The Villainous Role of Marxist ‘Historians’ in the Rāma-janma-bhūmi Saga

It is now a foregone conclusion that Ayodhyā was the birthplace of Śrī-rāma and a grand devālaya of Rāma adorned ‘the undefeated city’ until it was broken down during Babur’s reign and a mosque was constructed upon it by his commander Mir Baqi (c. 1528 CE). This was widely known among Hindus for over four centuries. The 9th November 2019 verdict of the honourable Supreme Court of India finally brought an end to the morbid saga and paved the way for the construction of a grand Rāma-mandira.

Even a cursory glance at the history of the Rāma-janma-bhūmi dispute will reveal that the Hindus have been reasonable in their demands at every stage. This is not surprising given that the adherents of Sanātana-dharma have always been humane in their dealings. Their greatest strength became an impairing weakness when their kṣāttra waned on occasion. However, the spirit of valour never abandoned the Hindu society for long—it always found a way to manifest itself. The demolition of the disputed structure on 6th December 1992 is one such example. Needless to say, bringing down the three domes proved to be a great blessing for unearthing irrefutable evidence during the trial.

Iconoclasm has been a foundational tenet in Islamic theology. There is ample evidence for this in the history of Islam, especially in India.[1] At every step, Islamic invaders tried to annihilate what the kafirs—i.e., Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc.—held sacred. Even the holiest sites of the Hindus—the tīrtha-kṣetras of Kāśī, Ayodhyā, and Mathurā—were not spared. The modus operandi remained unchanged: temples of yore were mercilessly razed to the ground, mosques were built on the same sites using the remains of the broken temples, cow slaughter was intentionally carried out there on days like Bakr-Id, etc. 

From the time Mir Baqi built the ‘Janmasthan Masjid,’ the Hindus have never given up their fight to reclaim their sacred land. Owing to the years of struggle that culminated in the Rāma-janma-bhūmi movement in the 1980s, the Muslims realised that their claim over this disputed land was shaky. When faced with the vigorous passion of the Hindus towards the janma-sthāna of Śrī-rāma, the Muslims were on the verge of entering into an amicable settlement of the issue (c. 1990–91) when out-of-court negotiations were at their peak.

At this crucial juncture—when a centuries’ old controversy was about to come to an end—the ‘eminent historians’ of the Marxist hue showed up uninvited. On 13th May 1991, a few of these ‘historians’—R S Sharma, Athar Ali, D N Jha, and Suraj Bhan—wrote an opinion piece pompously titled Ramjanmabhumi-Babri Masjid: A Historians’ Report to the Nation in which they baselessly dismissed evidence tendered by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in favour of the temple being demolished while constructing the Janmasthan Masjid; they made no evaluation of the documents submitted by the Muslims. This gave false hope to the Muslim side, who withdrew from the negotiations, being emboldened with the thought that they had a strong case in court.

Overview of the Evidence

From time immemorial, Ayodhyā has been deemed the birthplace of Lord Rāma—be it in Ādi-kavi Vālmīki’s Śrīmad-rāmāyaṇa or the Ayodhyā-māhātmya section of the Skānda-purāṇa, all the way to Islamic chronicles like Abu’l-Fazl ’Allami’s Ain-i-Akbari. There is also a mountain of evidence for the existence of a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhyā where Mir Baqi built the mosque. 

Given that all the available evidence was presented during the trial, one need look no further than the Allahabad High Court judgement dated 30th September 2010 for the same. We present a few notable pieces of evidence below.

Among the many foreign travellers who have written about Ayodhyā, the Austrian Jesuit Joseph Tieffenthaler’s 1786 account specifically talks about the demolition of a Rāma Temple and the raising of a mosque over it.

