इस समय अयोध्या में जिस स्थान पर रामलला विराजमान हैं, वही श्रीराम का जन्मस्थान है। इसके हजारों साक्ष्य हैं, इतिहास भी साक्षी है। लेकिन राम विरोधी लोग उन साक्ष्यों को कुतर्क के आधार पर नकारते रहे हैं। लेकिन पुरातत्व विभाग के अनेक साक्ष्य ऐसे हैं जो झुठलाए नहीं जा सकते
1992: A temple emerges
The apocalyptic events of December 6, 1992 did not merely bring down the contentious structure that Hindus had for centuries believed was erected after destroying one of their holiest shrines. Besides breaking a major psychological barrier to Hindu self-assertion, it broke a critical barrier of discovery and for the first time provided concrete evidence of the fact that a temple, or major portions of an ancient temple, was embedded within the walls of the Babri mosque.
Even previously, foreign travellers like Joseph Tieffenthaler had observed the presence of 14 black-stone pillars, embellished with sacred Hindu motifs, in the walls of the Babri Masjid. But in 1992, new archaeological evidence was found when, in June 1992, more than 40 sculptural and architectural fragments were found in an old pit in the 2.77 acres of land that had been acquired in front of the Babri Masjid. The land was being levelled under the supervision of R.N. Srivastava, District Magistrate of Faizabad. These finds included an amalaka, chhadya jala, etc.
Historians of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, namely, R.S. Sharma, D.N. Jha, Athar Ali and Suraj Bhan, dismissed the findings as having “no evidential value” as they seemed to belong to different places and different periods of history. Archaeologist S.P. Gupta countered that the antiquities had all been recovered from a single ancient pit that was sealed in the sixteenth century.
Slowly, evidence of a temple beneath the masjid kept surfacing. When the acquired land was being levelled by the State Government, a section nearly 12 feet deep was unearthed. Dr. K.M. Srivastava, former Director, ASI and Dr. S.P. Gupta examined it and found a huge burnt-brick wall of several layers of ancient bricks, running north-south along the section. Below it was another wall and a distinct flooring of large bricks. There were marks to indicate the destruction of the huge wall. Dr. Rakesh Tiwari, Director, U.P. State Archaeology, gave the Allahabad High Court a list of 263 artifacts relating to a Hindu temple found during the levelling.
The demolition of December 6, 1992 brought hundreds of objects to light. One month after the demolition, when the site was under the control of the Central Government, a 2.5 feet broad amalaka of the demolished temple was found while erecting a barricade.
But the most important discovery was the inscription on a stone slab approximately 5 feet by 2.25 feet that fell from a wall of the Masjid during the demolition. Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri, a specialist in Epigraphy and Numismatics, said the slab was engraved in the chaste and classical Nagari script of the eleventh-twelfth century A.D. It recorded that a beautiful temple of Vishnu Hari, with a golden spire, unparalleled by any temple built by earlier kings, was constructed in Ayodhya, in Saketa mandala. It described God Vishnu as destroying king Bali (as Vamana avatar) and the ten-headed personage Dasanana (Ravana).
A scientific estampage of the inscription was made by Dr. K.V. Ramesh, renowned epigraphist and former Director of Epigraphy, ASI. He noted that the 20-line inscription was engraved on a rectangular slab, roughly covering a space 115cms x 55cms. On falling, it had broken diagonally in two pieces; hence a few letters were lost in almost every line. It was written in “fairly chaste Sanskrit” and belonged to the mid-twelfth century A.D. The most important historical information it gave was regarding King Govindachandra, obviously of the Gahadavala dynasty, who ruled over a fairly vast empire from 1114 to 1155 A.D. The inscription mentioned Saketa mandala, an administrative division of the kingdom. The temple was built by Meghasuta, but the inscription was inscribed later by his successor.
This inscription mentioned the word “pashchayats” in Lines 19-20. Dr Ramesh translated this to say that, “And now, the fierce arms of the ruler … annihilates even the fear caused by the westerners (pashchatyas)”. He interpreted it to refer to Muslims, especially the Ghaznavids, who were then invading India. Prof Irfan Habib disputed this, arguing that ‘pashchatyas’ had never been used for Muslims and Ghaznavids in any inscription or Sanskrit text. He suggested that it could be a reference to the Rashtrakutas of Kanauj and Badaun, who were the western neighbours of the Gahadavalas in the first half of the twelfth century.
Prof Habib may have a point. But the fact is that the Gahadavalas had from the beginning of their reign been outstanding defenders of Hindu dharma. Chandradeva, founder of the dynasty, has been described as “Svayambhu himself born upon the earth to restore dharma and the Veda, whose sounds had almost been silenced”. The dynasty’s copper plate inscriptions record that Chandradeva protected Kasi, Kusika or Kanyakubja, Uttarakosala or Ayodhya and the city of Indra or Indrasthaniyaka.
The Gahadavalas fought the Turks valiantly. Chandradeva imposed a special tax, turuskadanda, to raise money for war. His grandson, Govindachandra, was described by Lakshmidhara, author of Krtyakalpataru, as one “who killed in battle, the heroic Hammira …,” a reference to a Muslim chief, possibly Hajib Tugha-tigin. In an inscription at Sarnath, near Varanasi, Kumara Devi, queen of Govindachandra, compared him to Vishnu, reborn to defend his realm: “Hari (Vishnu), who had been commissioned by Hara (Siva), in order to protect Varanasi from the wicked Turushka warrior, as the only one who was able to protect the earth, was again born from him, his name being renowned as Govindachandra” — Varanasim bhuvana-raksana-daksah dustat Turuska-subhata-davitum …
Irfan Habib tried to discredit the inscription claiming that it had been “brought from somewhere else” and merely stated that a local lord of Saketa had built a beautiful temple for Vishnu-Hari. This temple was not built at the birth-site of Rama. Habib claimed that the inscription made no reference to any Muslim danger or any earlier temple having been destroyed by Muslims.
Finally, he insisted that the inscription belonged to the Treta-ka-Thakur temple site that was found towards the end of the nineteenth century and placed in the Faizabad Museum (and later moved to Lucknow Museum in 1953), and planted at the demolition site. He did not explain how it could be planted in the full glare of the national media. However, the Lucknow Museum confirmed that all its property was in its possession. The Treta-ka-Thakur inscription, as mentioned by Habib, also contains 20 twenty lines; it does not refer to any king, and its upper right portion is damaged. But the Ayodhya inscription is damaged at the bottom right and cannot be the inscription mentioned by Habib.
What is strange is that Prof Habib did not follow the logic of his own argument. Treta-ka-Thakur refers to Sri Rama as the supreme deity of the Treta yuga. The Treta-ka-Thakur inscription invoked by him was found by archaeologist Anton Fuhrer at the site of the Treta-ka-Thakur temple, within the ruins of the masjid constructed in its place. Habib does not dispute this. So why does he resist accepting that the Vishnu Hari inscription was recovered from the place where the Vishnu Hari temple had once stood, and was recovered from the walls of the Babri Masjid that replaced it?
It took 18 years for the Allahabad High Court to accept the veracity of the material remains of the temple as they began to emerge in 1992. In the eight years since the judgement, much water has flown down the Saryu.
- Based on Rama & Ayodhya, Meenakshi Jain, Aryan Books International, 2013.
Panchjanya, 6 December 2018