"Arey Bhai, Masjid Hai Hi Kahaan?/अरे भाई मस्जिद है ही कहाँ?" by Arun Shourie
Shri Ram Janam Bhoomi at Holy City Ayodhya - Prayagraj Allahbad High Court Verdict
Kanchi Shankaracharya ji on Ayodhya and Muslims
"What the Islamic Invaders Did to India" by Rizwan Salim
"Ayodhya: Muslim Argument Examined" by Arun Shourie
By N.S. Rajaram
The disputed structure
For all the sound and fury in the media about Ayodhya, the historical question is surprisingly simple: was there or was there not a Hindu temple at the spot known as Ram Janmabhumi that was destroyed to build a mosque? The answer is also equally simple — 'yes'. There are two parts to the question: was there a Hindu temple, and was it destroyed and a mosque known as Babri Masjid built in its place. Again the answer is — 'yes' to both questions. It is as simple as that.
This is what I shall try and make clear in this section, by presenting the latest and the bare minimum amount of details necessary. A great deal has been written about all this, most of which is unnecessary while some of it is meant intentionally to confuse. The reader will see that when properly presented, there is little room for confusion.
There are basically two sources for studying the history: literary sources and the archaeological record. Following the demolition on December 6, 1992, a great deal of archeological and historical information has come to light. Thus, much of the published material, as well as the controversy about previous temples at the site has been rendered moot by new discoveries following the demolition. What is presented here is a summary of the latest evidence — literary as well as archaeological.
The latest (fifteenth) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, in its article on Ayodhya tells us:
Rama's birthplace is marked by a mosque, erected by the Moghul emperor Babur in 1528 on the site of an earlier temple. (Article on Ayodhya, Encyclopaedia Britannica volume 1, 1985: Fifteenth Edition.)
The Britannica, though generally regarded as an authoritative reference work is not a primary source. When we turn to the primary sources, the material available on the topic is so voluminous that one despairs of ever obtaining a simple, easily comprehensible account. One recent author (Harsh Narain, below) cites more than a hundred and thirty references in English, French, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian and Arabic. And I have identified several not found in his work. So the problem one is faced with is not a lack of material, but one of selection.
Fortunately, Sita Ram Goel has compiled a two-volume magnum opus under the heading Hindu Temples: What happened to them? The second volume is particularly valuable in that it presents a comprehensive summary of the Islamic record, quoting chapter and verse from the primary sources. Even a cursory glance through these volumes leaves little doubt regarding either the destructive record of Islam in India, or the record of dishonesty and venality of the Secularists.
The two volumes by Goel are an invaluable source for researchers, though, typically enough they are studiously ignored by Secularist historians and their allies in the media. For the lay reader, Goel has provided also a highly readable summary of the two volumes in his book Islam vis-a-vis Hindu Temples. It is recommended reading for every serious student of Islam in India.
As far as Ayodhya itself is concerned, the most comprehensive discussion of the primary material available is probably the book The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on the Muslim Sources by Harsh Narain. We next go on to examine several of these sources provided by Harsh Narain.
These sources are so numerous that we can only survey a few. But even this survey will suffice to show that until recently, until the Secularists created the so-called 'controversey', no author — Hindu, Muslim, European or British official — had questioned that a temple existed on the spot which had been destroyed to erect the mosque. We may begin with a few references from European writers provided by Harsh Narain. These are from published sources that are widely available.
A. Führer in his The Monumental Antiquities and Inscriptions in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh, Archaeological Survey of India Report, 1891, pp 296-297 records: 'Mir Khan built a masjid in A.H. 930 during the reign of Babar, which still bears his name. This old temple must have been a fine one, for many of its columns have been utilized by the Musalmans in the construction of Babar's Masjid.' [This is supported by archaeology, as we shall soon see.]
H.R. Neville in the Barabanki District Gazetteer, Lucknow, 1905, pp 168-169, writes that the Janmasthan temple 'was destroyed by Babar and replaced by a mosque.' Neville, in his Fyzabad District Gazetteer, Lucknow, 1905, pp 172-177 further tells us; 'The Janmasthan was in Ramkot and marked the birthplace of Rama. In 1528 A.D. Babar came to Ayodhya and halted here for a week. He destroyed the ancient temple and on its site built a mosque, still known as Babar's mosque. The materials of the old structure [i.e., the temple] were largely employed, and many of the columns were in good preservation.' [Again supported by archaeological finds.]
One could cite many more in similar vein, but these examples should suffice for recent European records. When we reach back in time, what we find particularly interesting are the accounts attributed to Guru Nanak. He was a contemporary of Babar, and an eyewitness to his vandalism. Nanak condemned him in the strongest terms. Harsh Narain writes (pp 14-15):
Guru Nanak, according to Bhai Man Singh's Pothi Janam Sakhi, said to have been composed in 1787 Anno Vikrami/1730 A.D., visited Ayodhya and said to his Muslim disciple Mardana: 'Mardania! eh Ajudhia nagari Sri Ramachandraji Ji ki hai. So, chal, iska darsan kari'e. Translation: 'Mardana! this Ayodhya city belongs to Sri Ramachandra Ji. So let us have its darsana.'
This indicates that Nanak visited Ayodhya shortly before the destruction of the Rama temple by Babar. Man Singh's book was written two hundred years later, which means that he was drawing upon existing traditions or some other source relating to Nanak's visit to Ayodhya. But another work by Baba Sukhbasi Ram gives a similar account, again suggesting that Nanak visited Ayodyha before the temple was destroyed by his contemporary, the invader Babar whose atrocities he condemned. 'These kings are nothing but butchers' said Nanak, refering to the Moghuls and others in his time.
Before I get to the Islamic evidence, it is worth looking at an Indian account from the twelfth-thirteenth century period attesting to the atrocities of the Islamic invaders. It is preserved in the 'Bhuvana-kosha' section of the Garuda Purana, which throws light on the invasions of the Mlecchas and the Saindhavas (Arab occupiers of Sindh). The 'Kumarika-khanda' of the Skanda Purana speaks of invaders based in Mulasthana or the modern Multan. So does the Kurma Purana.
