“The material unearthed included pillars with engravings on them and an outlet for water in the form of a crocodile mouth” – Dr. R. Nagaswamy

Sri Ram LallaThe stone artefacts found on the Babri Masjid site are the most important evidence produced in this  Ayodhya land title dispute. They are real hard evidence that the court can take cognizance of and rule on, and the court has done so with alacrity. Over the decades Marxist intellectuals like Irfan Habib have worked hard to discredit the ASI’s archaeological findings at Ayodhya, using the Marxist platform of Frontline magazine and other popular media. Habib claimed the artifacts found in Ayodhya were planted by the kar sevaks, when in fact there is photographic evidence published in India Today in the Dec. 31, 1992 issue of the kar sevaks finding some of the evidence at the Babri Masjid site and bring it into public view. Secular  intellectuals like Habib and his ilk make their living telling lies, as has been graphically pointed out by Arun Shourie in his book Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud, and in this fractured judgment of the Allahabad High Court it is a great victory for truth and fair-mindedness that the three judges agreed on the fact of the archaeological evidence and accepted it in their ruling. – Ishwar Sharan

Dr. R. Nagaswamy“Artefacts pointed to a sacred site,” says Dr. Nagaswamy

Artefacts found by archaeological excavations at the disputed site in Ayodhya proved that it had been a sacred place and not merely a human habitation, according to archaeologist R Nagaswamy. He had given expert advice to the Allahabad high court’s Lucknow bench that heard the title suits in the Ayodhya case. The oldest structure for which evidence was dug up belonged to the 3rd century BC, said Nagaswamy, former director of archaeology in Tamil Nadu.

“The excavations done by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) brought to light several carved stones that indicated the presence of a sacred place. Some of the material unearthed included pillars with engravings on them, an outlet for water in the form of a crocodile mouth,” he said.

While the ASI carried out excavations on the HC’s orders in 2003, Nagaswamy presented a report to the court, explaining in detail the artefacts unearthed by the ASI. “The artefacts proved that they belonged to a sacred place and not just any human habitation. The existence of a shrine was one of the crucial pieces of evidence presented to the judges,” Nagaswamy said.

Showing an array of photographs of various artefacts, the expert said the excavations were carried out to a depth of 50 to 60 feet below the surface. “The ASI found several layers of artefacts belonging to different periods and there was evidence of a massive stone religious structure belonging to the 10th century AD,” Nagaswamy said.

The ASI carried out two types of excavation. The first was an electro-magnetic survey without any digging, and later, it carried out site excavation in the presence of the parties to the case. “The time given by the court to the ASI was only three months, and within that time, it came out with some important findings,” he said. “The judges asked me to explain as to how I arrived at the conclusions on various artefacts and I gave them all the details and explained my conclusions to them,” he said.

Among the pieces of structural evidence that the ASI found were an ‘amalaka’, a stone disk-like piece normally found in N Indian shrines, and some terracotta figures showing human busts adorned with jewellery. –  B. Sivakumar, Times of India, Chennai, October 2, 2010

Justice Sudhir Agarwal“No loopholes in ASI evidence” says Justice Sudhir Agarwal

“In our view, the conclusion drawn by the ASI in the project accomplished within an extra-ordinary brief period and with such an excellence precision and perfection deserve commendation and appreciation instead of condemnation.” — Justice Sudhir Agarwal.

Though criticized by a section of historians, the Archaeological Survey of India’s 2003 excavation report has been critical in allowing the Allahabad high court in reaching a verdict that years of negotiations and entrenched politiking had not yielded.

The ASI view that evidence pointed to the existence of a temple, forms the key material evidence relied upon by the court. Perhaps keeping in mind the criticism of ASI’s findings, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice D V Sharma in their comments have countered allegations of the report being influenced by powers that be.

They emphasized that the court controlled excavation was transparent. The charge that the finding of a huge structure preexisting the Babri Masjid, was “managed” has been addressed in detail. It had been alleged that the report was “biased and imagined” and failed to faithfully reproduce the actual findings.

But the judges have decisively recalled the facts of the case. While Justice Agarwal pointed out how representatives and lawyers of each party in the suit were permitted to shadow ASI officials during the actual excavations, Justice Sharma highlighted how “even Muslim members have also signed the report of ASI.”

“The court has taken full care and issued specific directions to maintain transparency. Two judicial officers remained posted there. The excavation was conducted in the presence of the parties, lawyers and their nominees. Nobody can raise a finger about the propriety of the report on the ground of bias,” Justice Sharma observed, rejecting pleas that the report be discarded.

Dr. R. Nagaswamy with Ayodhya Hindu artefact photo.The court said that the ASI report contains all the details including details of stratigraphy, artifacts, periodisation as well as details of structures and walls. The pillar bases mentioned in the report establishes beyond all doubt the existence of a huge structure.

