The Ayodhya Evidence Debate - Part
Dr Koenraad Elst
8. More on the British
eminent JNU historians have claimed that "it is in the nineteenth century
that the story circulates and enters official records. These records were
then cited by others as valid historical evidence on the issue."
A few years earlier, they were still far more circumspect before making
this assertion. In the early days of the Ayodhya dispute, in a letter to
the Times of India, a group of JNU academics wrote: "It would be
worth enquiring whether there is reliable historical evidence of a period
prior to nineteenth century for this association of a precise location
with the birthplace of Rama."
Lawyer A. G. Noorani comments on the letter: "They were absolutely right.
The myth is a nineteenth century creation - by the British."
Note however that in their 1986 letter, the JNU historians had only
suggested this in question format, but later many of them, like Noorani in
this passage, have asserted it quite affirmatively.
Noorani then quotes a letter by Indrajit Dutta and nine others: "The
belief that the disputed place of worship in Ayodhya is a mosque built
after destroying a temple consecrating Rama's birthplace originates in
the first half of the 19th century. In 1813 John Leyden, a
British historian, published his Memoirs of Zehir-ed-din, Muhammad
Babar, Emperor of Hindustan (A translation of Babar's memoirs in
Persian). In it Leyden had contended that Babar had passed through Ayodhya
in March 1528 during his campaign against the Pathans. This 'historical
evidence' of Babar's presence in the area was destroyed by later British
authorities to propagate the belief that the 'anti-Hindu' Babar had
destroyed the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple and got a mosque built on the spot -
though Leyden's work makes no mention of it. Sushil Srivastava of the
Department of Medieval and Modern History, University of Allahabad, has
worked extensively on the history of Awadh. He substantiates his findings
to show how the British authorities, specifically Colonel Sleeman, then
resident of Lucknow, anxious to justify the annexation of Awadh, exploited
this controversy superbly at a time when rumblings of the 1857 mutiny were
Remark the illogical claim that the British "destroyed" the document cited
by Leyden to substantiate his hypothesis (and the local tradition) that
Babar had passed through the town of Ayodhya, when that very document and
that very hypothesis would support the theory that Babar destroyed a Hindu
temple in Ayodhya, precisely the theory which the theory which the ten
signatories try to "unmask" as a British concoction. The claim that the
British deliberately "destroyed" this of any other historical evidence is
also unsupported by any evidence.
is all the more serious considering the fact that the British archives
provide a much more complete testimony of the British policies than
anything from the earlier periods, and considering the ten signatories'
own contention that their friend Sushil Srivastava has made a detailed
study of the British machinations in Avadh. There is little doubt that the
British resident was implementing policies designed to bring Avadh under
British control. But what is very much in doubt (at any rate totally
unsubstantiated) is the claim that he used temple history concoctions to
There is actually some evidence to the opposite effect. P. Carnegy wrote
in 1870 that up to 1855 both Hindus and Muslims worshipped at the mosque,
which led to a lot of friction, until the British separated them: "It is
said that up to that time [viz. the Hindu-Muslim clashes in the 1850s] the
Hindus and Mohammedans alike used to worship in the mosque-temple. Since
the British rule a railing has been put up to prevent dispute,
within which in the mosque the Mohammedans pray, while outside the fence
the Hindus have raised a platform on which they make their offerings."
As Peter Van der Veer comments on Carnegy's testimony, against the British
concoction hypothesis: "The suggestion that the local tradition is
entirely invented by the British thus seems disingenuous."
quote Van der Veer in full: "The implication here is that the British
found the 'facts' that fitted their master narrative of the perpetual
hostility between Hindus and Muslims (*) One of the problems with the
above argument is that the British were not very interested in the Hindu
history of Ayodhya. The most important British archaeologist of India in
the nineteenth century was Alexander Cunningham. He did come to Ayodhya,
not to dig up evidence of Hindu-Muslim enmity but to look for the Buddhist
monuments of Saketa/Ayodhya - monuments that nobody locally was interested
in, then or now. Patrick Carnegy, the commissioner, argued that the
pillars of the mosque - which are now ascribed to a Hindu temple by [B.
B.] Lal and others - strongly resemble Buddhist pillars, although he did
not accept the local tradition that Babar built his mosque on the
'birthplace' temple. However, he also accepted the local tradition that
Hindus and Muslims used to worship together in this mosque-temple until
the disturbances of 1855. The suggestion that the local tradition is
entirely invented by the British thus seems disingenuous."
