were slaves. The Hindus have made many sincere efforts to find a   peaceful solution to the problem, through negotiations.

What happened on December 6,   1992, was an expression of the Hindu frustration at being denied what legitimately   belongs to them.

Babri masjid was not a masjid as per Islamic law:  According to Islam, for a mosque to be declared as mosque, it is necessary that the five   daily prayers are offered on a place on a permanent basis. Records show that since the   mid-1930s, Muslims stopped offering namaz at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi site. This   argument points to the fact that it was a structure associated with Muslims but was not a   mosque as per Islamic law. At the same time, Hindu worship at Ram Chabootra and   Sita-ki-Rasoi, which existed within the Babri structure compound, has been   continuously going on from the late 16th century. Since December 1949, Hindus started   to offer pujas to Ram Lalla within the structure. This worship at the spot continues even   to this day, with the full sanction of the judiciary.

Role of Mulayam Singh in killing innocent Hindus:  The foundation stone of the temple was laid on November 10, 1989. In 1990, the then   BJP president Lal Krishna Advani took out a cross-country rathyatra to garner support   for the move to build a Ram temple at the site. Almost 200,000 villages sent bricks,   300,000 pujas of the Ram Shilas were performed and altogether about 100 million   people attended the various processions that carried the bricks to and from Ayodhya.    Prime Minister Chandrashekhar intervened and tried to negotiate with the various   groups but talks failed. So called secular forces had decided to stop the movement. The   then U.P. government used extreme force to stop the karsevaks. On Nov.2, 1990 the   Hindu karsevaks were brutally killed in the police firing. This killing of unarmed   innocent Hindus was done on the orders of the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh:   Mulayam Singh Yadav. The dead bodies of killed Hindus were thrown in Saryu river.   Hindus were dragged out of their homes and were killed.

The religious feelings took the   shape of a mass movement and the symbol of subjugation was brought to ground on   Dec. 6, 1992. It is to be noted that in the process of demolition, no Musliim was killed or   targeted. A very serious riot broke out in Bijnor in 1990. Curfew had to be imposed for   ten days. Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav gave a speech on October 9, in which he   promised to protect Muslims from any activities of Hindus. There were arrests of   karsevaks who were subsequently imprisoned in Bijnor.

On October 30, when the BBC   announced that the VHP had hoisted its flag on the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Hindu   victory processions marched in Bijnor. They were stoned by Muslims, leading to   widespread rioting. In all the cases of murders of Hindus, no Muslim was prosecuted.

Bombay Blasts and killings of Hindus

After the demolition of the masjid, there were Bombay blasts in 1993 to avenge the   demolition. The blasts took place in Hindu majority areas. In all the riots following the   demolition, Hindus were killed, their businesses and shops were burnt. No prosecution   was done of any Muslim. Mumbai witnessed two spells of rioting from December 6 to   12, 1992, and then from January 7 to 16, 1993. In Pakistan too, various temples were   demolished and minority Hindus were persecuted.

What is true secularism in India?

Whenever such incident happens in any country there is a mass killing or genocide of   one community by the majority community. On the other hand, the Hindus only   demolished the masjid that was illegally made. No Muslims were attacked or killed. It is   in India that secularism has turned in to being anti-Hindu. This is the country where   anybody is safe but the Hindus. The majority community has been targeted and hurt   time and again. Even when Hindu karsevaks did not kill any one, they were called   “Hindu Militias”.

Godhra carnage

In 2002, the VHP set March 15 as the deadline for construction of temple to begin.   Hundreds of volunteers converged on the site. On February 27, at least 58 people were   killed in Godhra, Gujarat, in an attack on a train carrying Hindu volunteers from   Ayodhya. These people were burnt alive by Muslims. Riots followed in the state and over   1000 people were reported to have died in these riots.

ASI’s report to the High Court

In 2003 the Archaeological Survey of India reported to the high court that its   excavations found distinctive features of a 10th century temple beneath the Babri   Mosque site. The Sunni Central Waqf Board termed the report as ‘vague and self-  contradictory’. The ASI report said there is sufficient proof of existence of a massive and   monumental structure having a minimum dimension of 50×30 metres in north-south   and east-west directions respectively just below the disputed structure.  In July 2005 Islamic militants attacked the disputed site, using a jeep laden with   explosives to blow a hole in the wall of the complex. Security forces killed 6 militants.  On 30 September 2010, Allahabad High Court ruled that the 2,400 square feet disputed   land in Ayodhya will be divided into three parts: the site of the Ramlala idol, Sunni Wakf   Board gets one third and Nirmohi Akhara gets Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara.

Structures like Babri masjid are the symbols of subjugation and no self respecting nation   can tolerate such a shame. There have been demolitions of more than 3,000 temples,   fraudulent or forceful conversion of crores of Hindus. This is the time that there should   be a magnificent Ram Mandir which is a right of Hindus. Thousands of temples have   been broken by Muslims all across India, which are not demanded by Hindus. But the   birth place of Lord Ram is the right of Hindus. If Mecca and Madina can not be taken   from Muslims, if the Vatican can not be denied to Christians, then why Ayodhya is   denied to the Hindus?



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