The Supreme Court sui-motu ordered a Photo Survey through the RADAR Waves of the premises of Shriram Janmabhumi to find an answer to the gut issue of the dispute: œWhether any Hindu shrine was standing on the disputed site prior to 1528 a.d.? Survey Report was submitted to the Court in February 2003.
The expert, who happens to be a Canadian citizen, has written in his conclusion of his Survey Report that :
“In conclusion, the GPR survey reflects, in general, a variety of anomalies ranging from 0.5 to 5.5 meters in depth that could be associated with ancient and contemporaneous structures such as pillars, foundations, walls, slab flooring extending over a large portion of the site. However, the exact nature of those anomalies has to be confirmed by systematic ground-truthing, such as provided by archeological trenching.
On the basis of this Report, the Supreme Court directed the Archaeological Dept. on 5 March 2003 to scan the truth of concerned points in the Survey Report of the RADAR Waves by scientific excavation.After conducting excavation and inspection for a period of 5 months, the Archaeological Department submitted its report to the Supreme Court on 22 August 2003.
The Conclusion of the Excavation is :
œThe Hon’ble High Court, in order to get sufficient archaeological evidence on the issue involved, whether there was any temple structure, which was demolished and mosque was constructed on the disputed site, as stated on Page 1 and further on P.5 of their order dated 5 March 2003, had given directions to the Archaeological Survey of India to excavate site where the GPR Survey has suggested evidence of anomalies, which could be structure, pillars, foundation walls, slab flooring, etc., which could be confirmed by excavation.
Now, viewing in totality and taking into account the archaeological evidence of a massive structure just below the disputed structure and evidence of continuity in structural phases from the tenth century onwards up to the construction of the disputed structure along with the yield of stone and decorated bricks as well as mutilated sculpture of divine couple and carved architectural members including foliage patterns, amalaka, kapotapali doorjamb with semi-circular pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having pranala (water chute) in the north, fifty pillar based in association of the huge structure, are indicative of remains which are distinctive features found associated with the temples of north India.
The Excavation Report has created a sensation among the Muslims, some historians and archaeologists apart from, of course, certain politicians and political parties. The entire country is well acquainted with it. The Muslims demanded to scrap of the Report in the court. Arguments were presented on behalf of both the parties. Ultimately orders were issued to take the Report on the Records of the Court; but it was also ordered that the Excavation Report would be reviewed through the oral depositions by the experts — archaeologists of both the parties in the court.
Present Status of the Court
Recording of the depositions of the Archaeologists on the Excavation Report is coming to a close in the court. Thereafter arguments and counter-arguments by the advocates of both sides would begin. The decision would be written only after these arguments. After the decision by the High Court, somebody would certainly go in appeal to the Supreme Court. No one could predict as to when and what decision the Supreme Court may give in the future.
It is very difficult to say whether enough moral strength is there or not in the Govts. that be to implement the decision given by the court. Orders issued by the Supreme Court delivered in the year 1983 in a 110-year long dispute between the Shia and Sunni Muslims about the Doshipuri Kabrastan (burial ground) in Benaras could not be enforced till this date. Could any awakened and self-respecting society leave the responsibility of protecting their own Dharma and culture on the wayward mercy of Govt. only?
Remember, no dispute relating to Shriram Janmabhumi is pending before the Supreme Court at present.
Summary of Excavation Report by Archaeological Dept. On the basis of the indication found about certain geological imponderables in the GPR conducted by Tojo Vikas International, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has conducted the excavation in the said premises from 12 March 2003 to 7 August 2003 as per the directives of the Hon’ble Lucknow High Court. Eighty-two trenches were dug on all sides of the make-shift temple of Shriram Lalla. The geological imponderables were found to be true and pillar-bases, architectural structures, floorings and remnants of other bases were secured. Some other trenches also were dug out apart from these 82 trenches, whereby their total number worked to out 90 trenches. The summary of this Report regarding the excavation activities is as follows :
œIndication was found of the inhabitation of those most ancient people, who were using the North Black Polished Earthern Wares (NBPW) in the premises of the disputed site in Ayodhya. Although no indication was found about any structural activities before the first millennia b.c., even then the remnants of the terra-cotta idols, especially those of the Goddesses, beads of terra-cottas and glass, wheels and trenches prepared for worship, etc. were found. On the basis of earthenwares with brown, black and red polish, a specialty of those periods gets manifested and that is earthen architecture. One round coin with unclear Brahmi script of the Ashokan period engraved on it was also found.