19th century scholars had a strong pro-Buddhist bias in their
Indian studies (setting a trend which continues till today), and the first
Ayodhya surveyors display the same intellectual fashion, rather than the
politically more useful interest in Hindu-Muslim friction. The dozens of
scholars who have floated the British concoction hypothesis are faced with
a total absence of 19th century data supporting it.
Patrick Carnegy, the first British commissioner in Faizabad and still very
close in time to the episode of communal violence (1852-57) and the
British take-over after the Mutiny (1857-58), would have emphasized
Hindu-Muslim conflict if the British concoction hypothesis had been true.
Instead, he highlights the relative Hindu-Muslim harmony which existed
shortly before the time of the British take-over.
moment of harmony may well have been exceptional and may have to be
explained by the Muslim rulers' need to strengthen their position against
British ambitions. But at any rate it was a fact which the British would
not have highlighted if they had wanted to base their divide-and-rule on
false history of Hindu-Muslim conflict. Moreover, if they had wanted to
use historical cases of Hindu-Muslim tension to foment more such tension
in their own day, they could have invoked numerous certified instances
rather than having to invent any.
only serious comment on the VHP evidence bundle published in the national
press (but still not reporting the outcome of the evidence debate) was a
derogatory piece by Bhupendra Yadav in The Tribune. In his despair
at finding that "proven secularists", like R. Nath and B. B. Lal, "are now
nodding assent to the argument for Ram Janmabhoomi", Yadav does try to
propose an alternative to the temple destruction scenario. Acknowledging
Lal's archaeological finding of 11th century temple foundations
underneath the Babri Masjid, he comes up with the following explanation:
"After they occupied Ayodhya in 1194 AD, the Turkish sultans found a
vacant mound at Ramkot in which lay buried the burnt pillar bases. The
sultans encouraged settlements of Muslims on the mound (*) To help these
Muslims pray, officials of the Babar regime built a mosque in 1528 AD."
Bhupendra Yadav's nice little scenario is of course purely hypothetical
and unsupported by any document whatsoever, but that doesn't seem to
trouble him. At any rate, after the cream of India's secularist historians
have used all their resources to create a semblance of credibility for the
no-temple case, all that Bhupendra Yadav can come up with, is the
hypothesis that: 1) The Hindus of Ayodhya had left the geographical place
of honor in the middle of their city "vacant", unlike the people of every
other city in the whole world; 2) they had laid the foundations (the
pillar bases of burnt brick) for a pillared building which they never
constructed, and waited for others to come and put these foundations to
proper use. This hypothesis is pretty far-fetched. But at least Mr. Yadav
has the merit of explicitating what most people who deny the temple
destruction scenario only claim by implication.
similar howler was launched by archaeologist D. Mandal of Allahabad
University in his booklet Ayodhya Archaeology after Demolition
(1993). In the first week of July 1992, a team of eight reputed
archaeologists, including former ASI directors Dr. Y. D. Sharma and Dr. K.
M. Srivastava, had paid a visit to the Ramkot hill in Ayodhya. They went
there to verify and evaluate the findings done by labourers who had been
clearing the area around the Babri Masjid on orders of the Uttar Pradesh
Department of Tourism. The findings included religious sculptures, among
them a statue of Vishnu (of whom Rama is considered an incarnation), and a
lot of Masjid structure. Team members said that the inner boundary of the
disputed structure rests, at least on one side, on an earlier temple".
They pleaded for a more systematic survey of the entire hill.
However, Mandal dismisses the post-demolition (and pre-demolition)
archaeological evidence for the temple as they "cannot be placed in
context since the stratigraphical evidence is destroyed by arbitrary
digging or wilful destruction".
By that criterion, much of Egyptian and Harappan history should also be
nullified retro-actively. Even a few decades ago, archaeological methods
were unscientific by present-day standards, and the older findings were
therefore not as transparent in terms of stratigraphy and chronology as
desirable, yet the artifacts found were still real and did not allow for
certain conclusions even if less compelling or precise.
Moreover, Mandal seems to be trying to over-awe the lay reader with a
distinction between strata which is very important in digging at
prehistorical sites but becomes far less crucial in more recent sites,
where the objects found are known "in context" because a lot of written
evidence attests to their use and meaning and chronology. When you find
different prehistoric stone tools, proper stratigraphy is essential if you
want to know their chronological sequence. But when you find (a) a
paleolithic flintstone scraper, (b) a medieval metal saw, and (c) a modern
electrical sawing machine, you can safely deduce that (a) precedes (b)
which in turn precedes (c), even if the stratigraphy of the site had been
messed up. Likewise, it is not difficult to distinguish Hindu art from
Muslim art. It would be a Martial who knows neither religion, but not for
us who are familiar with both religions and their art histories.
