Connect with us

News Plus

DACA: A Dreamer’s Nudge

Seven lakh children, brought illegally in the US, can now pursue their American Dream, thanks to a new immigration policy.

Published

on

Seven lakh children, brought illegally in the US by their families before their 16th birthdays. Seven lakh children, looking for a better future or an escape from their previous living conditions. Seven lakh children, trapped in a ravaging cycle of restrictions. Restriction from colleges; restriction from jobs; restriction from housing. Restriction from the one thing they came chasing after: the American Dream. If given the proper resources, these children could become assets, not only to themselves and their families, but also to the entire American society. For this to happen, these children needed a little nudge. And like a dream come true, this nudge came in the form of an immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

DACA protects these youth from deportation and provides them with a work permit for two years. DACA recipients are commonly referred to as Dreamers, which stems from the inspiration behind the DACA policy, the DREAM Act of 2001. President Barack Obama, being an avid supporter of the DREAM Act, converted it into an executive order named DACA. Out of these 700,000 Dreamers, almost 7,000 of them come from South Asian countries. In fact, almost 17,000 Indians in the US could apply for DACA, which puts India in the top ten countries for DACA eligibility. While DACA is stereotypically seen as a policy for Hispanic/Latino individuals, East and South Asians also benefit tremendously from this nudge.

The eligibility for this programme is decided by a thorough screening to check if the recipient meets certain requirements. These include age, duration of stay in the US, education, and behavioural requirements. To become a Dreamer, you need to have come to the US prior to your 16th birthday, you need to be in some type of schooling, and you cannot have been convicted of a felony or more than three misdemeanours. As President Donald Trump once called them, the “hardened criminals” don’t have a single felony. Almost 90% of them don’t even have a single arrest.

A Helping Hand

Since its inauguration on 15 June 2012, over 900,000 immigrants have at one time fallen under DACA. It has allowed previously undocumented youth to get driving licences, open bank accounts, and get jobs that provided financial stability. A study by a multitude of universities and NGOs found that more than 72% of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies employ DACA recipients. A Forbes report found that these companies account for $2.8 trillion in annual revenue. The same study found that 5% of Dreamers open businesses. For US residents who don’t fall under DACA, only 3.1% of them open businesses. With an almost 2% gap, Dreamers are more likely to start a new business than a non-Dreamer. Furthermore, the average annual median income of a US resident is $31,000 and the average annual median income of a Dreamer is $32,000. Being above average in all aspects of life despite incredibly difficult circumstances, these Dreamers are helping our economy and our job market. In fact, over the next decade, the Dreamers are projected to contribute $460.3 billion to the US gross domestic product.

The Struggle

Despite all of these outcomes, the new presidential administration decided to take action in an attempt to remove the DACA policy. On 5 September 2017, under President Trump’s guidance, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an official memo to rescind the DACA policy. But this decision was met with constant scrutiny. Between January 2018 and June 2020, three federal district courts ruled against President Trump to partially sustain DACA, first in Regents of the University of California, et al. v. Dept. of Homeland Security, and later in Wolf v. Vidal and NAACP v. Trump. The district courts decided that the USCIS must continue accepting petitions from previous recipients.

A Dream Come True

These decisions were challenged at higher courts on appeal, and finally, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Regents of the University of California, et al. v. Dept. of Homeland Security on 12 November 2019, and issued its decision in a 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, on 18 June 2020. Their opinion declared that the DHS had improperly terminated DACA and the original memo was withdrawn. The court provided their reasoning by citing the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which states the rules of federal regulations. The decision to rescind DACA was both arbitrary and capricious under the APA.

The court resolved that the DHS had not properly distinguished between revoking the work permits, while still providing protection from deportation. It also pointed out that the DHS had not taken reliance interests into consideration. Reliance interests included all the businesses, property, and jobs that belonged to the Dreamers. A report provided by 143 businesses found that hiring and training replacements for the Dreamers would cost employers over $6.3 billion. Ultimately, the court reaffirmed the decision made in NAACP v. Trump and upheld the DACA policy, a victory for all of America.

