It gives the so-called scientific edge to the tired Ayodhya movement. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has told the Allahabad High Court what the Sangh parivar has been claiming since they demolished the Babri mosque in Ayodhya—that it was built over the remains of a three-layered "monumental" temple.
Here is what the ASI found:
- Signs of a temple dating back to seventh to 10 century AD. A pranala (water body), the "distinct feature of contemporary temples", is quoted as evidence of this.
- Evidence of more structural activity during the early medieval or pre-Sultanate period (11th to 12th century AD). Indications of a massive structure of three structural phases with distinct features of temples of northern India.
- The mosque was constructed on top of this temple.
A delightful RSS now wants to drive home the point to the 'secularists' that a mosque can be taken over on the basis of the community's perceived historical wrongdoings. "I really feel sorry for the Muslims. They trusted their secularist friends a little too much. There is no doubt now that the structure (Babri Masjid) was built by demolishing a temple and everybody should get together to rebuild that temple," says Ram Madhav, spokesperson for the RSS.
Curiously, the VHP seems to have known about the ASI's conclusions much before their report was submitted to the Allahabad High Court. The language used by archaeologist S.P. Gupta, at a VHP press conference on August 12, 10 days before the ASI submitted its report to the court, has a striking similarity to the conclusions of the report.