Returning to the Bhuvana-Kosha of the Garuda Purana, the Mlecchas of the Himalayas and the Turushkas (Turks) of the north were the Ghaznavids and the Ghurids. In the Introduction to the Garuda Purana, the well known Puranic scholar A.B.L. Awasthi points out:
The Mlechchhas of the Himalaya region and the Turushkas of the North mentioned in the Bhuvana Kosha section [of the Garuda Purana] also reflect upon the Turkish conquest of Northwestern India by the Ghaznavids. The passage found in the Garuda Purana that the country was threatened by the Dasyus (dasyutkrishta janapadah) is also very significant and it reflects upon the age of terror and turmoil caused by the Turkish invasions.
The alien invasions of such people, who destroyed the shrines and the roots of religion, viz, Deities, Brahmanas and cows, and also carried away the ladies. They defiled the tirthas, which also caused great terror.
The Pauranikas accepted the challenge and exhorted the Kshatriyas of accepting the svadharma of giving protection to country and culture. ...
The freedom of the country was also imperilled after the fall of Prithviraja III at the hands of Muhammad Ghori after the second battle of Terain (1192 A.D.). The Pauranika points to the political blunder of the Chahamana ruler who was succumbed in [Sic] sensuous slumber in the company of his newly acquired wife Samyogita [or Samyukta].
We shall soon see that this is not very different from what Muslim chroniclers themselves tell us. But the Secularists would have us believe that there was no persecution and no mass destruction of temples. Going by their logic, both the victims and the perpetrators were subject to identical fantasies!
Another point frequently made by the Secularists and their allies is that during the Islamic period, there was little animosity between Hindus and Muslims, that is to say, the two communities lived harmoniously together. The animosities that led eventually to the Partition of India, according to the Secularists, was the result of the British policy of 'divide and rule'. Well, here is what Alberuni, who accompanied Mahmud of Ghazna on his numerous campaigns into India had to say nearly a thousand years ago:
Yamin-addaula Mahmud [Ghaznavi] marched into India during a period of thirty years and more. ... Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country, and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions. ... Their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion of all the Muslims. (Emphasis added.)
So it was not just the wealth that was looted; Mahmud was responsible for uprooting Hindu learning from the places he invaded. This is not very different from the account given in the Bhuvana-Kosha of the Garuda Purana and other Hindu chronicles. From this we can see that the hostility between the Hindus and the Muslims has a thousand year history that surely cannot be blamed on the British!
It is unnecessary to dwell too much on the documentary evidence since all questions about the pre-existence of the temple at the site of the Babri Masjid have been settled by archaeology, especially following its domolition on December 6, 1992. Actually the primary interest relating to the Muslim records is not so much in what they have to say, but in how there have been systematic attempts by Islamic and Secularist interests in recent years to distort and conceal them. This is what Arun Shourie has called 'Hideaway Communalism'. We shall be looking at this phenomenon in the next chapter, but here are a few excerpts beginning with Harsh Narain's observations on recent negationist efforts.
All relevant British government records followed by District Gazetteer of Faizabad compiled and published by the Congress government in 1960 declare with one voice that the so-called Babri mosque at Ayodhya is standing on the debris of a Ramajanmasthan temple demolished by the order of Babar in 1528. Syed Shahabuddin, JNU historians, and self-styled 'secular' scholars and leaders are hotly contesting the proposition, contending that the existence and demolition of a temple is a myth floated by the British in pursuance of their policy of divide and rule. ... (p 102)
Now I proceed to cite certain purely Muslim sources beyond the sphere of British influence to show that the Babri mosque has displaced a Hindu temple ... (pp 103-4)
Then Harsh Narain goes on to cite a few significant examples. I will refer to a few — and a few others will be noted later. The interested reader on the Ayodhya dispute can refer to Narain's book. Sita Ram Goel's two-volume magnum opus gives a more comprehensive summary of the record of the Islamic vandalism in India. We shall be concerned, however, mainly with Ayodhya. (JNU is the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi which is considered the Meccah of Secularists with AMU, the Aligarh Muslim University a close second.)
In 1855, Amir Ali Amethawi led a Jihad (Islamic religious war) for the recapture of Hanuman Garhi, situated a few hundred yards from the Babri Masjid which at that time was in the possession of Hindus. This Jihad took place during the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. It ended in failure. A Muslim writer, one Mirza Jan, was a participant in that failed Jihad. His book Hadiqah-i-Shuhada was published in 1856, i.e. the year following the attempted Jihad. Miza Jan tells us:
... wherever they found magnificent temples of the Hindus ever since the establishment of Sayyid Salar Mas'ud Ghazi's rule, the Muslim rulers in India built mosques, monasteries, and inns, appointed mu'azzins, teachers and store-stewards, spread Islam vigorously, and vanquished the Kafirs. Likewise they cleared up Faizabad and Avadh, too from the filth of reprobation (infidelity), because it was a great centre of worship and capital of Rama's father. Where there stood a great temple (of Ramajanmasthan), there they built a big mosque, ... Hence what a lofty mosque was built there by king Babar in 923 A.H. (1528 A.D.), under the patronage of Musa Ashiqqan! (Harsh Narain: p 105)
Harsh Narain goes on to add: "It must be borne in mind that Mirza Jan claims to write all this on the basis of older records (kutub-i sabigah) and contemporary accounts." Except for its tone of triumph the account is not very different from what the Garuda Purana has to say. Similar accounts are found in a few other Puranas as already noted.
Another interesting piece of evidence unearthed by Harsh Narain is a chapter in the book Muraqqah-i-Khusravi, known also as the Tarikh-i-Avadh. Its author is one Shaikh Azmat Ali Kakorwi Nami (1811-1893). He was a contemporary of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and an eyewitness to the events of the era, including the failed Jihad to recover Hanuman Garhi from the Hindus. His work was completed in 1869, but languished in manuscript form for over a century in the Tagore Library in Lucknow. It saw the light of day only in 1986 when it was published by Dr. Zaki Kakorawi. But this was a censored version in which the F.A. Ahmad Memorial Committee which funded it removed crucial parts. The reason given for this extraordinary action was that Kakorawi's edition contained accounts pertaining to the Jihad against Hanuman Garhi. This, the Committee found politically unacceptable.