Throughout history, the US Supreme Court has made many monumental decisions, which impact different parts of all of our lives. This DACA case joins many others in shaping the integrity of our nation and its future. With this decision, those 700,000 Dreamers can continue benefiting our nation. The Dreamers have seen their dreams, touched their dreams, and now, they can live their dreams.

Aparna Dave is US Immigration Attorney. Om Desai is a High School Intern at The Law Office of Aparna Dave.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News Plus

Working hard and keeping a positive mindset, Mr Pulin Vaidhya’s mantra to sail through the pandemic

Published

on

Pulin Vaidhya

Quite recently, Mr. Pulin Vaidhya, Managing Director of Aztec Group, Fluids and Machinery Pvt Ltd joined NewsX for an exclusive interview. Mr Vaidhya is a first time entrepreneur and his company deals with the production and sales of printers all around India. Recognizing an increasing demand in the market for cost-friendly solutions in relation to CIJ products; the company sought to provide necessary remedies through their business.

Aztec as a company is a renowned manufacturer, trader, exporter as well as distributer of CIJ Printers, Fluids and other related services. The goods and services are used in variable data, coding and marketing systems as well as markings on final products. With a good financial position and an experienced R&D department, the company assures quality and increased shelf life.

Upon asked about the functioning of the company during the global pandemic the world is facing and whether they have opened services to customers, Mr Pulin gave a positive response that they have availed services to their customers without charging them during these difficult circumstances.

He also revealed that coronavirus has affected their business but the company is resilient and working tremendously with essential care keeping in mind the health precautions. Customers are in regular contact with the company’s employees through virtual platforms or telecommunication services. Moreover, the employees have been receiving internal trainings provided by the company to keep themselves updated and develop their soft as well as technical skills. Through working hard and keeping a positive mindset, the company has been sailing through the pandemic and has not lost a single customer associated with them.

When asked about the practice of being ‘Aatmanirbhar’ and motivating others to produce and use indigenous products, the Managing Director had a lot to say. Being a made in India company, Aztec aims to lay a major emphasis on their in-house manufacturing facilities. They have been researching on various countries’ manufacturing processes and have tried adapting their work accordingly while keeping in mind that India’s culture and style of working is unique from other countries.

Mr Pulin also raised an important point that the labour of our countries should not be only seen at a price value but their skills and education should be also taken into consideration. He claims that by encouraging labour, development of our country’s manufacturing sector will soon happen. He also says that in India, the cost of raw materials is high and the labour efficiency is at an all time low; and we should be working on that.

When asked if he has any expectations from the government, he states that the government sector has to work on manufacturing facilities in India. The government focuses more on businesses that lay emphasis on soft skills. Ultimately, the technological and manufacturing companies often get sidelined and seldom given any attention. He wishes that the government take essential measures for companies in the technological sector of India.

Upon asked to give his opinion of MSME sectors, he jokes that they are the middle class of the whole industry. In his opinion, he says that investors are more inclined to invest in start-ups as well as app-based companies. MSME sectors have a major problem in the capital investment and by only looking forward to software-based companies, they often forget about technical and manufacturing units.

When asked for his advice for people that want to be a part of manufacturing sector, he claims that there is a lot of potential of manufacturing, especially in India. There are many tool based and electronic companies flourishing in the nation. Yet, he sees a major gap in the demand and supply. He also confirms that while our country has a lot of goods available, people are still dependent on the neighbouring countries for their supply. If worked hard in achieving to develop a good company, these obstacles can be easily tackled, he advised.

Finally, we asked about what keeps him motivated during difficult times and his success mantra, he claims that by working hard and being dedicated to it with precise planning of everything, one can achieve a lot. He also shared that he uniquely believes that he finds it better to be at the second position rather than the first, as there is always room for more hard work and improvement.