Scientifically this period is considered to be between 1000 years b.c. to 300 a.d. The second layer of cultural activities comes of Shung Period (Second and First Century b.c.). Matru Goddess of terra-cotta, earthen idols of humans and animals, beads, hair-pins, and excavators, etc. were found, which belong to this period. The remnants of earthen wares with black, brown and red polish were also found. The beginning of architectural sculpture was seen, which is quite evident from the structures of stone and burnt brickwork.
After the Shung Period, there are indications of cultural supremacy of Kushan period (First and Second Centuries a.d.). Human and animal images of terra-cotta, remnants of shrines, beads, hair-pins, broken pieces of bangles, remnants of earthen wares with red polish and collyrium sticks are the specialties of this period. There is yet another specialty of this period — massive structure, which is prevalent up to twenty-two cracks. (?).
No proof of a qualitative change in the architectural activities after the advent of the Gupta period (fourth to sixth-century a.d.) was found, although this period is known for its classical arts. Things like specific figures of terra-cotta and one copper coin with Shri. Chandra (Gupta) and other signs thereon represent this era.
Architectural activities continued during the post-Gupta-Rajput period (seventh and tenth centuries a.d.) — especially the preparation of burnt bricks has been the specialty of this period. A round altar (shrine) made up of bricks indicates the act of worship for the first time. Outwardly it is circular, but internally it is square and it has its door on the east. Although this construction is old and dilapidated, its northern wall has still a Prannali (water chute), which has been the unique specialty of the temples the Ganga-Yamuna planes.
Thereon, a massive construction was done on this site during the early medieval period (eleventh to twelfth centuries a.d.), which was 50 meters in length north-south. But it appears that this construction was short-lived. Of the 50, only four pillar-bases have been found during the excavation, the flooring of which are prepared from the brick-dust. On the remnants of the above construction, one more large structure has been built in three phases and its three floorings came before us.
The foliage and other decorative elements have been re-used, which are cut with the stencils, are found in the first construction and thus a massive structure or memorial built, wherein there were single pillared or twin-pillared cells that are quite different from the residential blocks. This construction presents the proofs of the constructions that are used for the common people. This remained there for a long period — up to the central Sultan level (twelfth to sixteenth centuries a.d.). Right above this construction, the disputed structure (so-called Babari Masjid) was constructed at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Ample proofs have been found right below the disputed structure, wherefrom it is proved that there was a huge and wider construction, which was 50 meters in length (north-south) and 30 meters in east-west. About fifty pillar-bases have been found in the excavation, which is made up of bricks with concrete coating and stones placed on them.
These pillar-bases in the north-south region also give the indication that there was a lengthy huge wall, which could be excavated only up to 50 meters at this time. The center of the central cell of the disputed structure is in the center of the old wall. This wall could not be dug out fully. Because there is the make-shift temple of Shriram Lalla thereon. This area is a 15 x 15 platform. There is a round lower place in its east, which is in hollow ditch constructed in bricks; and here something, perhaps lamps were offered to the adorable gods. The lamps made up of terra-cotta have been found in various trenches and they were in ample numbers in G-2 trench. From this, the above fact stands confirmed.
The pieces of shining earthenwares, which remained there for a long time thereafter, and shining tiles have been found, which perhaps might have been used in the original construction. The pieces of silicon and China clay have been found in a very scant quantity. Animal bones belonging to different periods have been found at various levels. Remnants of human skeletons have also been found in the trenches in the north-south region, which belongs to a very late time. These graves are in the debris of the disputed structure and suppressed under the upper deposits of the debris.
Thus, it is found that from the remnants of various constructional structures belonging from the Shung period to the Gupta period, it has not become very clear as to which workers were they being used for. It is worth mentionable here that no residential remnants were found at the said site that belonged only to Gupta period and further post-Mughal periods; and only debris or filling materials were found in the constructional layers, which might have been taken from the surrounding areas and used in leveling of the ground. As a result of this, earthen idols, terra-cotta and other materials belonging to the most earlier period (NBPW) and Kushan period were found mixed in the recent debris. Thus it is concluded that the portion below the disputed structure was meant for the use of the common people.
This was going on from the most earlier period to the Mughal period without any impedance. The disputed structure (the so-called Babari Masjid) was built during Mughal period, which was in a limited area only and there was peoples inhabitation all around it — its proofs are found in the form of archaeological materials like earthen wares etc. There was a lack of residential constructions at the disputed site prior to the Mughal periods, such as deep wells, gutters, fire-places or ovens are totally missing. From this, it is revealed that the said disputed site has not been used for residential purposes from the Gupta period through to the early medieval Rajput period and further up to the medieval Sultan period and that it was in the use of the common people only.