Fortunately, a year later (1987), Kakorawi published the missing portion at his own expense under the title Amir Ali Shahid aur Ma'rakah-i-Hanuman Garhi. The author pointedly observed that "suppression of any part of any old composition or compilation like this can create difficulties and misunderstandings for future historians." (Harsh Narain: p 106) May our Secularists heed his words! What is there in the work that made the F.A. Ahmad Committee so sensitive? Well, here is the passage for the reader to judge.
According to old records, it has been a rule with the Muslim rulers from the first to build mosques, monastaries, and inns, spread Islam, and (put a stop) to non-Islamic practices, wherever they found prominence of (kufr). Accordingly, even as they cleared up Mathura, Brindaban, etc. from the rubbish of non-Islamic practices, the Babari Mosque was built up in 923 (?) A.H. under the patronage of Sayyid Musa Ashiqan in the Janmasthan temple (butkhane Janmasthan mein) in Faizabad-Avadh, which was a great place of (worship) and capital of Rama's father. (Harsh Narain: p 106)
In another work also known as Tarikh-i-Avadhi, by one Alama Muhammad Najamulghani Khan Rampuri (1909) tells us:
Babar built a magnificent mosque at the spot where the temple of Janmasthan of Ramachandra was situated in Ayodhya, under the patronage of Saiyad Ashikhan, and Sita-ki-Rasoi is situated adjascent to it. The date of construction of the mosque is Khair Baqi (923 AH) [or 1528 AD with the correction]. Till date, it is known as Sita ki Rasoi. By its side stands that temple. It is said at the time of the conquest of Islam there were three temples, viz. Janmasthan, which was the birthplace of Ram Chanderji, Swargadwar alias Ram Darbar, and Treta ka Thakur. Babar built the mosque having demolished Janmasthan. (History versus Casuistry, p 17; emphasis added.)
The translation is again by the redoubtable Zaki Kakorawi. It is important to note that the conscientious author of Tarikh-i-Avadhi used as many as eighty one books and manuscripts. The fact they were available to him in 1909 suggests that a few of them might lie concealed in some libraries and archives. In fact, as late as 1923, the book Asrar-i-Haqiqat written by the Hindu scholar Lachmi Narain Qunango assisted by Maulvi Hashmi confirms all of the above details. The book leaves one with the impression that many sources were still available to them, especially to the Maulvi who served as Pandit Lachmi Narain's munshi. It is to be hoped that they are not being destroyed in the interests of 'Secularism'.
The Imperial Gazetteer of Faizabad (1881) confirms the construction of three Moghul mosques at Ayodhya on the site of three celebrated shrines: Janmasthan, Swargadwar and Treta-ka-Thakur. Archaeological Survey of India tells us that Mir Khan (on Babar's orders) built the mosque at Janmasthan using many of its columns. Aurangazeb had the other two mosques built. We see therefore that demolition of temples and replacing them with mosques was a systematic practice under Moghuls. It was simply a continuation of earlier policies of all Muslim rulers as both Hindu and Muslim records testify.
This brings us to a Persian text known as Sahifah-i-Chihal Nasa'ih Bahadurshahi written in 1707 by a grand-daughter of the Moghul emperor Aurangazeb, and noted by Mirza Jan in his Urdu work Hadiqah-i Shuhada previously cited. Mirza Jan quotes several lines from it which tell us:
... keeping the triumph of Islam in view, devout Muslim rulers should keep all idolaters in subjection to Islam, brook no laxity in realization of Jizyah, grant no exceptions to Hindu Rajahs from dancing attendance on 'Id days and waiting on foot outside mosques till end of prayer ... and 'keep in constant use for Friday and congregational prayer the mosques built up after demolishing the temples of the idolatrous Hindus situated at Mathura, Banaras and Avadh ... (Harsh Narain: pp 23-24; emphasis added.)
Spoken like a true child of Aurangazeb!
Mirza Jan is not the only writer to cite this work. Mirza Rajab 'Ali Beg Surur in his work describing the destruction of the Rama temple at Ayodhya states that in the Sahifah-i Bahadurshahi (as the work was also known) "it has come to be described in detail with reference to year and date. Whoever may choose may look into it." (Harsh Narain: pp 25-26) This last remark suggests that the work was widely available in the nineteenth century, possibly even in print. It evidently contained details concerning the destruction of the temple and the building of the Babri mosque at Janmabhumi.
Then there is the evidence of the three inscriptions at the site of the mosque itself, at least two of which mention its construction by Mir Baqi (or Mir Khan) on the orders of Babar. Babar's Memoir mentions Mir Baqi as his governor of Ayodhya. Some parts of the inscription were damaged during a riot in 1934, but later pieced together with minor loss. In any event, it was well known long before that, recorded for instance in Mrs. Beveridge's translation of Babur-Nama published in 1926.
Overwhelming as all this evidence is, the archaeological evidence is even stronger.
Discoveries at the site I: The Temple City of Ayodhya
Until recently, much of the evidence was literary, based on accounts in chronicles, supplemented by some archaeology around the site. Even then, archaeology left little doubt regarding the existence of a previous temple at the site at which the Babri Masjid is situated. Ayodhya has drawn the attention of competent archaeologists including a few internationally known experts like B.B. Lal and S.P. Gupta. As a result, the volume of data available is huge running into several volumes. Some of it has probably been rendered obsolete by discoveries following the demolition of December 6, 1992. They settle once and for all the question: Was there a Hindu temple at the site before Babri Masjid was built in 1528?
Let us next look at what archaeology has to say about the Ayodhya site. The first point to note is that Ayodhya lies in a region that is generously watered, and has therefore been densely populated since time immemorial. As a result, archaeological work at Ayodhya is more difficult, and has not been on the same scale as at Harappan sites lying a thousand miles to the west. And for the same reasons, luck plays a large role in the success of any exploration at Ayodhya, which is true of archaeology in general. Here is what a leading archaeologist, Dr. S.P. Gupta (former director of the Allahabad Museum), has to say about recent excavations at Ayodhya. Gupta probably has the most extensive experience among the archaeologists to have explored the site.
From 1975 through 1980, the Archaeological Survey of India under the Directorship of Professor B.B. Lal, a former Director General of the Survey, undertook an extensive programme of excavation at Ayodhya, including the very mound of the Ramajanmabhumi on which the so-called "Janmasthan Masjid" or Babri Mosque once stood and was later demolished on 6th December 1992.
