Communal killings have become an integral feature of the Indian scene. Over one hundred lives have been lost in last week’s Hindu Muslim riots in Meerut and Delhi. The situation continues to be tense even as army, police and paramilitary troops are maintaining a constant vigil in the curfew bound and other sensitive areas. Meanwhile, the government controlled media is blaming the Muslims for attacking Hindus. Through television, radio and newspapers, the impression is being created that Hindus are being targeted everywhere. At some places Muslims are supposed to be killing Hindus while at other places Sikhs are supposed of be killing the “poor” Hindus. Curiously when the dead are counted, whenever government permits such a count, the number of Muslim and Sikh victims invariably turns out to be far larger than the Hindus.

Hindus constitute 82 percent of India’s population. Muslims account for 11 percent and Sikhs barely two percent. Yet it is the 82 percent Hindus who are projected to be the besieged community, suffering at the hands of “overambitious”, “antinational” and “violent” minorities. The Muslims and the Sikhs are particularly painted as foreign inspired villains, conspiring to bring about India’s disintegration. Hindu rulers of India treat every Muslim and every Sikh as a suspect. The pretense of secularism ‘stands dissolved in open hostility towards non Hindus. History is being distorted and facts are being twisted to resurrect in the twentieth century the long lost glory of Hindu Rashtra.

The decision to convert Babari Masjid into a Hindu temple was prompted by communal rather than legal or historical reasons. There is indisputable evidence to prove that the Janamasthan temple is situated nearly one quarter mile away from the Babari Masjid and Babar donated land and money to this as well as to four other Hindu temples. Mr. Fuhrere A.A., Director General of Archaeological Survey of India, recorded this fact as far back as 1891. In his book Monumental Antiquities and Inscriptions of North West Provinces and Oudh (page 297), he records that “about one quarter of a mile distant from Lakshmanghat in the very heart of the city stands the Janamasthan or birth place of Rama”. This Janamasthan temple is still standing there towards north of the Babari masjid. Mr. Radhay Shyam Shukla, a Hindu historian, mentions in his book Sachitar Parmanik Itihas of Shri Ramjanambhumi that “Babar donated 500 big has of land to Acharya Shatrughan of Dant Dhawan Kund, Ayodhaya”. The documents showing this donation are still available with the Kind.

But the fanatic Hindus, with the help of brute majority and State patronage want to convert the Babari Masjid into a Hindu temple, while century old evidence unambiguously shows that the real birth place of Rama is a quarter mile away from the masjid. Even otherwise prolonged possession over a piece of land or property stretching beyond a certain number of years gives proprietary rights to the one who holds the possession whether one actually owns it or not. If for argument sake, it were accepted that Babari masjid was once a Hindu temple, the fact that it has been in the possession of Muslims for nearly 500 years gives proprietary rights to the Muslims and no fair judge can ignore this legal convention.

By handing over the Masjid to Hindus, the judge, while ignoring the overwhelming evidence and legal conventions has created an explosive situation and seriously jeopardized the independence of the judiciary. No minority can feel secure in such a climate especially where the majority community refuses to shed its congenital intolerance of other religions. India is fast heading towards Balkanization not because Muslims and Sikhs so desire it but because Hindus are not willing to let them live with dignity and freedom.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 29, 1987