The articles found in the said premises give an indication of the mid-Thirteenth century b.c. (1250 + or – 130 b.c.) on the basis of Carbon-14 time determination tests; the lowest debris over the natural soil represents up to NBPW. Thus it is found that the most ancient remnants pertain to thirteenth-century b.c. It has been testified according to Carbon-14 test as 910 + or – 100 b.c. and 880 + or – 100 b.c. These remnants have been found in the G-7 trench. As per the Radio-Carbon Time Determination System also, they have been verified as 780 + or – 80 b.c., 530 + or – 530 70 b.c. and 320 + or – 80 b.c. These time determinations and NBPW remnants found in the said premises are considered to be pertaining to 600 b.c. to 300 b.c. and the ancient period goes back up to 1000 b.c. Though proofs of NBPW evidence are not found, the indication of human activities is found up to 13th-century b.c., which has been verified even as per the scientific time-determination system.
While keeping in view the fact that sufficient archaeological evidence is also required to resolve the said dispute, Hon’ble High Court in its orders dated 9 March 2003 had emphasized, œWhether there was any temple or another construction was existing prior to the erection of the Babari Masjid? And orders were issued to the ASI to excavate at the said spot, where an indication of geological imponderables was found in the GPR surveys. So many archaeological evidence has been found right below the disputed structure (Babari Masjid), whereby it is proved that there was a huge construction available earlier, the activities of whose construction had been going on continuously from the tenth century, till such time the so-called Mosque was not built over it. There are all such yields of stones and decorated bricks, an idol couple in broken stones, carved architectural members like foliage, emblic myrobalan, kapotpali (row opinions), a door segment with semi-circular wall-pillar, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having Prannala (water chute) in the north, fifty pillar bases in association of the huge structure, which have been the characteristics of a temple in northern India.
It was decided in the Dharma Sansad held at Delhi that no Dharma Sansad would be convened in the future for the purpose of Shriram Janmabhumi and Shriram Janmabhumi Mandir Nirman Andolan would be carried on under the auspices of a High Power Committee till the Janmabhumi is transferred to Hindu society. The H.P.C. took a decision that if the Govt. does not hand over the 67 acres of undisputed land of Janmabhumi surrounding to Shriram Janmabhumi Nyas within a period of one month, then Satyagraha would be undertaken in Delhi from 27 March to 02 April 2003 at Delhi to secure the premises.
According to the decision by the High Power Committee, Satyagraha Andolan was arranged for a week from 27 March to 02 April 1003 at Gandhi Circuit Grounds in Delhi. Different provinces were given different timings to participate in the Satyagraha daily. They participated in the Satyagraha according to their dates. A total of 1,75,548 Ram-Bhakts participated in the week-long Satyagraha in the following way:
Thursday – 27 March 2003: a total of 37,193 Ram-Bhaktas from Hariyana, Indraprastha, East Andhra, Orissa, Maharashtra, Mahakoshal, North Bihar, Jaipur, North Gujarat, Braj and Kanpur took part in the Satyagraha.
Friday – 28 March 2003: A total of 30,447 Ram-Bhaktas from Indraprastha, Punjab, West Andhra, Kerala, South Bihar, North Assam, South Bengal, Konkan, Chhattisgarh, Sourashtra, Jodhpur, Meerut and Avadha provinces participated in the Satyagraha.
Saturday – 29 March 2003: A total of 20,581 Ram-Bhaktas from Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Karnataka, Jharkhand, North Bengal, Vidarbha, Madhya Bharat, South Gujarat, Chittore, Braj, Uttaranchal, Gorakhpur, Indraprasth provinces did the Satyagraha.
Sunday – 30 March 2003: Total 23,927 Satyagrahis from Hariyana, Jammu, East Andhra, Orissa, North Bihar, Maharashtra, Mahakoshal, Jaipur, North Gujarat, Meerut, Kanpur, Kashi, Indraprastha provinces participated in the Satyagraha.
Monday – 31 March 2003: Total 19,035 Rambhaktas from Punjab, West Andhra, Tamilnadu, South Assam, South Bihar, Konkan, Chhattisgarh, Sourashtra, Jodhpur, Braj, Avadh, Indraprastha provinces performed the Satyagraha.
Tuesday – 01 April 2003: Total of 22,332 Rambhaktas from Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Karnataka, Jharkhand, North Bengal, Vidarbha, Madhya Bharat, South Gujarat, Jaipur, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Indraprastha provinces took part in the Satyagraha.
