Statement  on ASI Report on Ayodhya Excavation

The undersigned historians of ancient and medival India and the archaeologist have issued the following statement to the press on October 3,2003.
The Report on the Ayodhya excavations submitted by the Archaeological Survey of  India (ASI) to the Allahabad High Court  is a matter of concern for all historians, archaeologists and other scholars. Apart from the fact that the court-mandated excavations to settle what is basically a property dispute were uncalled for, the Report itself is a reflection on the functioning of the ASI which has undoubtedly played a fraud on the people of India.

  The two-volume Report running into 574 pages  is an unashamed effort to establish that there was a temple under the Baburi mosque as is clear from the manipulation of evidence seen in this volume. According to the independent archaeologists who were permitted by the High Court to observe the excavation work  the site has yielded animal bones with cut marks from different layers including the one which preceded the mosque floor level identified by the ASI with the level of the ‘temple’ of its imagination. Neither have these been dated by the C-14 method; nor have they been discussed in the Report except for a solitary reference to the 270 bone remains in its concluding section. The glazed pottery, often called ‘Muslim glazed ware’, has been recovered in significant number from the early medieval and Mughal layers but these have not been tabulated level-wise or dated by thermoluminiscent method.  The manner in which the bones and ceramic materials have been dealt with  by the authors of the Report implies a foul play by them and violates the High Court’s directive to keep a full record of these. The Ayodhya Report deliberately misleads


people by talking emphatically of the so-called ‘pillar-bases’. These ‘bases’ are not found in any alignment and  are not capable of supporting a temple or any other  structure. The ASI refers to a very small number of stones and objects  of Jain, Buddhist and Shaivite provenances obviously brought in from other places during the construction of the Baburi mosque and could not have been part of a Hindu temple whose existence  the Ayodhya Report seeks to prove by misleading  presentation of evidence.

The Report is shoddy and full of internal contradictions. We therefore demand  its thorough examination by specialists. We also demand that the site note books of Ayodhya excavations carried out earlier by B.B. Lal and of the recent one carried by the ASI under court orders be made available for  scrutiny by experts.
RS.Sharma             (Patna)
D.N.Jha                  (Delhi)
R.C.Thakran           (Delhi)
B.P.Sahu                (Delhi)
R.C.Singh               (Patna)
Former Director of Archaeology, Govt. of UP
Sitaram Roy           (Patna)
Former Director of Archaeology,Govt. of Bihar
Shireen Musvi        (Aligarh)
S.C.Mishra            (Delhi)
D.Mandal              (Allahabad)
Arjun Dev             (Delhi)
Amar Faruqui        (Delhi)
V.M.Jha                (Delhi)
P.K. Choudhury    (Delhi)
S.M.Jha                (Delhi)
Rajan Gurukul       (Kottayam)