Unlike findings at pre-literate sits from unknown cultures, the objects in
Ayodhya were certainly found "in context". For starters, they were Hindu
objects found at a site where, after centuries of Hindu presence, a mosque
had been built. Even if stratigraphically less than perfect, the fact of
this multifarious evidence's existence, certified a number of leading
archaeologists, is undeniable.
Mandal also tries to impose a contrived explanation on Prof. B. B. Lal's
old pillar bases evidence, claiming that these pillar-bases were
"certainly not contemporaneous with one another" nor even "components of a
This would mean that every now and then, these inconsistent Hindus or
Muslims just made a hole in the ground, arbitrarily planted a pillar-base
somewhere, never to build a pillar on it, then forgot about it a few
decades later, another joker repeated this meaningless ritual,
coicindentally yielding an orderly pattern of pillar-bases. This is
secularist archaeology for you.
Another strange line of argument which Mandal uses, is this: he first
claims that a demolition must have involved the use of fire, then notes
that "neither are there traces of burning, expected when military
Now, apart from the fact that fire would mostly affect the overground
parts while we are only left with the underground remainder, the point is
that no one insists that the temple was destroyed by fire. Numerous
mosques stand on Hindu temples which were demolished alright without being
burnt down. Indeed, any Kar Sevak would have told Prof. Mandal that there
are other ways of demolishing a building. Could it be that Mandal is only
refuting his own straw-man hypothesis because he cannot face the real
the rest, he repeats the worn-out trick of using the non-mentioning of
certain facts in B. B. Lal's brief (i.e., by definition incomplete)
report to "contradict" B. B. Lal's and S. P. Gupta's recent revelations of
findings which would only appear in the full report.
The fact of the matter is that the full report of B. B. Lal's findings was
withheld from publication, and that the brief report which the journalists
had seen explicity refrains from giving details of the medieval findings.
It is quite odd to use the brief version of the report to disprove the
detailed version of the same report's relevant part which B. B. Lal
himself had just made public.
the full report is still unpublished, is most likely because the
secularist authorities objected to its findings. As Peter Van der Veer
reported: "However, in this case the government has not allowed the
Department of Archaeology to provide evidence. It has thus fallen to B. B.
Lal to do so."
same counts for the inscription found during the demolition, which clearly
mentions that the site was considered Rama's birthplace.
At that time, many academics declared without any examination that the
inscription, presented by scholars of no lesser stature than themselves,
was a forgery. Thus according to "a group of historians and scholars"
including Kapil Kumar, B. D. Chattopadhyaya, K. M. Shrimali, Suvira
Jaiswal and S. C. Sharma, the "so-called discoveries of artifacts" during
and after the demolition were "a planned fabrication and a fraud
perpetrated to further fundamentalist designs".
the secularists had really believe this, theory would have requested
access to the findings, which would readily have been granted by the
minister in charge, the militant secularist Arjun Singh. They would have
invited international scholars as witnesses, and curtly demonstrated its
falseness for all to see. Instead, just like B. B. Lal's report, this
inscription became a skeleton in their closet, which they have to keep
from public view as long as possible.
fact, the BMAC and secularist tide has frequently opposed archaeological
research at the site, while the Hindu side wanted more of it, e.g.:
"Nevertheless, in a BBC interview in 1991, [B. B.] Lal argued that there
had been a Hindu temple for Rama/Vishnu on the spot now occupied by the
mosque and that pillars of that temple had been used in constructing the [Masjid].
Lal suggested that further digging should be carried out in order to come
up with more evidence - a suggestion that was denounced in the press by
the historian Irfan Habib and others as a ploy to demolish the mosque."
whole anti-temple argumentation has nothing more to offer than such
pitiable attempts to wriggle out from under the weight of inconvenient
evidence. Only media power has so far saved the "eminent historians" and
their ilk from being exposed.