Arabic, Persian, and Urdu treatises of the nineteenth century state in no unclear terms about the razing down of a temple and the construction of a mosque upon its remains. Treatises like Tarikh-i Awadh go on to say that the stones of the Janmasthāna Temple were used to build the mosque while the Qaysar-u’t Tawarikh proudly declares that all temples of Ayodhyā were turned into mosques by Sultans in the past.[2]

The name ‘Babri Masjid,’ which is so familiar today, does not appear in much of the literary evidence or even the revenue records of the past. It has always been referred to as ‘Janmasthan Masjid.’ For instance, on 30th November 1858, the Mutawalli[3] of the mosque, in his first petition to the British government, referred to the disputed structure as ‘Masjid Janmasthan.’ There is no need to elaborate on whose janma-sthāna it was.

Even from the earliest court proceedings, it has been clear that the disputed structure contained several Hindu artefacts. For instance, the Commissioner’s Report submitted to the court on 25th May 1950 notes that twelve black kasauti pillars supporting the three arches of the mosque contained carvings of Lord Hanūmān, Lord Kṛṣṇa, Tāṇḍava-nṛtya, and Lotus flowers.

B B Lal’s excavations in Ayodhyā during the 1970s followed by K V Ramesh’s study of the inscription found at the disputed site after 6th December 1992 as well as the court-ordered survey of the site by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) during 2002–3 established beyond any doubt the existence of a temple below the ground of the disputed site. It is noteworthy that not a single Islamic artefact was unearthed during the ASI excavations.

However, at every step, the ‘eminent historians’ tried to discredit the evidence and push their narrative.

Charade of the ‘Eminent Historians’

The deceit of the Marxist ‘historians’ has been summarised well by Dr. Meenakshi Jain in the introduction to her remarkable work, The Battle for Rama

In an astonishing act of daring, a handful of Left historians attempted to counter a centuries old belief, and vociferously assert that Babri Masjid was built on vacant land. They remain undeterred despite the mounting evidence stacked against them. Some of these historians even appeared as experts of the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) during negotiations between the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), BMAC, and the Government in 1990–1991. Yet throughout they have maintained the charade of being “independent historians.”[4]

Dr. K K Muhammad, the former Regional Director (North) of the ASI, records in his autobiography how the Leftist historians systematically derailed attempts at a peaceful resolution of the process – 

A team of left historians in Jawaharlal Nehru University such as Romila Thapar, Bipin Chandra, and S. Gopal argued that there was no mention of the dismantling of the temple before the nineteenth century and Ayodhya was a Buddhist-Jain centre. Historians such as Irfan Habib, R. S. Sharma, Athar Ali, D. N. Jha, Suraj Bhan, too joined and it became a big grouping.[5]

These ‘historians’ initially said that the mosque was built on a plain ground and there was no temple at all at the disputed site. When evidence came to the fore about the existence of a traditional Indian structure, they rushed to claim that Ayodhya was a Jain-Buddhist centre and that the cult of Rāma became prominent only in the eighteenth century—and hence, the ruins could have only been Buddhist or Jain in origin, they claimed. 

After the 6th December 1992 demolition, a Gahāḍvāla inscription of the 11th–12th century CE was found within the rubble; it spoke of a Vishnu-Hari mandira at the very site. The Marxist ‘historians’ immediately claimed that the inscription was stolen from the Lucknow museum and hurriedly planted at the site in Ayodhya during the chaos that prevailed on 6th December 1992. When they were unable to prove their claim, one of them (Sita Ram Roy) went on to claim that it might have been a mansion of an individual by name Vishnu Hari![6]

During the court-ordered ASI excavations (which was witnessed by representative of all contesting parties, thoroughly photographed and videographed), when a host of new evidences came to light, the first claim of the Marxist ‘historians’ was that the ASI were involved in fabricating evidence by transporting the Kasauti pillars and pillar bases from different locations.

It has been the nasty habit of the Marxist ‘historians’ to change the goal-post in the face of new and mounting evidence against their narrative. Through the course of the Ayodhyā trial, it was proved that all they could offer was one irrational statement after another.

During cross examination, all the ‘historians’ who appeared for the Muslim side were discredited—in fact, most of them had never visited Ayodhyā nor had they read any of the primary sources. They had based their statements—made under oath to the honourable court—on opinions and newspaper cuttings. They were simply unable to hold their ground.