Continue Reading

News Plus

Lord Ram returns home after 500 years of ‘exile’

After laying the foundation stone of the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya amid chanting of mantras, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it would
become a modern symbol of India’s culture, a symbol of eternal hope and national feeling and of the collective strength of crores of citizens.

Published

on

Devotees light the earthen lamps at a Ram temple in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Devotees offer prayers and lighting lamps at a Ram temple in Kochi on Wednesday.
All Photographs: ANI
People celebrating the foundation-laying ceremony of Ram temple at Ayodhya, in Jaipur on Wednesday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes part in the Ram temple ‘bhoomi pujan’, in Ayodhya on Wednesday.
Artists dressed as Lord Ram and Hanuman, in Bengaluru.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth presents an idol of Lord Ram to Prime Minister Narendra
Modi at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on Wednesday.
Mouni Baba performs rituals at the ghat of Saryu river on the occasion of the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday.
A devotee wearing Hanuman get-up while celebrating the ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
Muslim women offer prayers to Lord Ram on the occasion of foundation stone-laying ceremony of Ayodhya’s Ram Temple, in Varanasi on Wednesday.

Continue Reading

News Plus

In Brief

Published

on

Modi’s mother watches son live on TV performing puja at Ayodhya

Ahmedabad: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi prayed at Hanumangarhi temple and later participated in the bhoomi pujan for the new Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday, his nonagenarian mother Hiraba watched the events live on television. A picture of Hiraba sitting before television with folded hands has come out, as she watched Modi perform ‘aarti’ at Ayodhya. Earlier in the day, Modi participated in the elaborate bhoomi pujan and told Hindu saints on the occasion that “every heart is illuminated; it is an emotional moment for the entire country… a long wait ends today”.

PM Modi, Bhagwat share stage for the first time since 2014

Ayodhya: The bhoomi pujan ceremony in Ayodhya on Wednesday was special in many ways. This is the first time since the formation of the BJP-led government at the Centre in 2014, that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a stage. But it was on Wednesday that both came together at the bhoomi pujan for the first time in six years. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust had also extended an invite to the RSS chief as a special guest at the programme in Ayodhya which was performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Others who were present at the event were UP Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Salil Singhal, nephew of VHP leader, late Ashok Singhal, and his wife.

‘Ram is love’: Rahul Gandhi tweets on Ayodhya bhoomi pujan ceremony

 New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday posted a tweet hailing Lord Ram, saying he was the embodiment of love, compassion and justice. His tweet comes a day after his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra expressed hope that today’s ceremony will become an occasion for “national unity, fraternity and cultural congregation”. Roughly translated from Hindi, the tweet read, “Lord Rama is the manifestation of the best human qualities. He represents the humanity that lies in the depths of our mind. Ram is love. He is never manifested in hatred. Ram is compassion. He is never manifested in cruelty. Ram is justice. He is never manifested through injustice.”

Ram temple: Bollywood celebrities express excitement, share posts

Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut

 New Delhi: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Bollywood stars too to their social media platforms to express their excitement and shared their thoughts. Actor Anupam Kher extended his best wishes to his legion of followers for Lord Ram. Actor Riteish Deshmukh tweeted multiple hashtag ‘Jai Shree Ram’ to mark the historic day. Queen actress Kangana Ranaut’s official Twitter handle wrote: “What could not happen in 500 years happened this year… this is not picture of the day but the moment of many centuries.” Actor Kirron Kher, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, filmmaker Ashok Pandit and others also marked the day and expressed their excitement. Earlier, evergreen star Hema Malini congratulated the devotees of Lord Ram on the occasion.

Continue Reading

News Plus

Religion is Ayodhya’s only business, faith only anchor

‘If the temples are shut for even one month for whatever reason, half of Ayodhya’s population will face starvation. It’s purely a pilgrim-based economy.’

