Mangaluru Lit Fest got off to a wonderful start. As the first Session of Mangaluru Lit Fest 2nd Edition, renowned Archeologist, Padma Shri K K Muhammad was in conversation with Harsha Bhat on the topic,
‘Exacavating the truth’.
And Dr K K Muhammad inaugurated the session with a ‘Ganesha Sthuthi’ calling himself an opening batsman.
On Friday, Dr KK Muhammad, the former regional director of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), who was one of the archaeologists who had unearthed a temple beneath the controversial Babri Masjid discussed on various issues pertaining to Ayodhya excavation and it’s outcome and the verdict in the backdrop of Idea of Bharat for Today and Tomorrow.
He was discussing his life anecdotes and while answering a question the said that it was easy to convince a dacoit but it is impossible to convince a communist.
Dr KK Muhammad shared his anecdotes during his days at the Archaeological Survey of India. Dr KK Muhammed spoke about how he was successful in convincing a dreaded dacoit of the Chambal valley to not only allow him to rebuild temples but also how he motivated the dacoit to take up the cause of temple restoration.
“During one of our projects to restore temples in the Chambal valley that had been ravaged in the past, I came across a dreaded dacoit named Nirbhay Singh Gujjar, who helped me to rebuild around 80 temples in areas around Bhatukeshwar and Bhojpur in Madhya Pradesh,” said Muhammad.
Narrating the incident, Muhammad also said how he was successful in convincing the dreaded dacoit of the Chambal valley to take up the cause of restoration of dozens of temples in the area built during the reign of Gurjara Pratiharas. Let us know the details of this incident,
KK Muhammed had conserved the Barsoor and Samlur Temples in Dantewada District near Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh. This area is known to be the seat of Naxal activities in the region. In 2003, KK Muhammad was able to convince Naxal activists and with their co-operation, conserved the Temples to its present-day state.
Bateshwar Complex restoration:
Bateshwar, Morena is a complex of 200 ancient Shiva & Vishnu temples situated 40 kms away from Gwalior. These temples were built between 9th and 11th century during the Gurjara-Pratihara Dynasty, 200 years before Khajuraho.
The area was under the control of Nirbhay Singh Gujjar and Gadariya Dacoits. KK Muhammad was successful in convincing the dacoits to let him restore these temples. He was able to restore 60 temples during his tenure. After the dacoits were eliminated by the police, the area was encroached by the mining mafia.
This is why he said -” You can convince a dacoit but never a communist”
Dr KK Muhammad’s statements came as a response to the continuous interference of the left-wing ideologues and self-proclaimed communist historians in the Ram Mandir case. The left-wing historians had time and again attempted to debunk the ASI reports that had suggested that there was a temple beneath the controversial mosque at Ayodhya.
Dr Mohammad said that communists did not want the Ayodhya issue to be settled and it was they who stopped Muslim organisations from handing over the disputed land to Hindus.
Speaking at the literature festival, KK Muhammad also said that if Lord Rama is not part of Muslims culture in the country, he was not a perfect Muslim.
“Let me be clear, India is secular only because it is a Hindu majority nation, said Dr KK Muhammad.
He said various excavations carried out at Ayodhya by ASI pointed to just one truth that a temple existed there. “When I did state this to the media first, uncharacteristic for government servant to do so, I did bear in mind that an archaeologist is speaking about the issue, and me being a Muslim, I had double the responsibility to speak only the truth,” he said.“We must strive for united India rather than fight about it,”
He remembered his days off madarasa schooling, Muhammad said his open mindedness that Abubakkar, his Islamic teacher showed in exposing them to Ramayan that helped shape his personality. “Hinduism is a greatly tolerant religion and because India is a Hindu majority country, India remains secular in truest sense of the term,” he said.
K K Muhammad insisted that Muslim community should now voluntarily come forward to hand over Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and Krishna Janmastham Complex in Mathura to Hindus.
While Semitic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, compel followers to believe in one God, Hinduism does not compel anyone to worship one particular God or follow one particular practice, Mr. Muhammed noted. If India has remained secular, even after the formation of Pakistan as a Muslim country, it is because of Hinduism, he said.
While results from two excavations at Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi helped the Supreme Court to arrive at the recent verdict, Muslims should hand over to Hindus the Gyanvapi mosque at Kashi and the Eidgah at Mathura too, as Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura are revered places for Hindus like the Mecca-Madina to Muslims, he said.
Mr. Muhammed, however, dismissed claims that the Taj Mahal at Agra too was once a Shiva temple and said archaeological evolution disproves the claims. The two-dome style of construction came to India only after the arrival of the Mughals in 1526, he said adding he was in charge of the Taj Mahal for quite some time.
He had high hopes of Indian culture and heritage being given importance in education and government policies when the BJP came to power; “I am disappointed after six years,” Mr. Muhammed said adding the government has failed to market heritage tourism too”.
He made a very important point that culture effects the nationalism hence everyone must be encapsulated by a teaching on our own culture. He made a very very important point,
“Rama and Krishna are heroes in Indonesia, a Muslim-dominated country while Shohrab and Rustum, non-Muslims, are heroes in the Persian region. Indian Muslims should also have adopted a similar practice for greater assimilation”. Indian Muslims are not responsible for the wrong that has happened in the past, but if they support the wrong doers then they too taking a wrong path.
Dr. Sindhu Prashanth