Ayodhya-The Case Against the Temple
|Publisher:||Voice of India New Delhi|
|Other Details||8.50 X 5.50 inch|
The present book is my last contribution to the literature on what is known in India as "communalism", meaning the conflict between the different religions, principally Hinduism and Islam.
My first book in this sphere of interest was Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid: A Case Study in Hindu-Muslim Conflict (1990). It served a good purpose, viz. to break the false impression that the world of scholarship including Western Indologists was united in certifying that the Hindu claim to the disputed site in Ayodhya was historically unfounded. In the subsequent years, evidence has been piling up in favour of the Hindu claim. Coming full circle, I have included in this book a compilation of papers on various aspects of the Ayodhya debate written by me between 1995 and 2002. Its main focus is the argumentation and view of Hindu-Muslim history offered by the anti-temple party.
In references to the question whether there really was a Hindu temple at the Ayodhya site later covered by the Babri Masjid, the focus is invariably on the case made by the Hindu side, viz. that there was a temple, and that different types of evidence confirm this. The standard question is: is this evidence for the temple demolition scenario valid? Have they succeeded in proving the existence of the temple? By contrast, the opponents of the temple hypothesis are but very rarely asked to put their evidence on the table.
The non-temple argumentation is confined to two types of evidence: arguments from silence, and attempts to find fault with pieces of evidence offered by the temple party.
Future historians will include the no-temple argument of the 1990s as a remarkable case study in their surveys of academic fraud and politicized scholarship. With academic, institutional and media power, a new academic-journalistic consensus has been manufactured denying the well-established history of temple demolition by Islamic iconoclasm to the Babri Masjid Ram Janmabhoomi site; at least among people with prestige and influence but no first-hand knowledge of the issue. But the facts will remain the facts, and their ongoing suppression is bound to give way as new generations of scholars take a fresh look at the data.
The present book is my last contribution to the literature on what is known in India as "communalism", meaning the conflict between the different religions, principally Hinduism and Islam. Some of the authors whose works were published by Voice of India, notably Prof. Harsh Narain and Sri Suhas Majumdar, had only started speaking out on the communal question in the very last years of their lives. We must be grateful to them that they were willing to sacrifice their years of well-earned rest to a diagnosis of this unpleasant problem. I am very fortunate in having discovered the problem at an earlier stage of life and being offered a forum where I could contribute to the research into and reflection on its causes. In terms of my own potential, I feel I have exhausted the topic and I now intend to move on (or return) to more fundamental subjects of philosophy and religion.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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