Published

on

Religion is the main source of income in Ayodhya. Until the 1960s, timber from the neighbouring Gonda district was sold from Ayodhya but even that trade was limited to adjacent districts. Today, timber merchants have long disappeared and the town relies solely on pilgrims for their income. Most of the residents describe their profession as “aakash vritti”, which literally means “what falls from the sky”. People depend on the gods for sustenance. Sufi, a businessman who sells cardboard boxes to sweet shops near Hanumangarhi, swears by the local harmony that exists between Hindus and Muslims. What he worries about is the lack of jobs and livelihoods in Ayodhya. Sufi says, “If the temples are shut for even one month for whatever reason, half of Ayodhya’s population will face starvation. It’s purely a pilgrim-based economy”.

The revenue model of Ayodhya’s temples is fairly simple — donations from devotees and rent from properties. Donations are made by the poor and the rich in cash and kind. For instance, a poor peasant family from Bahraich district comes to the seasonal melas every year and they stay in a designated temple. At the end of their stay they leave behind the rations they carried with them along with a small amount of money. It is understood by both pilgrims and pujaris that this is a donation. The pujari has given the family shelter and a place to set up their temporary brick stoves. Richer pilgrims also come laden with sweets and make offerings of money, mobile phones, air conditioners, bed linen, etc., and some take care of various repairs or construction work that might be required in their guru’s respective ashrams. This is in addition to the daily offerings of money that are made in the big, medium-sized and small donation boxes usually placed in front of the idols of deities. “Pray and pay” is an unwritten code followed by the devotees here. Ascetics, priests and mahants are seldom engaged in any kind of profession and the devout pilgrims are only too happy to make contributions towards the sustenance of the religious gurus.

Bigger temples run their own charities. Donations to religious trusts and charities are also a way of claiming tax deductions. By donating large amounts of money rich merchants are able to save income tax while earning ‘good karma’. The melas attract mainly peasants and other rural folks from near and far. Busloads of pilgrims, on package tours, descend on Ayodhya, from as far as Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat and even as far as Nepal and Bengal during the mela months. The offerings of these pilgrims and the money they spend on food and buying sweets and other knickknacks are the real source of livelihood for thousands of people in Ayodhya. For richer temples like the Naka Hanumangarhi run by the Nirmohi Akhara in Faizabad, money is also earned by renting out their spacious buildings and grounds as venues for birthday parties, dinners and weddings.

 The Ramayanic tradition of primogeniture had been broken in the Ayodhya royal family with Man Singh’s ascension in the late nineteenth century. The present heir to the throne of Ayodhya is a descendant from his grandmother’s side and therefore locals don’t consider him as the true heir. Prince Yatindra Mohan Mishra, an acclaimed poet and author, met me at Delhi’s Nehru Memorial Library & Museum where he was working on “some research on his next project”. Mishra, who runs the Maharaja Public School in Ayodhya, illustrated the importance of the melas to Ayodhya’s fragile, pilgrimdependent economy. “It is an ecosystem that really depends on the common farmer and farm labourer from neighbouring districts. When they have a good crop, they are able to spend more money in Ayodhya. If the harvest has been bad the income of Ayodhya’s shopkeepers and businessmen also go down. In the school that we run parents are usually able to admit their wards in August or later because that’s when they would have made some money during the Sawan Mela. I feel the economy of my town cannot be dependent only on the mela. We need industries and factories too,” he explained. 

Notwithstanding the negative views of the locals, the Mishra family continues to represent Ayodhya in India and abroad, particularly in Oyoto, a sister-city of Ayodhya in South Korea. Mishra is a writer and poet who recently authored a book on India’s most celebrated singer, Lata Mangeshkar. Though the ‘days of royalty’ are long past, Mishra is aware of the weight and impact of his words and chose to refrain from commenting on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute. But he didn’t hold back from saying, ‘I am a proud Hindu and a proud democrat who believes in progressive values.’ Like many locals who believe that writers and journalists highlight only the negative aspects of Ayodhya, Mishra too said, ‘So far whatever has been written about Ayodhya, it has been negative.’

