An archaeologist has made some startling accusations against noted historians like Irfan Habib and Romila Thapar for having thwarted the possibility of an amicable solution to the Babri Masjid dispute by opposing the fact there was ever any remnant of Hindu temple found at the site in Ayodhya.
According to a report by Firstpost, in his book titled Njan Enna Bharatiyan (I am an Indian), Dr KK Muhammed, former Regional Director(North) of Archaeological Survey of India says an archaeological excavation done by by a team headed by Professor BB Lal, then director general of the Archaeological Survey of India during 1976-77, found the debris of a Hindu temple at the disputed site.
In his book, Muhammed - who is the director of the Aga Khan Trust - has slammed Habib, Thapar, RS Sharma, DN Jha, Suraj Ben and Akthar Ali, historians from the Marxist school of thought. Muhammed alleges that the historians deliberately "brainwashed" everyone with their misconstrued facts. These historians have been of the opinion that there was no evidence to prove the existence of a temple at the disputed site - which Hindus believe to be the birth place of Lord Ram.
In November 2011, a Special bench of the Allahabad High Court ruled that the site - where the Babri Masjid stood for 500 years until it was demolished in 1992 - was to be divided into three parts. Two-thirds of the land would be shared by two Hindu groups while one-third was assigned to the Sunni Muslim Waqf Board.
However, historians like Habib and Thapar had heavily criticised the verdict saying it did not take into account historical and archaeological evidence. Thapar had then written in The Hindu:
"A mosque built almost 500 years ago and which was part of our cultural heritage was destroyed wilfully by a mob urged on by a political leadership. There is no mention in the summary of the verdict that this act of wanton destruction, and a crime against our heritage, should be condemned."
"The new temple will have its sanctum - the presumed birthplace of Rama - in the area of the debris of the mosque. Whereas the destruction of the supposed temple is condemned and becomes the justification for building a new temple, the destruction of the mosque is not, perhaps by placing it conveniently outside the purview of the case."
Muhammed, who retired from the ASI in 2012, also believes that the Qutub Minar and Taj Mahal were built on the debris of Hindu temples.
The timing of the release of the book is questionable as it comes amid growing efforts from the VHP and the BJP to revive the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
Last year, the VHP had announced a nationwide drive to collect stones for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. In December, two trucks carrying stones arrived in the temple city. Very recently, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy chaired a seminar in Delhi University about the need to build Ram temple in Ayodhya - amid protests by students.