To expose the hollowness of these ‘historians,’ one need not go any further than perusing through Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s observations in the Allahabad High Court Judgement when he analyses the reports of leftist historians (quoted verbatim in the Supreme Court Verdict) – 

“3622. We may mention here that though the said report claims to have been written by four persons but in fact it was not signed by Sri D. N. Jha. The opinion of an alleged expert, which is not based on her own study and research work but reflection of others’ opinion, in our view, shall not qualify to be considered relevant under Section 45 of the Evidence Act[7] as well as the law laid down by the Apex Court in State of Himachal Pradesh Vs. Jai Lal (supra).

3623. Normally, the Court does not make adverse comments on the deposition of witness and suffice it to consider whether it is credible or not but we find it difficult to resist ourselves in this particular case considering the sensitivity and the nature of dispute and also the reckless and irresponsible kind of statements, and the material got published by the persons claiming to be Expert Historian, Archaeologist etc. without making any proper investigation, research or study in the subject. 

3624. This is really startling. It not only surprises us but we are puzzled. Such kind of statements to public at large causes more confusion than clear the things. Instead of helping in making a cordial atmosphere it tends to create more complications, conflict and controversy. Such people should refrain from making such statements or written work. They must be extremely careful and cautious before making any statement in public on such issues.

3625. The people believe that something, which has been said by a learned, well studied person, would not be without any basis. Normally they accept it as a correct statement of fact and affairs. Normally, these persons do not find a stage where their statement can be scrutinized by other experts like a cross-examination in a Court of law. In legal terminology, we can say that these statements are normally ex parte and unilateral. But that does not give a license to such persons to make statements whatsoever without shouldering responsibility and accountability for its authenticity. One cannot 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 others that I have uttered. No one, particularly when he claims to be an expert on the subject, a proclaimed or self styled expert in a History etc. or the facts or events can express some opinion unless he/she is fully satisfied after his/her own research and study that he/she is also of the same view and intend to make the same statement with reasons.”[8]

Leftists have always used political power rather than not evidence-based reasoning to push forward their ideology. Instead of battling on the arena of facts and reasoning they shift grounds to that of political muscle and intellectual goondagiri, caring little for truth. In the specific case of the Islamic invasion of India, they have always tried to obfuscate or whitewash Islamic bigotry and barbarity; when the evidence was starkly opposite to their narrative, they tried to justify the acts of the barbarians as being motivated merely by political or economic reasons.[9] It would not be an exaggeration to say that the blood of innocents that flowed after the failure of the negotiations in 1991 is entirely on the hands of the Marxist historians—and therefore they are the villains of this saga.

After all, how can Rāma’s story be complete without rākṣasas?


[1] Those interested to know more about this can refer to the well-researched two-volume tome titled Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them (New Delhi: Voice of India, 1991)—Vol. 1 was compiled and edited by Sita Ram Goel while Vol. 2 was written by him.

[2] For more information on the Islamic sources, one can refer to Harsh Narain’s The Ayodhya Temple-Mosque Dispute (New Delhi: Penman Publishers, 1993)

[3] A waqf is an inalienable charitable endowment under Islamic law and a mutawalli is the man in charge of wakf property management and administration.

[4] Jain, Meenakshi. The Battle for Rama: Case of the Temple at Ayodhya. New Delhi: Aryan Books International, 2017. p. 5

[5] Quoted in Ibid., pp. 5–6

[6] Quoted in Ibid., p. 106

[7] Section 45 of the Evidence Act deals with expert evidence.

[8] M. Siddiq (D) vs. Mahant Suresh Das and others, decided on November 9, 2019 reported at (2020) 1 SCC 1 – quoted in Paragraph 60 of the Addenda.

[9] This is despite the fact that the primary sources clearly state that the accomplishments were motivated by religion.



Vikram Phadke is a practising advocate with a keen interest in history, literarure, politics, and classical arts. He serves as a trustee of Prekshaa Pratishtana as well as other charitable trusts.


Hari is an author, translator, editor, designer, and violinist with a deep interest in philosophy, education pedagogy, literature, and films. He has (co-)written/translated and (co-)edited some forty books, mostly related to Indian culture.

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Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...


ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...


“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...