 Mishra seemed to hesitate while sharing his view about the VHP claims of Rama’s historicity or the development of Ayodhya as an organised centre of Ram worship. But he talked openly about himself, “I am a descendant of a royal family that patronised the legendary singer Begum Akhtar and artists like Pagal Dasji. More than anything else in my life, I want to preserve and enhance this intellectual, literary and artistic legacy of my family,” he said.  Ayodhya’s royal family is one of the few Brahmin royal houses surviving in India. They have their own avenues of income including a large amount of real estate and educational institutions and are not directly affected by the ups and downs of the pilgrim bazaar of the town. Some of the biggest temples are also the biggest landlords and their landholdings are scattered in various states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Ramanujis once held control over the biggest land banks in Ayodhya. But with time the landholdings have shrunk as lands have been sold to sustain their temples and ashrams. ‘The offerings from pilgrims are not enough and the richer devotees are too few in number,’ said Acharya Dharmendra Upadhyaya, a third-generation owner of a Ramanuji temple in Ayodhya’s Vibhisha Kund locality.

Land may not be a source of income any more for Dharmendra Upadhyaya and Bhagvandas Acharyaji but there are other ways to generate money for wellestablished families like theirs. Bhagvandas rents a portion of his ashram to an astrology firm. He offers religious counselling by way of providing guidance for rituals and even sending digital versions of religious mantras and texts. “Just the other day, a lady devotee called me from Italy asking for a copy of the Hanuman Chalisa so I sent it to her on WhatsApp.” Did you charge her for that? I asked. “No, but it’s her wish if she wants to donate some money, she’s from Chandigarh, we have an ashram there also.”

 The astrology firm in his building operates like any other business process outsourcing or customer care centre. Horoscopes are made and shared over email and WhatsApp in return for payments via e-banking. Besides, both Upadhyaya and Bhagvandas and other mahants travel across the country and stay at various temples and homes of devotees. At the end of each such stay, they are showered with gifts of money, food and other items. Most of the devotees they have today have been associated with their respective temples over generations. A devotee’s son becomes the disciple of the son of his father’s guru. In this sense, unless the guru or the devotee break ties, inherited discipleship remains fixed. It is up to the ingenuity of the guru to attract more disciples. 

The big Ramanuji centres like Asharfi Bhavan attract devotees throughout the year but even the combined footfall in all the Ramanuji temples is a fraction of those who visit Ramanandi centres like Kanak Bhavan and Hanumangarhi.

Excerpts from the book, ‘Ayodhya: City of Faith, City of Discord’, published by Aleph.

Continue Reading

News Plus

Historical mistake corrected in a right manner at Ayodhya

The decision to take the legal recourse was a wise move and it helped find a way to correct things without aggrieving any community and faith.

K N Dikshit

Published

on

‘The Archaeology of Ramayana Project’ was conceptualised by Prof B.B. Lal in 1975 when he was at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Thereafter, K.V. Soundarajan and this author, on behalf of the Archaeological Survey of India, from 1976-84, jointly excavated at Ayodhya (the capital of Rama); Sringaverapura (where Rama crossed the Ganga); Bharadwaj Ashram (where he sojourned for a while); Nandigram (from where Bharata ruled the kingdom), Chitrakuta (where Rama stayed for a pretty long period), and Pariar (where Lakshmana left Sita at the behest of his elder brother Rama).

As per the order of the High Court, a ground penetration radar survey was undertaken and the then Archaeological Survey of India was asked in 2002-03 to further excavate the Ram Janmabhoomi area under Hari Manjhi and B.R. Mani. Eighty-two trenches were laid out below the demolished Babri Masjid and adjoining the earlier excavations. These new trenches were also meant to verify the anomalies noticed in Ground Penetrating Radar Survey. The cultural sequence started from pre-NBPW (Northern Black Polished Ware) to late and post-Mughal level. But 14C (carbon-dating) dates supplied by the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow, have pushed back the antiquity of lowest levels somewhere to c. 1500 BCE. The discovery of rows of 50 pillar bases and other remains of architectural parts of a temple confirms the existence of a massive structure which shows the distinctive features of a temple of north India.