This is an interesting observation: the Babri Mosque was known also as the 'Janmashtan Masjid' even to the Muslims! Obviously they believed it to be the birthplace of Rama — not Babar. We shall see later that until the Secularists showed them the value of it, the Muslims never used Negationism; far from it, they took great pride in their record of vandalization of Hindu sacred places. To continue with Gupta's account:
At Ayodhya, Professor Lal took as many as 14 trenches at different places to ascertain the antiquity of the site. It was then found that the history of the township was at least three thousand years old, if not more ... . When seen in the light of 20 black stone pillars, 16 of which were found re-used and standing in position as corner stones of piers for the disputed domed structure of the 'mosque', Prof. Lal felt that the pillar bases may have belonged to a Hindu temple built on archaeological levels formed prior to 13th century AD ...
On further stratigraphic and other evidence, Lal concluded that the pillar bases must have belonged to a Hindu temple that stood between 12th and the 16th centuries. "He also found a door-jamb carved with Hindu icons and decorative motifs of yakshas, yakshis, kirtimukhas, purnaghattas, double lotus flowers etc." (See below.)
What this means is that Lal had found evidence for possibly two temples, one that existed before the 13th century, and another between the 13th and the 16th centuries. This corresponds very well indeed with history and tradition. We know that this area was ravaged by Muslim invaders following Muhammad of Ghor's defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain in 1192 AD. This was apparently rebuilt and remained in use until destroyed again in the 16th century by Babar.
Impressive as these discoveries are, Lal had actually been somewhat unlucky. He had barely missed striking a trench containing a treasure trove of Hindu artifacts from the medieval period. As Gupta tells us:
Prof. Lal had hard luck at Ramajanmabhumi. His southern trenches missed a huge pit with 40 and odd sculptures just by 10 to 12 feet. But he did get the pillar bases of the pre-16th century demolished-temple which others did not get.
Excavation was resumed on July 2, 1992 by S.P. Gupta, Y.D. Sharma, K.M. Srivastava and other senior archaeologists. This was less than six months before the demolition (which of course no one then knew was going to take place). Their particular interest lay in the forty-odd Hindu artifacts that had been discovered in the pit missed by Lal. These finds had been widely reported in the newspapers. Gupta, a former Director of the Allahabad Museum and an expert on medieval artifacts had a special interest in examining the finds. He tells us:
The team found that the objects were datable to the period ranging from the 10th through the 12th century AD, i.e., the period of the late Pratiharas and early Gahadvals. The kings of these two dynasties hailing from Kannauj had ruled over Avadh and eastern Uttar Pradesh successively during that period.
These objects included a number of amakalas, i.e., the cogged-wheel type architectural element which crown the bhumi shikharas or spires of subsidiary shrines, as well as the top of the spire or the main shikhara ... This is a characteristic feature of all north Indian temples of the early medieval period and no one can miss it — it is there in the Orissa temples such as Konarak, in the temples of Madhya Pradesh such as Khajuraho and in the temples of Rajasthan such as Osian.
There was other evidence — of cornices, pillar capitals, mouldings, door jambs with floral patterns and others — leaving little doubt regarding the existence of a 10th - 12th century temple complex at the site of Ayodhya. So Lal had been right in believing there was an earlier temple — prior to the one destroyed by Babar. More discoveries were made following the demolition of December 6. All these discoveries leave no doubt at all about the true picture.
The discovery of a number of Kushana period terracotta images of gods and goddesses earlier made it clear, first, that at the Janmabhumi site Hindu temples were built several times during the 2000 years with the interval of only 450 years, from 1528 to 1992, when the Muslims destroyed the temple and occupied the site and also built a new structure they called 'Janmabhumi Masjid' in their own record; ... (See below.)
And finally, the temple was destroyed sometime after the 13th century AD, in every likelihood in the early 16th century, as is fully borne out by the inscriptions of Mir Baqi found fixed in the disputed structure from back in time, during the British days as is clear from the accounts given by Mrs. A. Beveridge in her translation of Babur-Nama published in 1926.
So archaeology also leaves little doubt about the existence of the prior temple. Then came the explosion of Decembr 6, 1992. This demolished not only the Babri Masjid but the whole case of the Secularists and their allies. It revealed a major inscription that settles the question once and for all.
Discoveries at the site II: the Hari-Vishnu inscription
The demolition on December 6, 1992 changed the picture dramatically, providing further support to the traditional accounts — both Hindu and Muslim. Some of the kar-sevaks, no doubt influenced by all the publicity about history and archaeology, went on to pick up more than two hundred pieces of stone slabs with writing upon them. These proved to belong to extremely important inscriptions, more than a thousand years old. In effect, the kar-sevaks had done what archaeologists should have done years ago; they had unearthed important inscriptions — in howsoever a crude form — something that should have been done years ago by professional historians and archaeologists. The inscriptions, even the few that have been read so far, shed a great deal of light on the history of not only Ayodhya and its environs, but all of North India in the early Medieval, and even the late ancient period.
In any other society, these inscriptions and other archaeological artifacts would not only be greeted with glee — as Biblical scholars did the Dead Sea Scrolls — but there would also be a mad scramble among researchers to see what new discoveries they could make. But the Secularists' reaction was the exact opposite of this: they wanted the whole thing suppressed. They claimed, without examination, that all the two-hundred and fifty odd pieces of epigraphical records were forgeries planted during the demolition, and demanded a police investigation. This is a point worth noting: they wanted not an investigation of artifacts by scholars, but a police investigation.
To return to the inscriptional finds, it will be years before scholars can come up with a complete picture, but they have already yielded much valuable information. Here is what S.P. Gupta found upon examining the two-hundred and fifty or so stone pieces with writing upon them:
Not all were ancient, since scores of them, generally rectangular marble tiles, bore the dedicatory inscriptions in the Devanagari script of the 20th century. However, at least three dozens of them were certainly ancient, belonging to the period bracketed between 10th and 12th centuries AD. (In The Ayodhya Reference: pp 117-18)
The most important of these deciphered so far is the Hari-Vishnu inscription that clinches the whole issue of the temple. It is written in 12th century AD Devanagari script and belongs therefore to the period before the onslaught of the Ghorids (1192 AD and later). Gupta tells us:
This inscription, running in as many as 20 lines, is found engraved on a 5 ft. long, 2 ft. broad and 2.5 inches thick slab of buff sandstone, apparently a very heavy tablet ... Three-fourths of the tablet is found obliterated anciently. The last line is also not complete since it was anciently subjected to chipping off. A portion of the central part is found battered, maybe someone tried to deface it anciently. The patination [tarnishing including wearout] is, however, uniform all over the surface, even in areas where once there were inscriptions. (op. cit. pp 118-19) (See below.)