Wednesday – 02 April 2003: 20,043 Rambhaktas from Hariyana, Jammu, South Karnataka, South Bengal, North Gujarat, Chittore, Uttaranchal, Kashi, Indraprasth, Tamilnadu provinces took part in Satyagraha.
Prominent among those who were arrested in this Satyagraha were Pujya Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das, Pujya Swami Satyamitranand, Pujya Swami Vasudevacharya, Pujya Swami Ramvilasdas Vedanti together with Shri. Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Shri. Ashok Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishor, Dr. Pravinbhai Togadia, Shri. Shrishchandra Dikshit, Central Secretaries and Joint Secretaries of the VHP.
Terrorist Attack on Shriram Mandir in Ayodhya
Five terrorists entered the premises of Shriram Janmabhumi at 09.00 a.m. on 05 July 2005. The Security Forces valiantly and smartly smashed them all. Before entering the acquired premises, the terrorists had destroyed its iron barricades near a Jain Temple in its north corner by exploding a Marshal jeep. Because of this explosion, people in faraway surroundings become alert. All could at once understand that terrorists have entered in a very short time. The Security forces had killed all of them with the co-operation of the people. AK-47, AK56, Anti-Tank hand grenades (China made), rocket launchers, pistol, 9 MM magazine, etc. were recovered from the terrorists. Symptoms of poison were found from the viscera of one terrorist in the course of his post-mortem.
Shri.George Fernandes, Home Minister Shri. Shivraj Patil from Delhi and the Governor of Uttar Pradesh arrived in Ayodhya to have a spot inspection on 06 July. Shri. Ashok Singhal and Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi also reached Ayodhya on 06 July itself. On an appeal by the Sants, one public meeting was held in Ayodhya in the evening at 5 o’clock at Karsewakpuram. Huge local public and Sants participated in the meeting. Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Rambhadracharya Maharaj came down from Naimisharanya especially to take part in the meeting. Shri. Ashok Singhal, Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi, and Pujya Ramabhadracharya Maharaj visited the actual site of the attack and saw the circumstances personally on the morning of 07 July. It was learned that the terrorists had reached up to Shriram Lalla. They had thrown hand grenades too; but due to grace of the Lord, none of them had exploded. Unexploded bombs were also found behind the idols of Ram Lalla during the course of excavation conducted by the ASI on 15 July, 18 July and 20 July 2005 as per the orders of the High Court.
VHP Delegation meets Home Minister / President in Protest against the Attack
A delegation of Sants and top Office-Bearers of the VHP under the leadership of Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Ramabhadracharya called on the Rashtrapati Shri. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and also met the Home Minister Shri. Shivaraj Patil in this regard and gave them a report regarding the terrorist attack on Shriram Janmabhumi in Ayodhya. Both heard the Sants very carefully and seriously. The delegation was comprised of Pujya Rambhadracharya Maharaj (Chitrakoot), Mahant Nrityagopal Das Maharaj, Mahant Koushal Kishor Das Maharaj (Big Bhaktamal, Brindavan), Swami Hansdas Maharaj (Haridwar), Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vishweshwaranand Maharaj (Sannyas Ashram, Mumbai), Shri. Ashok Singhal, President of the VHP, Shri. Rajendra Singh Pankaj, Central Secretary, VHP.
Reactions / Protests against the Terrorist Attack
Famous Pravachankar, Rashtra-Sant Morari Bapu termed the terrorist attack on Shriram Janma bhumi as an attack on truth, love, and compassion. The whole nation should unitedly fight this heinous phenomenon.
Jagadguru Ramanujacharya Swami Purushottamacharya Maharaj said, œnow the time has come for the entire Hindu society to come forward, protect its places of worship on its own.
Protests were held all over the country through a call for nation-wide Bandh and demonstrations all over the country against the Jihadi Terrorist Attack on Shriram Janmabhumi in Ayodhya :
The impact of Bandh was very wide-spread on the general public in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, the North-Eastern States including Tripura, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Hariyana, Punjab, etc.
Flights of the planes and plying of railways were blocked in Indore
Workers of the VHP, Bajarang Dal, Shiv Sena, Arya Samaj, and other Hindu Organisations as also general public held protests on Parliament Street, New Delhi under the leadership of Acharya Giriraj Kishor, Shri. Omkar Bhave, Shri. Prem Singh Sher etc. The police resorted to mild lathi-charge, lobed water-cannon and tear-gas shells on the protesters.
A massive public protest was held at Jantar Mantar in Delhi against the terrorist attack on Shriram Janmabhumi Mandir.
The workers met the wounded security-men Shri. Nandkishor and Shri. Sultan Singh in the AIMS Hospital Delhi and eulogized their chivalry in fighting the terrorism.