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Rama and Ayodhya Hardcover – 1 May 2013
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Pages: 361 (28 Color Illustrations)
About the Book
This work briefly examines the antiquity of the Rama Katha and spread of the Rama cult over the Indian subcontinent in the context of claims of Left academics on its late popularity. Its main focus is the conflict at Ayodhya over the Ramjanmabhumi temple allegedly destroyed by the Mughal Emperor, Babar, in 1528. It examines the accounts of foreign travelers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and eighteenth centuries, and British administrator-scholars in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which testify to Ayodhya’s continuing importance as a pilgrimage centre associated with Rama’s birthplace. The extended litigation over the Ramajanmabhumi/ Babri Masjid in colonial times further attests to the persistence of the claims to the Janmabhumi.
From the late 1980s, Left historians have been in the forefront of the campaign against the Rama temple. They have argued that Rama worship was an eighteenth nineteenth century phenomenon and the present day Ayodhya acquired its standing and identity only in the fifth century AD, during the rule of the imperial Guptas. According to Left academics, the identification of the Ramjanmabhumi in Ayodha was a matter of faith, not of historical evidence. They also rejected any possibility of the Babri Masjid being built on the site of the Janmabhumi temple.
Excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) proved the inaccuracy of these assertions. And finally, the judgment of the Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) marked adecisive moment in the dispute over the Janmabhumi. The writings of Life academics, the findings of the ASI, the extended arguments in the Allahabad High Court and its eventual verdict-all from the subject of this study.
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The methods of warfare now include media and propaganda as weapons. An elite class of so called intellectuals had infiltrated into educational institutes and media houses way back. So when we heard of Rama & Ayodhya, it is always only one side of the story. The violence at Ayodhya was not the result of a single event. A chain of atrocities committed on Hindus goes a long way back. Bringing it to light was not in the interest of political ideology of the Holocaust Deniers.
For a long time, we heard of how a monument belonging to minorities was brought down by violent men of the majority community. This was never the complete truth. Actually, it had always been the other way round. For centuries the Temples of peaceful Hindus have been brutalized and confiscated by the rulers, most of whom had the sole agenda of creating a state with only one religion. These barbarians faced in India, the longest standing line of resistance.
Although those invaders were able to subdue the local culture with their own customs, wherever they went, they found it was impossible to do so in India. With one face of resistance falling, there stood another which again refused to be subdued by violence. The passive form of resistance at times took the form of an active resistance. The local population again rallied its support and culture survived the onslaught of corrupting elements.
What fuelled this resistance? It was the imagery of Rama-Sita which created for them an ideal to strive for. In Rama this population saw the ideal man, the women saw in Sita the ideal woman. They strived to work for a greater good while ignoring personal benefits while looking up towards Sita-Rama. For the invaders, it became essential to destroy the imagery of these characters. They had started way back by removing them from school & college syllabuses, still, the ‘Avatar’ survived in folklore.
It was due to this long standing reason that when we read about Ayodhya today, mostly we come across a narrative built to demonize not an objective truth. Even those who covered the events of December 1992 refused to present an impartial view. They had their biases, and they kept pouring venom through their articles. A need for impartial and fact based writing remained absent. After long years this book brought to light the facts related to Rama temple at Ayodhya.
Published in 2013 “Rama & Ayodhya” by Meenakshi Jain starts with “A Case for Ayodhya”, more than two decades after the demolition of a disputed property took place. She presents for the reader the “Antiquity and Popularity of Rama” in literature, sculptural and epigraphic evidence. From there the book moves on to the “Early History of Ayodhya” & “Reclaiming Sacred Space”. The conflict at Ayodhya has a history of more than a 100 years and left historians (so-called) have played an active role in distorting it. The author deals with these in the following chapters.
The final parts of the book deal with the archaeological evidence found in the ruins and how left historians tried their level best to negate hard evidence. Book tells how left historians have misrepresented, lied and tried to malign and mislead the court. The book ends with emphasizing why there’s no case for a mosque and some judicial pronouncements on Ayodhya which had come till 2013.
As the book has ample references, direct quotes from judgments and primary sources of information, it has been hard for emotional, left-leaning, so-called historians to discredit it. They took the other way and hence we hear the resounding silence on “Rama & Ayodhya”. This book should be picked up by everyone who doesn’t want to be misled by an emotional diatribe on Ayodhya issue. It should be read by everyone who thinks there should be a Rama Temple at Ayodhya.