Gupta is an archaeologist and not an epigraphist trained to read ancient inscriptions. It was examined by Ajay Mitra Shastri, Chairman of the Epigraphical Society of India. Shastri gave the following summary. What the inscription tells us is of monumental significance to the history of Medieval India.
The inscription is composed in high-flown Sanskrit verse, except for a very small portion in prose, and is engraved in chaste and classical Nagari script of the eleventh-twelfth century AD. It has yet to be fully deciphered, but the portions which have been fully deciphered and read are of great historical significance and value ... [It has since been fully deciphered.] It was evidently put up on the wall of the temple, the construction of which is recorded in the text inscribed on it. Line 15 of this inscription, for example, clearly tells us that a beautiful temple of Vishnu-Hari, built with heaps of stones ... , and beautified with a golden spire ... unparalleled by any other temple built by earlier kings ... This wonderful temple ... was built in the temple-city of Ayodhya situated in Saketamandala. ... Line 19 describes god Vishnu as destroying king Bali ... and the ten headed personage (Dashanana, i.e., Ravana). (op. cit. 119; emphasis mine. Original Sanskrit quotes given by Shastri are left out.)
Need we say more — a temple for Hari-Vishnu who killed the ten-headed Ravana, in the temple city of Ayodhya? So Ayodhya was known as a temple city even then; Saketa was the ancient name of the district. The inscription confirms what archaeologists Lal and Gupta had earlier found about the existence of a temple complex. And yet the Secularists and their allies have been telling the world that there was no temple!
Summary of findings
We may now sum up the findings based on both literary and archaeological/epigraphic evidence:
1 All the literary sources without exception, until the Secularists began their negationist masquerade, are unanimous that a Rama temple existed at the site known since time immemorial as Rama Janmabhumi.
2. Archaeology confirms the existence of temples going back to Kushan times, or about 2000 years. This date may well be extended by future excavations assuming that such excavations will be permitted by politicians.
3. Archaeology records at least two destructions: the first in the 12th-13th century; the second, later, in all probability in the 16th. This agrees well with history and tradition that were temple destructions following the Ghorid invasions (after 1192 AD) and restored, and was destroyed again in 1528 by Babar who replaced it with a mosque. This is the famous — or infamous — Babri Masjid that was demolished by kar-sevaks on December 6, 1992.
4. A large inscription discovered at the site dating to 11th-12th century records the existence of numerous temples including a magnificent one in which Hari-Vishnu was honored as destroyer of the ten-headed Ravana. Ayodhya was always known as a temple city.
These facts drawing upon several literary and archaeological sources leave no doubt at all that a temple located at a site sacred to the Hindus was destroyed to build a mosque under Babar’s express orders.
In trying to understand the meaning of Ayodhya, we need to ask a basic question: by what right did this invader Babar, who despised India, its people and its culture, demolish a temple at a site held sacred by the people of this country and build a mosque in its place?
Let me reframe the question. Ram Janmabhumi is sacred to the Hindus because they hold it to be the birthplace of Rama, who embodies for them the ideals of truth, heroism, chivalry and every other virtue. What is the justification for the mosque by Babar beyond the fact that it was erected as a mark of conquest and of humiliation of the Hindus? No one to my knowledge has satisfactorily explained the legitimacy of the Babri Masjid. One can understand that many Muslims hold the tomb of Moinuddeen Chisti in Ajmer to be sacred because he is venerated as a Sufi saint. No such justification exists for the Babri Masjid, for it was not intended as a place of worship. To understand temple destructions by Babar and his descendants, we must recognize that it was part of their ideology. Here is how one of his descendants, a granddaughter of Aurangazeb, described why mosques should be built at the site of demolished temples:
"... keeping the triumph of Islam in view, devout Muslim rulers should keep all idolators in subjection to Islam, brook no laxity in realization of Jizyah, grant no exceptions to Hindu Rajahs from dancing in attendance on 'Id days and waiting on foot outside mosques till end of prayer ... and 'keep in constant use for Friday and congregational prayer the mosques built up after demolishing the temples of the idolatrous Hindus situated at Mathura, Banaras and Avadh ..."
This allows us to answer the question raised earlier about Babar’s right to destroy the temple and build his mosque: Babar’s ideology — described by his own descendant as the ‘triumph of Islam’ — gave him that right, at least in his eyes. It is an ideology that sees everything outside the pale of Islam as an object of derision to be humiliated and destroyed. This does not mean that everyone — especially the victims — should accept it as legitimate. Accepting the legitimacy of the Babri Masjid at Ram Janmabumi means acknowledging the superiority of Babar’s ideology over that of the overwhelming majority of the people of India, and his right to impose it on others by force. This is imperialism pure and simple. The Babri Masjid advocates — the Muslim leaders, the Secularists and the Congress party — must acknowledge this fundamental fact. Court cases and political postures cannot change it.
The basic problem is that the parties have avoided such fundamental issues. Instead of trying to understand what Ram Janmabhumi and Ayodhya mean to the Hindus, the Babri Masjid advocates have been trying to present it as a dispute over a piece of real estate and a structure in brick and mortar. Every living nation has national symbols and Ayodhya is India’s. A young American — a former student of mine — recently asked me why building the temple at Ram Janmabhumi was so important. I asked her if Americans would let stand a mosque built by someone like Osama bin Laden after demolishing Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) or the Statue of Liberty. Similarly, the Westminster Abbey in London is more than a Church, for it is inseparably bound with English history and tradition. This is how the people of India also look at Ram Janmabhumi: it is a sacred spot for Hindus for historical, cultural and nationalistic reasons — and not just because it is a place of worship. Many like me who never go to a temple still hold it sacred.