10. "The Shariat does
not allow Temple Demolition"
Soft-line Hindu nationalists like K. R. Malkani, along with some
secularists and Muslims, have often tried to convince us that Islam itself
opposes the demolition of non-Muslim places of worship. They even argue
that a mosque built on a demolished Hindu temple would be unlawful under
Islamic law. The authority claimed as basis for this offer is the
injunction in the Fatawa-i-Alamgiri (Aurangzeb's codex of applied
Islamic jurisprudence): "It is not permissible to build a mosque on
unlawfully acquired land. There may be many forms of unlawful acquisition.
For instance, if some people forcibly take somebody's house and build a
mosque or even a jama masjid on it, then namaz in such a
mosque will be against shari'at."
Without reference to the context, this might be read as a prohibition on
forcibly replacing Hindu temples as mosques. Sushil Srivastava has even
used this injunction as "proof" that mosques simply cannot have
been built in forcible replacement of temples. He writes that "the Quran
clearly states that prayers offered in a contentious place will not be
accepted (*) Thus, the whole purpose of constructing a masjid on
the site of a mandir would be self-defeating (*) it is highly
unlikely that even the contentious mosques in Varanasi and Mathura are
located on the exact sites of temples."
Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi is very certainly located on the exact site of
the Vishvanath temple, and visibly includes remains of the old temple
walls. Numerous other examples can be cited from inside and outside of
India, and more cases keep on being discovered."
To mention two less-known cases from Iran, the Masjid-I-Birun in Abarquh
and the Jami Masjid of Aqda (still a Zoroastrian center of pilgrimage with
a shrine in use on a mountain outside the town), "whose origin may be
traced back to fire-temples" of the Zoroastrians.
The author reporting on them correctly introduces his finding thus: "In
the Islamic world many places of worship belonging to earlier religion
have been converted to mosques."
is clear from the Islamic law books, as Prof. Harsh Narain has shown, the
injunction against building mosques on unlawfully acquired land only
applies to inter-Muslim disputes, because it was quite lawful and in fact
also quite common to have mosques built on temple sites grabbed from
Hindus and other heathens.
Indeed, the forcible takeover of non-Muslim religious places is a practice
initiated by Prophet Mohammed himself. The best example of the practice is
the Kaaba itself, a Pagan shrine forcibly transformed into the central
mosque of Islam.
11. Tampering with the
its presentation of evidence in the Government-sponsored scholars' debate
in December 1990, the VHP scholars have pointed out 4 cases of attempted
fraud by their opponents, attempts by BMAC sympathizers to conceal,
obliterate or change evidence: removing old books from libraries, adding
words on an old map. Recent editions of Urdu books (by Maulvi Abdul Karim
and by Shaikh Md. Azamat Ali Nami) have suppressed chapters or passages
relating the temple destruction on Ramkot hill which were present in
earlier editions or in the manuscript. In an English translation of a book
by Maulana Hakim Saiyid Abdul Hai, the relevant passages present in the
Urdu original had been censored out, and an effort was discovered to
remove all the copies of the Urdu original from the libraries.
maps included in the Settlement Record of 1861, which describe the
disputed area as Janamsthan, "birthplace", someone had added
"Babari Masjid"; the interpolation was obvious after comparison with a
copy of the document kept in another office. The fact that this official
document could be tampered with, may well be related to the fact that the
then Revenue Minister of Uttar Pradesh was an office-bearer of the BMAC.
my opinion, these petty and clumsy attempts to tamper with the corpus of
evidence, are child's play compared with the concealment of evidence by
professional scholars sympathetic to the Babri Masjid cause. In their
publications on this dispute, A. A. Engineer and Prof. S. Gopal have
simply kept out all inconvenient (mainly pre-British) testimonies out of
the picture and have just acted as if these did not exist. In his reply to
The Political Abuse of History by 25 historians of JNU, Prof. A. R. Khan
shows grounds to accuse the eminent JNU historians of "not only
concealment but also distortion of evidence."
is not unfair to conclude that some of the pro-BMAC authors have committed
serious breaches of academic deontology. For me personally, seeing this
shameless overruling of historical evidence with a high-handed use of
academic and media power, was the immediate reason to involve myself in
this controversial question.
A. K. Chatterjee had presented the testimony by 18th century
traveler Father Teiffenthaler as evidence, Syed Shahabuddin revealed in
his reply that he possessed a copy of this text (in German translation)
and that he was thoroughly familiar with the text.