In addition to above, existence of circular shrine, stone slabs in walls with Hindu motifs and more particularly sign of Makar Pranal in wall No. 5 (wall of disputed structure), divine couple and other temple materials, etc. conclusively proves the existence of a Hindu religious structure, the judges have argued.

Another grievance related to ASI allegedly ignoring key evidence thrown up in the form of bones of animals found from the sites. This, it was argued, disproved that the structure below was a Hindu one since animals couldn’t have been killed there. But the judges countered by relying on a host of ancient literary Hindu texts sanctioning animal sacrifice.

“It is a well known fact that in certain Hindu temples animal sacrifices are made and flesh is eaten as Prasad while bones are deposited below the floor at the site itself,” Justice Agarwal noted, upholding the ASI findings that a Nagara style northern Indian temple existed prior to the disputed structure. HC was also surprised to note the “zeal” in some of the archaeologists and historians appearing as witnesses on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board who made statements much beyond reliefs demanded by the Waqf. – Abhinav Garg, Times of India, Mumbai, October 2, 2010 

See also

  1. Fundamentals of Sri Ram Temple – Subramanian Swamy

  2. Division will escalate dispute – S. Gurumurthy

  3. ASI report was crucial to judges’ deliberations – S. Gurumurthy

  4. Verdict–a prologue – Gurumurthy

2 Responses

  1. […] “The material unearthed included pillars with engravings on them and an outlet for water in the fo… […]


  2. Times of India, Mumbai, Oct 9, 2010, 03.07am IST
    How Allahabad HC exposed ‘experts’ espousing Masjid cause -Abhinav Garg,

    NEW DELHI: The role played by “independent experts” — historians and archaeologists who appeared on behalf of the Waqf Board to support its claim — has come in for criticism by one of the Allahabad High Court judges in the Ayodhya verdict.

    While the special bench of three judges unanimously dismissed objections raised by the experts to the presence of a temple, it was Justice Sudhir Agarwal who put their claims to extended judicial scrutiny.

    Most of these experts deposed twice. Before the ASI excavations, they said there was no temple beneath the mosque and, after the site had been dug up, they claimed what was unearthed was a mosque or a stupa. During lengthy cross-examination spread over several pages and recorded by Justice Agarwal, the historians and experts were subjected to pointed queries about their expertise, background and basis for their opinions.

    To the court’s astonishment, some who had written signed articles and issued pamphlets, found themselves withering under scrutiny and the judge said they were displaying an “ostrich-like attitude” to facts.

    He also pointed out how the independent witnesses were all connected — one had done a PhD under the other, another had contributed an article to a book penned by a witness.

    Some instances underlined by the judge are: Suvira Jaiswal deposed “whatever knowledge I gained with respect
    to disputed site is based on newspaper reports or what others told” (other experts). She said she prepared a report on the Babri dispute “after reading newspaper reports and on basis of discussions with medieval history expert in my department.” Supriya Verma, another expert who challenged the ASI excavations, had not
    read the ground penetration radar survey report that led the court to order an excavation. She did her PhD under another expert Shireen F Ratnagar.

    Verma and Jaya Menon alleged that pillar bases at the excavated site had been planted but HC found they were not present at the time the actual excavation took place.

    Archaeologist Shereen F Ratnagar has written the “introduction” to the book of another expert who deposed, Professor Mandal. She admitted she had no field experience.

    “Normally, courts do not make adverse comments on the deposition of a witness and suffice it to consider whether it is credible or not, but we find it difficult to resist ourselves in this particular case considering the sensitivity and nature of dispute and also the reckless and irresponsible kind of statements…” the judge has noted.

    He said opinions had been offered without making a proper investigation, research or study in the subject. The judge said he was “startled and puzzled” by contradictory statements. When expert witness Suraj Bhan deposed on the Babri mosque, the weight of his evidence was contradicted by anotherexpert for Muslim parties, Shirin Musavi, who told the court that Bhan “is an archaeologist and not an expert on medieval history”.

    Justice Agarwal referred to signed statements issued by experts and noted that “instead of helping in making a cordial atmosphere it tends to create more complications, conflict and controversy.” He pointed out that experts carry weight with public opinion. “One cannot say that though I had made a statement but I am not responsible for its authenticity since it is not based on my study or research but what I have learnt from what others have uttered,” Justice Aggarwal has said, emphasising the need for thorough original research before concurring with what someone else has claimed.

    Read more: How Allahabad HC exposed ‘experts’ espousing Masjid cause – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/How-HC-exposed-experts-espousing-Masjid-cause/articleshow/6716643.cms#ixzz11xsDnCDE


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