To highlight this point: can the terrorist warlord Osama bin Laden claim the ideological right to demolish the Venkateshwara Temple in Tirupati or the Golden Temple in Amritsar and build something else in their place to mark the triumph of his ‘faith’? These, like Ram Janmabhumi, the Westminster Abbey, and the Statue of Liberty, are not pieces of real estate that can be bartered — or forcibly occupied and demolished.
Symbol of slavery
When put in this light, the Secularists will scream that Babar cannot be compared to a terrorist warlord like Osama bin Laden. Hasn’t Nehru told us that Babar was both charming and tolerant — a true ‘Secularist’? Like most things that Nehru wrote it is nowhere near the truth. Babar was as much a religious fanatic as bin Laden. He saw himself as a Ghazi — an Islamic warrior — on a jihad to uproot infidelity. Jihad was Babar’s ideology, the same as bin Laden’s. I will have more to say about it later, but the point to note is that the mosque was built on the site of the destroyed temple as a mark of slavery.
Self-respecting nations don’t let stand symbols of national humiliation and slavery. The French have not preserved Nazi monuments at Versailles. Even in America, where Tharoor’s authority Tina Rosenberg fulminated against the Hindus, Americans destroyed a statue of King George III when they declared independence in 1776. Some forty years later, in the War of 1812, the British sacked Washington and burned down the White House. Americans promptly rebuilt it instead of preserving the burnt down White House as our secularists want at Rama Janmabhoomi. But this is beyond the secularist tribe with their slavish minds.
Hindu historical awareness
This work summarizes some relevant information relating to the temple-mosque controversy over the site known since time immemorial as Ramajanmabhumi. In addition, it also brings into focus what may be seen as the real issues involved — issues that have been obscured by the cloud of controversy surrounding it. Upon carefully examining it, the reader will discover that the dispute is not so much about the right of possession to the ancient site known as Ramajanmabhumi as it is over the version of history that is sought to be imposed on the people of India. It is a serious contraction of the scope and meaning of the Ayodhya episode of December 6, 1992 to treat it as a dispute over a piece of land, and brick and mortar; the dispute really is part of a struggle being waged by an ancient people to recover their own history from the clutches of imperial interests. This is what I have tried to highlight in the present document.
It is therefore a serious error to treat the demolition of the Babri Masjid as a mere retribution for the temple destructions by Islamic vandals going back a thousand years. That would place the Islamic vandals and the kar sevaks on the same moral plane which I see as a historic error — for what the kar sevaks were trying to recover was not merely the disputed structure built over their sacred site, but the true history of their land.
Looking at it in the context of de-colonization of the Hindu mind, V.S. Naipaul is right in seeing the demolition as a symbol of rising historical awareness on the part of the Hindus. Hindus have recognized that the Babri Masjid was never intended as a place of worship; it was a symbol pure and simple of the victory of Islamic imperialism over the Hindu Civilization. This is what I have tried to highlight in this volume.
At the same time, the historical facts about the existence or non-existence of previous temples at the site, and the record of their destruction are very much part of this struggle. This too I have tried to bring to light by presenting the relevant information from literary, archaeological and epigraphic sources. My goal in all this is to enable everyone to see the true historical facts behind the struggle, free from the propaganda and misinformation that has plagued the field so far. Unless we have a true picture of the historical facts, we have little chance of finding our way out of the present impasse.
Islamic view of history
In spite of the enormous volume of writing that has appeared on Ayodhya, a central theme that runs through the dispute has not been sufficiently highlighted; this theme is the effort to impose the Islamic view of history not only on the Ayodhya dispute, but on all of Indian history. The Islamic view holds that the history of any place begins with its Muslim takeover, and nothing that took place before the takeover is of any account. According this version, the demolition of the Babri Masjid is a crime, but the destruction of previous temples at the site (or anywhere else) is of no account.
It is this version of history that has been imposed on countries conquered by Islam — countries like Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan. It is this version that Islamic warriors sought to impose on India also for several centuries but failed. (But this is the version taught at Islamic institutions in India, like the madrasahs and even the Aligarh Muslim University.) The Indian Muslim leaders and their allies calling themselves ‘Secularists’ are fighting to see this version prevail, while the Hindus are fighting to preserve their own history and tradition. Ayodhya is a symbol of this struggle for history.
I see the present work as a small effort aimed at highlighting the following: (1) the true facts of history relating to Ayodhya; (2) the struggle for the recovery of their history that lies behind the temple-mosque dispute; and (3) understanding the consequences of hasty actions by reacting to transient passions and political compulsions, while failing to take note of the course of history. The key fact to note is that the events of December 6, 1992 do not stand alone; they are part of the history of the struggle being waged between exclusivism and pluralism going back a thousand years. The stakes in this for the people of India are enormous. We ignore it only at our peril.
The Ayodhya dispute
The Ayodhya dispute is over four hundred and fifty years old. It came to head on December 6, 1992 with the demolition of the structure known as the Babri Majid (Babar's Mosque) by Hindu activists. This event has been seen as marking a watershed in modern Indian history. Some like the British writer V.S. Naipaul see it as an event marking the birth of a new historical awareness on the part of the Hindus; while others, calling themselves the 'Secular Forces' — actually little more than a motely mix of Leftist academics and politicians, and right-wing Muslim leaders and the clergy — see it as the beginning of the transformation of India into a Hindu theocratic state.
I see Ayodhya as the symbol of the emergence of the Indian Civilization — more specifically, the Hindu Civilization — from the grip of alien imperialistic forces and their surrogates that have tried to hold on to their privileged positions by suppressing the legitimate national and cultural aspirations of the Hindus. In this they have tried whitewashing the record of vandalism by Medieval Islamic rulers. This is what brought together this seemingly ‘modern’ and 'Westernized' Leftist intellectuals and right wing Islamists with their roots firmly in Medieval history and tradition. Koenrad Elst calls this whitewashing of history 'Negationism', more particularly 'Jihad Negationism'.
Negationism: Accepting the Islamic version of history
The present volume is only peripherally about Negationism. It is in the main a concise summary of the latest evidence on the Temple-Mosque controversy based on the primary sources including recent archaeological finds. I found it necessary to prepare this volume because there is still much confusion in the minds of many Indians about the existence of a Rama temple and its destruction by Babar in 1528. Many educated Indians still believe that there are some doubts about the historical question; many honestly believe that no temple was ever destroyed by Babar because he was tolerant towards the Hindus. (Towards the end, I have included a brief discussion of Babar’s famous work Baburnama to give an idea of what he was really like.)