This seems to imply that while he was challenging his opponents to come up
with any pre-British evidence, he was fully aware that such evidence did
exist (or at the very least a document which might reasonably be claimed
to contain such evidence, even if one were to be persuaded by
Shahabuddin's extremely contrived attempt to explain it away), but
remained sitting on top of it in the hope that nobody would discover it.
above are cases where the attempts to suppress evidence have failed. It is
quite probable that other attempts have succeeded. There may well be
documents containing pertinent information, particularly about the site's
history during the Sultanate period (1206 - 1525), which have escaped the
notice of Prof. Harsh Narain (the only scholar of Persian and Arabic in
the VHP team) because they had been removed in time from the places where
they could normally be found. Such documents would mostly be in Persian
and available only in the libraries of Muslim institutions. In some of
these, Prof. Harsh Narain has effectively been denied access as soon as
his involvement in the Ayodhya argument became known. How many pieces of
pertinent material have been concealed, removed, destroyed or altered is
clear-cut result of the Ayodhya evidence debate is still not widely known.
Most of the Indian English-language papers, as well as the official
electronic media, have all along been on the side of the BMAC, and they
have strictly kept the lid on this information. Their reporting on the
scholars' debate has been very partial and, from the moment the BMAC's
defeat became clear, increasingly vague.
any proof is needed that the BMAC has been defeated in this debate, it is
this: no one sympathetic to the Babri Masjid cause has made any reference
to the outcome of this debate all through the subsequent years, even
though the Ayodhya issue frequently reappeared in the news. Politicians
have made a show of their "secularism" and their opposition to "religious
fanaticism" by organizing "fact-finding missions" to Ayodhya and issuing
statements on the dispute, but they have not made any reference to the
outcome of the scholars' debate at all, When reading about the subsequent
course of the Ayodhya controversy, one might get the impression that the
scholars' debate never took place.
However, it did not take place, and it has yielded
sufficient evidence to consider the matter as practically closed. The
Babri Masjid was built in forcible replacement of a Hindu temple. With the
historical question decided, that leaves only the political question to be
political question has not been the topic of this paper, but for those who
care to know, I briefly statement my position. The Rama-Janmabhoomi site
has been a Hindu sacred site for many centuries. Even the JNU historians
admit that it was a pilgrimage site since the 13th century. It
may have been one since much earlier, but alright: Catholic pilgrimage
sites like Loudres and Fatima are not even two centuries old and still
they are respected. So, seven centuries is quite sufficient to certify its
status of sanctity. Today, judges and governments in Australia, New
Zealand and the Americas are increasingly conceding the right of
indigenous communities to restart worship at their sacred sites. Consider
the human right to freedom of religion, it is obvious that communities
have a right to their sacred sites, and no modern or humane person would
ever countenance thwarting this right for other than the most compelling
So it is completely
evident that Hindus have a right to use and properly adorn their own
sacred sites, including Rama Janmabhoomi at Ayodhya. The problem with
Ayodhya, the cause of all this rioting and wast of lives and political
energy is not that they Hindus want to adorn their own sacred site with
proper temple architecture that is the most normal thing in the world. The
problem is that another party, the Islamist-Christian- Marxist combine in
India, is trying to obstruct this perfectly unobjectionable project of
architectural renovation. Against the near-universal consensus that all
sacred sites are to be respected, Islam is taking the position that it has
the right to occupy and desecrate the sacred sites of other religions.
Genuine secularists must oppose and thwart this obscurantist design, and
allow the normal process of Hindu architectural renovation to take its
Romila Thapar, Bipin Chandra et al: "The Political Abuse of History",
in Asghar Ali Engineer: Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi Controversy,
Letter signed by Romila Thapar, Muzaffar Alam, Bipin Chandra, R.
Champalakshmi, S. Bhattacharya, Harbans Mukhia, Suvira Jaiswal, Shireen
Ratnagar, M. K. Palat, Satish Sabarwal, Sarvapelli Gopal and Mrdula
Mukherjee, datelined 21-10-1986, published in Times of India,
A. G. Noorani: "The Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi Question", Asghar Ali
Engineer: Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi Convtroversy, p. 66.
Letter in The Statesman, 22-10-1989, quoted by A. G. Noorani: "The
Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi Question", Asghar Ali Engineer:
Babri Masjid?Ram Janmabhoomi Controversy, p. 66-67
P. Carnegy: A Historical Sketch of Tehsil Fyzabad, Lucknow 1870,
quoted by Harsh Narain: The Ayodhya Temple/ Mosque Dispute,
Penman, Delhi 1993, p. 8-9, and by Peter Van der Veer: Religious
Nationalism, p. 153; emphasis mine.
