Social Scientist. v 22, no. 254-55 (July-Aug 1994) p. 42.


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42 SOCIAL SCIENTIST

adopts a more cautious and indirect way to convey its purport. However, it is more than clear that the Government of India agrees to the claims of the VHP. The mere fact that the government did not care to deny or contradict the claims in the BJP Paper that the Special Cell on Ayodhya formed by the government under Naresh Chandra, had arrived at the conclusion that the Babri mosque had been raised in Ayodhya after demolishing the Rama temple (See BJP Paper p. 70), clearly demonstrated that the Government of India had also come to believe that the case put up by the VHP was factually correct. The GOI Paper observed on page 12, Till 6th December 1992 this site was occupied by the structure erected in 1528 by Mir Baqi who claimed to have built it on the orders of the first Mughal Emperor Babar. This structure has been described in the old Government records as Masjid Janmasthan, it is now commonly referred to as the Ram Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid*. It is apparent that the GOI Paper had based its assumptions on the basis of the inscription, the writings of British scholars and administrators and the VHP. All contentions concerned with the alleged *Mir Baqi* are myths and cannot be supported by any historical evidence. The GOI Paper fails to tell us the exact time when the mosque in Ayodhya came to be called the Masjid Janmasthan in the old government records. The District Gazetteer of Faizabad states that in 1902 a local committee was formed and was entrusted the task of marking the places of religious significance in Ayodhya. Surprisingly, the committee chose to mark the Hindu places of worship by erecting stone-slabs against them. The area around the Rama chabutra and the east of the fence enclosing the Babri Masjid was marked as 'No: 1, Ramjanmabhoomi*.10 It is since that time that the area around the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya came to be marked as the 'Masjid Janmasthan' in the government survey and revenue records.

The BJP Paper is more forthright and clear in its statement on the construction of the mosque in Ayodhya. However the paper does accept that its assumption is based on the circulating local myth which it considers to be the belief of the majority. On page 30 the paper elucidates, Tt is the widely shared belief of Hindus that Mir Baqi established the mosque after demolishing the Temple of Shri Ram situated at the place of his birth known as the Ramajanmabhoomi*. This statement is further supported by another on page 64, Tt is very unscientific and unjust to label this belief of Ramjanmabhoomi as of recent origin. A vast mass of historical and archaeological evidence is there to prove that the Hindus have regarded it as the birth-place of Lord Rama for centuries'. The historical evidence that is quoted in the paper includes government records and other contemporary writings of the nineteenth century. (This according to the BJP Paper is ancient). Probably the BJP Paper realised the limitations of its historical evidence and therefore tried to dismiss the issue by insisting that these writings can be labelled as imperial and partisan (BJP Paper p.



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