This view, while a tribute to the effectiveness of negationist propaganda, is not a true representation of facts. In reality there can no doubt about either the existence or the destruction of a Rama temple by Babar at Rama Janmabhumi. What 'controversy' there is, is a modern concoction, the result of a massive disinformation campaign by 'Secularist' scholars, politicians and a large segment of the English language press. What is more important is that this happens to be part of a larger agenda of denying altogether the destruction of any Hindu temples by Muslim rulers — a step towards whitewashing the record of Islam in India. This is what Elst has called Negationism in his remarkable book Negationism In India: Concealing the Record of Islam. The reader will be the best judge of the facts upon reading the material presented in this volume.
A point that I wish to emphasize: any effort aimed at understanding the history leading up to the Ayodhya demolition must be careful not to view the events of December 6, 1992 in isolation, ignoring the thousand year history leading up to it. This would cause one to lose sight of the single most important historical theme in India today: the ongoing struggle between the two versions of history — the nationalistic and the imperialistic. Those calling themselves 'Secularists' in the Ayodhya dispute are representatives of defunct imperialisms — the Islamic and the European. What they fear most is the loss of their privileges following the rise of nationalism. This is the real battle over Ayodhya
The negationist version of Indian history means accepting the Islamic view of history — to wit, that the history of any place begins with its Muslim takeover; nothing that happened before is of any account. This is how Muslims view the history of all the conquered lands — from Egypt to Iran and even Pakistan. They have been defeated in their purpose to impose this version of history on India also. The struggle over Ayodhya is but a facet of this larger struggle.
This is best understood by recognizing that there are really two Ayodhya disputes. The first is over the right of possession to the site known since time immemorial as Rama Janmabhumi. The second is over the version of history to be imposed on the people of India today. The beneficiaries of defunct imperialisms — Islamic and the Eurocentric — are using the first dispute as a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from their real concern; their real concern is the unraveling of an imperialistic version of history highly advantageous to themselves. As surrogates of past imperialistic movements, they have also been its main beneficiaries. Once the true history comes to the fore, it will mean the end of their privileged existence.
To achieve their goal, the agents (or surrogates) of imperialisms have found it necessary to preserve and protect their (negationist) version of history. No imperialism can succeed unless the subject people are made to forget their history. This is what Islam did to Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Afghanistan; this is what Christianity did to Europe and the Americas; and this is what Mao also did to China, and later Tibet. And this is what the Secularists would like to see happen in India also. Destruction of history is the goal of every imperialism. Speaking of imperialisms and their specially crafted language, more specifically Islam, Sita Ram Goel observes:
... every language of imperialism divides human history into two sharply separated periods — an age of darkness which prevailed before the birth of an incomparable person, and an age of light which followed thereafter. The entire past history of every nation preceding the age of darkness is painted so black that nothing in which the nation can take pride is left unscathed. [This 'incomparable person' is Prophet Muhammad in the case of Islam, and Karl Marx in the case of the Secularists. So it is essentially a personality cult. Such cults were built around ‘incomparable persons’ Stalin and Mao also.]
The Secularists see India's indigenous Hindu Civilization as the dark force whose entire history should be blackened beyond redemption and ultimately effaced, to be replaced by its own Age of Secular Light. The first step is to coin a derogatory term for it — 'Hindu Communalism' (or Kaffir Communalism). They see India as an impure land plagued by pluralistic Hinduism that awaits Secularist cleansing. This is the Secularist version of the Islamic concept of Dar-ul-Harb and Dar-ul-Islam. Their version of the Ayodhya dispute which seeks to erase a thousand years of history leading up to December 6, 1992 is part of this enterprise.
End to Negationism
This again highlights the two Ayodhya disputes: the first ancient and historical, the second recent and ideological. To understand the second — the 'real dispute' so to speak — we must perforce study the first. To this end, I will present here the essential facts of history relating to the Ayodhya dispute. Once these are understood, readers will be in a better position to appreciate the real struggle that Ayodhya represents.
I recognize that much of what I have written here will make for unpalatable reading for many Muslims. But history is history, whether we like it or not. Also, no one is asking for revenge or retribution for past crimes. Nor has anyone the right to object to another's belief, as long as that belief remains personal. All one is asking is that Negationism must stop, so a true history can come to the fore. Above all, we cannot expect the Hindus to accept the Islamic view of history — that their civilization had engulfed India in a Dark Age to which light came only with the arrival of Islamic invaders. Nor can Muslims expect the Hindus to accept their version that nothing that happened at Ayodhya before the arrival of Babar is of any account, let alone their theology that there was no history before the arrival of Islam.
This is in the interests of all concerned — not just the Hindus. Communal harmony in India is an unattainable goal as long as one side keeps insisting on whitewashing its own record, while blaming the victims for all the problems. And the victims of such propaganda will never rest content until they feel their case has been justly treated. Here is where the Secularists have done immense harm to the cause of communal harmony in the name of 'secularism' — whitewashing Jihad Negationism, while heaping abuse and blame on the victims.
This is not a new or recent development. Within four years of Indian independence and the Partition, the late K.M. Munshi had warned Nehru of the dangers of this less than honest stand on secularism. In a now famous and remarkably prophetic letter, Munshi, one of the foremost constitutional lawyers of the day wrote Nehru:
In its [i.e. secularism's] name, again, politicians adopt a strange attitude which, while it condones the susceptibilities, religious and social of the minorities, it is too ready to brand similar susceptibilities in the majority community as communalistic and reactionary. How secularism sometimes becomes allergic to Hinduism will be apparent from certain episodes relating to the reconstruction of Somnath Temple.
These unfortunate postures have been creating a sense of frustration in the majority community. If, however, the misuse of this word 'secularism' continues, ... if, every time there is an inter-communal conflict, the majority is blamed regardless of the merits of the question, ..., the springs of traditional tolerance will dry up.
While the majority exercises patience and tolerance, the minorities should adjust themselves to the majority. Otherwise the future is uncertain and an explosion cannot be avoided. (Emphasis added.)
Prophetic indeed, written forty years before the explosion at Ayodhya! And this has gone on for nearly fifty years. It looks as though nothing has been learnt by the Secularists and their allies. The politicians too keep on promising the impossible to the Muslims in the hope of garnering their votes. If this goes on much longer, more explosions like Ayodhya become all but inevitable.