Peter Van der Veer: Religious Nationalism, p. 160
Bhupendra Yadav: "Temple issue built on weak base", in The Tribune,
Indian Express, 4-7-1992
Presented in Y. D. Sharma et al.: Ramajanma Bhumi: Ayodhya. New
Archaeological Discoveries, published by Prof. K. S. Lal for the
Historians' Forum, Delhi 1992. An earlier smaller find of religious
artifacts on 10 March 1992 in diggings by the Uttar Pradesh tourism
department was reported in the press, e.g., Anil Rana: "Artifacts found
near Babari Masjid", Statesman, 11-3-1992. A further discovery was made
a month after the demolition, vide: "New Evidence at Temple site found",
D. Mandal: Ayodhya Archaeology after Demolition. A Critique of the
"New' and 'Fresh' Discoveries, Orient Longman, Delhi 1993, p. xi.
E.g.,: "No pillar bases at Ayodhya: ASI Rport", Times of India,
7-12-90, and A. G. Noorani: "The Babri Masjid Ram Janmabhoomi Question",
in A. A. Engineer: Babri Masjid Ram Janmabhoomi Controversy, p.
B. B. Lal explained this matter and restated his long-held positions in
his article: "Facts of history cannot be altered", in The Hindu,
1-7-1998, in reply to a slanderous editorial, "Tampering with history",
The Hindu, 12-6-1998. Undaunted, D. N. Jha attempted to restore
the confusion: "We were not shown Ayodhya notebook", The Hindu,
Peter Van der Veer: Religious Nationalism, p. 157. On several
occasions, Marxist historians had insinuated that B. B. Lal, one of the
greatest living archeologists, has changed his conclusions about
pre-existent temple in order to satisfy the "requirements of VHP
politics" (thus the JNU historians Romila Thapar, S. Gopal and K. N.
Panikkar in Indian Express 5-12-1990). Among those who came out
in Prof. Lal's defence and certified his statements are K. V.
Soundarajan (ASI), I. Mahadevan, R. Nath, K. V. Raman, and K. K.
Mohammed (ASI, the only Muslim who participated in the Ayodhya
excavations, letter in Indian Express, 15-12-1990). In a speech
to the Aligarh Historians Group (12+-2-1991), published in Muslim
India, (5/1991), Prof. Irfan Habib has made similar personal attacks
on Prof. B. R. Grover. Prof. B. P. Sinha, Prof. K. S. Lal and Dr. S. P.
Gupta, who have represented the VHP in the scholars' debate, and on
Prof. B. B. Lal.
Presented by Dina Nath Mishra: "Writing in the debris", Telegraph,
"Historians pick holes in 'evidence'", Times of India, 26-12-1992
Peter Van der Veer: Religious Nationalism, p. 158-159
Sushil Srivastava: "The Ayodhya controversy", in A. A. Engineer ed.:
Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi Controversy, p. 38
E.g.: "One night during the monsoon of 1991, the rain was so heavy that
it washed away the wall that was concealing the frontage of the
Bijamandal mosque raised by Aurangzeb in 1682" in Vidisha, and "the
broken wall exposed so many Hindu idols that the Archaeological Survey
of India had no choice but to excavate", as mentioned by Prfaull Goradia:
"Heritage hushed up", Pioneer, 12-12-2000.
M. Shokoohy: "Two fire temples converted to mosques in central Iran",
Papers in Honour of Professor Mary Boyce, E. J. Brill, Leiden 1985,
Harsh Narain: "Ram Janmabhoomi: Muslim Testimony", in Lucknow Pioneer
(5-2-90) and Indian Express (26-2-90), included in S. R. Goel:
Hindu Temples, vol. I, 2nd ed. (1998), p. 169-175
Prof. A. R. Khan": "In the name of 'history'" (originally published in
Indian Express, 25-2-1990) and the whole subsequent exchange with
the JNU historians has been included in History versus Casuitry,
app. 2, and in S. R. Goel: Hindu Temples. Vol. 1, 2nd
ed. (Voice of India, Delhi 1998), p. 243-263. We have to give the JNU
historians credit for trying at least this once to refute criticism, but
we cannot commend the secretiveness about this exchange in their later
writings. On the other hand, their secretiveness is quite eloquent in
its own way.
The whole debate between A. K. Chatterjee and Syed Shahabuddhin is
included in S. R. Goel: Hindu Temples, vol. 1, and 2nd
ed., p. 176-211; Shahabuddin's claim to "have the German text" is on p.