 The Indian traditions and mythological stories are reflected in the Puranas and the epics. F.E. Pargiter, H.C. Raychaudhuri and P.L. Bhargava provided sequential history on Indian chronology. The historians and archaeologists while dealing with traditions have correlated many historical sites with one or other Puranic dynasties but missed the identity of the authors. The concerns of archaeologist B.P. Sinha about the impact of archaeology on the epics, especially the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, were to know whether they were myths or based on real events. He concluded that the “Mahabharata and archaeology have very much concurred with each other. Archaeology and traditions in case of the Ramayana may not play hide and seek for long”. Serious attempts were also made earlier and data was compiled in 1973 by H.D. Sankalia in Ramayana: Myth and Reality and in 1976 in Mahabharata: Myth and Reality by S.P. Gupta and K.S. Ramachandran.

Ayodhya is situated on the right bank of the Saryu river in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh. The ancient mound of Ayodhya covers about a square km of area. Over there excavations were carried out in 1975, 1976-77 and 1979-80, altogether at fourteen different spots, digging over 100 trenches of 10×10 sqm. These are located along the river on the western and northern peripheries, in the heart of the settlement, as well as on the eastern and southern sides, and include many of the traditional spots, such as the Janmabhoomi area, Hanuman Garhi, Sita ki Rasoi, Nala-Tila, Kausilya Ghat, etc.

The Banaras Hindu University also did some work nearly a decade ago at this site. The excavation revealed a fairly compact and working sequence for the antiquity of the place from its first settlement over the natural soil. This began with the use of the well-known ‘Northern Black Polished Ware’, in all its shades. At the lowest levels, alongside the NBPW, were also found a few shades of grey ware, painted with fugitive bands in black pigment along the rim or obliquely on the exterior. With this inception, the occupational phases of the mound appear to have continued up to circa third century CE, represented by several structural phases.

 In the earlier stages, the houses were of wattle-anddaub or mud, followed by those of baked bricks. In the Janmabhoomi area, a massive wall of bricks was observed across the sector obliquely, which may perhaps be identified as a fortification wall. Immediately below this massive wall, mud-brick structures were found. In the upper levels of this phase, which may perhaps be called the post-rampart phase, extending from circa third century BCE to the first century CE, terracotta ring-wells were noted. The fortification wall appears to have had a fairly deep ditch, almost like a moat, just on its exterior, which was partly cut into the natural clay overlying the fluviatile sand bed. The other site, near Hanuman Garhi, yielded a good number of structures of the Northern Black Polished Ware and later periods, ringwells of more than one type, including the typical wells using wedge-shaped bricks, well-known during the later part of the Northern Black Polished Ware period.

While pursuing further Janmabhoomi trench the backside slope of structure assembled with demolished structural members and to the western side of this trench in the extended area the extension of pillar bases were noticed in 1976-77. The excavation yielded a rich crop of antiquities, among which about half a dozen seals, about seventy coins and over a hundred terracotta figurines deserve special mention. The most noteworthy among them are a terracotta sealing of king Vasudeva of the second century BCE, a coin of Muladeva of the same period, and a grey terracotta figurine of a person (Jaina Kevalin) with bald head, distended ear-lobes and in ‘kayotsarga’ pose. The last-mentioned object came from levels ascribable to circa fourth century BCE and is perhaps the earliest ‘Jaina’ figure of this kind so far found in India. After the early historic deposits, there is a break in occupation, with considerable debris and pit formations before the site was again occupied around the 11th century CE. Later medieval brick-and-kankar lime-floors were also noticed along with broken parts of temple remains.

The antiquity of Ayodhya, thus, on the basis of these excavations, is ascribable to the early seventh century BCE. Under renewed excavation in 2002-03, 82 trenches were laid out adjoining the earlier excavations in the Janmabhoomi area. The new archaeological evidence from Ayodhya noticed in 2003 and the comparative stratigraphy of the excavated sites which revealed pre-NBPW deposit has strengthened the Hindu myths and belief that the story of Rama and Ayodhya is earlier than the story of Krishna and Mahabharata and Hastinapur. The C14 dates obtained from this level put Ayodhya somewhere between c.1600-1250 BCE.

The critical evidence which became most contentious issue was of temple remains found under the mosque “as revealed by rows of fifty pillar bases and other remains of architectural parts of the temple”. Moreover the demolished parts of the temple were utilised even in the construction of mosque, as outlined by Justice Khan. The six pillar bases of a temple found in the earlier excavations by B.B. Lal (1976-77) are the part of 50 pillar bases. This evidence has put to rest that a temple was there right beneath the Babri Masjid.

 In India, no monumental structure fell unless broken/demolished or natural calamity. The demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 or demolition of the Ram temple by Babur’s army after 1526 were not the part of this judicial verdict. One must understand the subject before giving any sweeping remarks. For example, an independent historian explaining that the ASI report is far from foolproof or inscription found in debris, may have been planted whereas a prominent media personality says that the findings of the ASI were incomplete at best and at worst, misleading. The role played by independent experts, historians and archaeologists, who appeared on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board to support its claim, has come in for criticism by the Allahabad High Court, as one can see how the HC exposed experts espousing masjid cause. To the court’s astonishment, someone who wrote signed articles and issued pamphlets, found themselves withering under scrutiny and the judge said they were displaying an “ostrich-like-attitude” to facts.

To quote the High Court remarks, on the statement of one of the experts, who said that one couldn’t say that though I had made a statement but I am not responsible for its authenticity since it is not based on my study or research but what I have learnt from what others have uttered. Another expert admitted before the High Court that she prepared a report on the Babri dispute after reading newspaper reports and on the basis of discussions with medieval history experts in her department. Independent experts even crossed the limits of imagination by alleging that pillar bases at the excavated site had been planted’. The above narrative uncovers the fallacy surrounding the Babri mosque dispute and Ram Janmabhoomi, a legal battle started in 1885.

Actually being objective about the past, I would like to mention that Arnold Toynbee, a world known historian was invited to deliver Dr Maulana Azad Memorial lecture in 1960 where he quoted that Warsaw was taken over by Russian’s (1914-15) and they constructed an Eastern Orthodox Christian cathedral to remind them that the Russians were the rulers. In 1918 when Poland took over, it demolished this church.

I would not like to blame them for what happened, but I will appreciate that the Government of India took no action regarding the mosques erected by Aurangzeb after demolishing the temples at Mathura and Varanasi. The decision to take the legal recourse was a wise move and it helped find a way to correct a historical mistake without aggrieving any community and faith.

The author is former joint director general, Archaeological Survey of India, and general secretary, the Indian Archaeological Society, Delhi.

Continue Reading

News Plus

Silver coins to be given to all Bhoomi pujan guests

Published

on

Silver coins will be given as “Prasad” to the guests involved in Ram temple “bhoomi pujan” at the Ram temple. On one side of the coin is the insignia of Ram Darbar and on the other side is the insignia of trust.

 The three-day religious ritual in Ayodhya began on Monday and would conclude with bhoomi pujan. GauriGanesh was worshipped on the first day. The worship of Ram Archana began on Tuesday. The nine Vedic Acharyas of Kashi and Ayodhya are performing this Ramaarchana Puja. Apart from this, the worship of Lord Hanuman’s flag started in Hanumangarhi on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Ramlala’s temple. It is being told that the bhoomi pujan programme will begin today from 8 am onwards.

According to Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Trust general secretary Champat Rai, 175 people will be involved in this programme. Besides, guests other than 135 distinguished monk saints have been invited. Rai told that the invitation letter is the only pass. It has a barcode which can be used only once. It means that if someone comes out, then they will not be able to enter again. During bhoomi pujan, the guests will not be allowed to take their mobile, camera, etc, inside.

Continue Reading

Trending