The result of this has been most unfortunate; it has turned the traditionally tolerant Hindus into a majority community with a persecuted minority complex — making them believe that they are second-class citizens in their own country. (This has now been aggravated by the aggressive behavior of Christian missionaries caught in a millennian frenzy.) This is a dangerous development that bodes ill for the minority community, and for the country at large. In this the culprit is Jihad Negationism, and the suspicion and hatred that it breeds.
What are we to do about it? In this regard, one can learn a valuable lesson by looking at European history. The record of Christianity in Europe and the Americas is no less blood-soaked than the record of Islam in India. But there are no 'Crusade Negationists' or 'Inquisition Negationists' in Europe comparable to the Jihad Negationists in India. This has allowed communal harmony to prevail in Europe.
The lessons for India are clear, she must come to terms with her history. A similar situation prevailed in the United States over the question of slavery. There was no shortage of negationists who argued that slavery was a natural law that contained much good. But Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest men of modern times, would have none of it. He told Americans to face up to their history:
Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. ... No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the last generation.
Truer words were never spoken. Its message is clear: for peace and harmony to prevail in India, Negationism must end. Indian history must be freed from the shackles of its imperial surrogates acting in the name of 'secularism'.
It is time now to look at the Ayodhya dispute against the background of this brand of 'secularism' and the conduct of its votaries.
We may now look back at the sampling of history presented so far, including the contrast offered by what Babar had to say about himself, and what the Secularists beginning with Nehru would have us believe. The Baburnama, giving as it does the story of his life and outlook in his own words, sheds light not only on the true personality of Babar, but also on the magnitude of the falsification which the Secularists have indulged in — beginning with Nehru himself. This exemplifies what Koenraad Elst has called Jihad Negationism.
It is the tragedy of Indian Muslims that it is falsehoods like this — blatant and easily exposed — that their so-called leaders are holding forth as real issues before them. Had it not been so tragic, it would have been seen as ridiculous. This is the quality of issues and leaders on which the Indian Muslim community pins its hopes, and in which the cynical Secularist brigade is telling them lies their future.
This distortion of Indian history is probably the most insidious legacy of India's imperial past. For communal harmony to prevail in India, her people must come to terms with history. A privileged group like the Secularist-Islamicist nexus cannot go on propagating a negationist version of history that serves its own interests, while heaping abuse on anyone who challenges them; this will only harden attitudes, and make an already difficult situation impossible. If this goes on much longer, it will soon reach a point of no return. It is to be fervently hoped that we are not already there.
As far as the Babri Masjid is concerned, by no stretch of the imagination can it be called a place of worship. It was not meant as one by Babur, nor seen as such by the Hindus in more than four centuries. Both sides understood that it was erected to mark the defeat and humiliation of the Hindus at the hands this invader with his hostile ideology.
To sum up: Ayodhya represents a struggle by Indians to recover their true history from the grip of imperial surrogates — the Islamicists and the Secularists. These are the residue of defunct imperial movements. They are now partners in negation trying to preserve their privileges and positions as representatives of imperialisms past. Negationism has been their main tactic. It is doomed to failure, for Ayodhya has called their bluff.
The basic problem is that the parties have avoided such fundamental issues. Instead of trying to understand what Ram Janmabhumi and Ayodhya mean to the Hindus, the Babri Masjid advocates have been trying to present it as a dispute over a piece of real estate and a structure in brick and mortar.
Every living nation has national symbols and Ayodhya is India’s. A young American — a former student of mine — once asked me why building the temple at Ram Janmabhumi was so important. I asked her if Americans would let stand a mosque built by someone like Osama bin Laden after demolishing Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) or the Statue of Liberty. Similarly, the Westminster Abbey in London is more than a Church, for it is inseparably bound with English history and tradition. This is how the people of India also look at Ram Janmabhumi: it is a sacred spot for Hindus for historical, cultural and nationalistic reasons — and not just because it is a place of worship. Many like me who never go to a temple still hold it sacred.
I pointed out at the beginning that other nations have demolished symbols of humiliation built by invaders. The French demolished many Nazi structures and the Americans demolished statues of the British king George III.
Conclusion: "A House Divided"
To summarize what is really at stake for the nation at Ayodhya, and what it symbolizes, we must ask a basic question: what gave Babar the right to destroy the temple at Ramjanmabhumi and build a mosque in its place? The answer is simple: Babar's ideology gave him that right. It is an ideology that sees everything outside the pale of Islam as an object of derision to be humiliated and destroyed. The Babri Masjid was built at Ayodhya as a memorial to the success of that ideology. This does not mean that everyone - especially the victims - should accept it as legitimate and submit to it.
Accepting the legitimacy of the Babri Masjid at Ram Janmabumi means acknowledging the superiority of Babar's ideology over that of the overwhelming majority of the people of India, and his right to impose it on others by force. This is imperialism pure and simple. The Babri Masjid advocates - the Muslim leaders, the Secularists and the Congress party - must acknowledge this fundamental fact. Court cases and political postures cannot change it. They are historically irrelevant.
So here is the plain truth: where Ram Janmabhumi is a national symbol, the Babri Masjid is a symbol of Babar's imperialism. Those who support the Babri Masjid either identify with Babar's imperialism or are willing to live as its slaves. India must decide whether it wants to be a nation or an imperial colony - it cannot be both.
I began this volume with a passage by Abraham Lincoln, and I shall end it with another. In the years before the American Civil War, when the country was being torn by the question of slavery, the southern states wanted slavery to continue, while the northern states wanted it abolished. At that juncture, Abraham Lincoln said these prophetic words:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. ... I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all of the other.”
In the context of the struggle for the Indian nation, which Ayodhya symbolizes, we may rephrase the Great Emancipator's words as follows:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. ...I believe this country cannot endure permanently half a free nation and half a colony. ... I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all of the other.”
It is for the people of India to decide which half they want their country to be.
For more on true history of Ayodhya (one of the seven Holiest cities for Hindus as per Vedic Scriptures), brutality of Muslim/Mughal rulers like Babur, evidence of Shri Ram Mandir destroyed by Babur and persecution of over a Million Hindus who died protecting it, please watch the video below: