Former Regional Director (North) of Archaeological Survey of India, Dr K K Muhammed, in his autobiography has alleged that Left historians like Irfan Habib and Romila Thapar had thwarted an amicable settlement to the Babri Masjid issue.
In his autobiography titled Njan Enna Bharatiyan (I an Indian) in Malayalam, Dr Muhammed claimed that during the excavation made by a team of archaeologists headed by Professor BB Lal, then director general of the Archaeological Survey of India during 1976-77, remains of a Hindu temple were found.
Muhammed was the member of the team that Lal headed.
Muhammed’s autobiography was released on January 24 amongst a huge debate between the historians in Kerala.
While many renowned historian like MGS Narayanan fully agreed with what Muhammed had written, there were also many Left centric historians like Dr KN Panikkar who dubbed his arguments as being baseless with the aim of giving leverage to the BJP in the upcoming Kerala elections.
Twenty four years ago, on December 6, 1992, a large crowd had destroyed the 16th-century Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.
The demolition was a result of a rally that was supporting the movement and things took the turn for the worse when volunteers present there turned violent and demolished the Masjid.
Over the months that followed this incident, there were riots between Hindus and Muslims across the country.
After the book was published Muhammad in an interview said:
“The Babri issue would have been settled long ago if the Muslim intelligentsia had not fallen prey to the brain washing by the Leftist historians. A set of historians including Romila Thapar, Bipin Chandra and S Gopal argued that there was no mention of the dismantling of the temple before 19th century and Ayodhya is Bhudhist-Jain centre. They were supported by historians Irfan Habib, RS Sharma, DN Jha, Suraj Ben and Akthar Ali.”
Though there are no documented proof to what Muhammad is claiming in his book, he ensures that a Hindu temple existed at the site of the Babri Masjid and that they unearthed remains of the temple’s pillars. In his book, he said:
“We found not one but 14 pillars of a temple at the Babri Masjid site. All these pillars had domes carved on them. The domes resembled those found in temples belonging to 11th and 12th century. In the temple architecture domes are one of the nine symbols of prosperity. It was quite evident that the Masjid was erected on the debris of a temple.”
With regards to why he didn’t bring this up before, Muhammad in his book said:
“I went on writing to several English dailies in those days about the finding. Only one news paper published my view and that too in the letters to Editor column.”
The accusation didn’t end there and he in his book further claims that the Left historians mislead the Allahabad High Court and alleged that even historical landmarks like Qutab Minar and Taj Mahal were also built on the debris of Hindu temples and that they hid this fact.
Muhammad retired from his post back in 2012 and has since been working as the director of Aga Khan Trust project in Hyderabad.
Even as the topic of erection of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya is still under debate, President Pranab Mukherjee has come forward and spoken about the demolition.
In his recent memoir (2nd edition), The Turbulent Years: 1980-96, President Mukherjee has said that former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao’s inability to prevent the demolition of the Babri Masjid was his biggest failure.