Paika Independence Struggle Of 1817 in Odisha

By Jaideep Mazumdar

Few outside the state of Odisha know of the Paika rebellion – the first serious military challenge to British rule over Bharat.

Exactly 200 years ago, Odisha was the stage of a fierce revolt against the British that the white invaders put down with unparalleled brutality. But few outside the state know of the Paika rebellion – the first serious military challenge to British rule over Bharat. Historians who authored textbooks after Independence have chosen to ignore the rebellion, and successive regimes in New Delhi have, in their zeal to highlight the contributions of only a handful in Bharat’s freedom struggle, given short shrift to the insurrection which, had it succeeded, would have changed the history of this sub-continent.

The Paikas were the warriors of Odisha. They were given vast tracts of lands by the kings for their services. During peacetime, the Paikas performed the roles of policemen, and during war, became warriors for their kings. They were divided into three categories: praharis who were experts in using swords, banuas who were excellent marksmen using matchlocks and dhenkias who were archers and used to be at the battlefront. The Paikas find mention in many ancient texts for their bravery and battle skills.

The British, after taking over Odisha in 1803 from the Marathas, started putting in place a system of administration that angered King Mukunda Deva II of Khorda, which had become the capital of then Odisha kingdom. Khorda, where the present-day capital city of Bhubaneshwar is located, became the new power centre of the kingdom after Cuttack since 1592. Mukunda Deva II was the sixteenth in the line of kings of Khorda. He was planning a revolt against the British in collaboration with his Paikas, but the plot was discovered and he was deposed by the British. The British administrator of the deposed king’s estate also snatched away the lands of the Paikas.

This alienation from their hereditary rent-free lands, the extortion and oppression of the Paikas at the hands of East India Company officials, the introduction of a new currency system after the abolition of the prevalent cowrie currency (new British laws made it mandatory for revenue to be paid in silver, which was in very short supply and as a result, lands of defaulters were arbitrarily taken over by the British) and a ban on making salt from seawater gave rise to deep and widespread resentment against the British.

Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mahapatra Bhramavar Ray was the military chief of king Mukunda Deva II. Bakshi was the title given to military commanders of Odisha. He was also the jagirdar of Rodang estate that had been awarded to his forefathers by the king for their military service. Jagabandhu was tricked out of his estate by one K C Singha, the scheming and dishonest dewan of the collector of Puri. Singha, who hailed from Bengal, got possession of the entire Rodang estate through fraudulent means in 1814. This left Jagabandhu in penury, and the humiliation of their chief and the manner in which he was tricked out of his estate by a scheming East India Company’s native official acting in connivance with the British angered not only the Paikas but also the peasants and other subjects of Odisha.

In March 1817, a 400-strong party of Khonds (tribals) marched into Khorda from the neighbouring state of Ghumusar and declared their intention to free Ghumusar and Khorda from British rule. The Paikas of Khorda, led by Jagabandhu as well as Raja Mukunda Deva II, joined them. The rebels looted and torched a police station at Banpur and marched to Khurda town, from where the British fled. The rebels sacked the administrative offices and the treasury and killed some native officials of the East India Company. The rebellion enjoyed widespread support in the province with landlords, heads of small principalities, peasants supporting it. The rajas of Kanika, Kujang, Nayagarh and Ghumusar and the zamindars of Karipur, Mirchpur, Golra, Balarampur, Budnakera and Rupasa supported the rebels, and that is why the revolt spread quickly to many parts of the province, including Puri, Pipli and Cuttack. The rebellion was organised with Jagannath Deva of Puri as the symbol.

The British administrator at Cuttack, one E Impey, sent two platoons of (East India) Company soldiers under Lieutenant Prideaure to Khurda and Lieutenant Faris to Pipli on 1 April 1817. But the Paikas waylaid and firebombed both the parties, killing Lieutenant Faris. Impey himself marched towards Khurda town with 60 sepoys but was attacked and narrowly escaped. The British then sent another force under Captain Wellington to Puri. This British force defeated the ill-equipped Paikas. The British subsequently recaptured Khurda and declared martial law there. But the rebels, led by Jagabandhu, recaptured Puri, and the priests of Jagannath Deva of Puri proclaimed Mukunda Deva II as the rajah and conferred the title of ‘Gajapati’, or ruler of the ancient kingdom of Kalinga, on him.

But the victory of the rebels was short-lived. The British contingent under Captain Le Fevere that had recaptured Khurda then marched to Puri. Armed with canons and better guns, the British defeated the Paikas who had only swords and a few dozen matchlocks. They retook Puri and captured Mukunda Deva II while the latter fled the town. Smaller revolts in other parts of the province were also put down and by the end of May 1817, the British had managed to regain control of Odisha.

What followed in June 1817, exactly two centuries ago to the current month, finds little mention in history books. But old records, including East India Company despatches, at the National Library in Kolkata and accounts by some chroniclers in Puri and Cuttack of those times detail the brutality with which the British suppressed the rebellion. After recapturing Puri, the British put 50 priests of the Shree Jagannath Deva Mandir to death in public. The bodies of the priests were left rotting in the summer heat for a week. Some prominent Paikas who the British captured were beheaded or shot dead and their bodies strung on posts for people to see. Even infant sons of the Paikas were put to death and their families banished from Odisha. Many of the Paikas and their families were sent away as slaves to work in British plantations elsewhere in Bharat and even shipped to British colonies abroad. June 1817 was a traumatic month for the people of Odisha and it is said that not a single family remained unaffected by the widespread retributory killings and imprisonments carried out by the British. Almost all families lost at least one male member to British brutality and vengeance.

But the Paikas, unable to match the superior strength of the British, resorted to guerilla tactics and kept up their fight against the white invaders. In 1818, the British raised a special force to track down and exterminate all Paikas. This force carried out raids all over the province and killed many Paikas and their families. Jagabandhu was captured by the British in 1825 and died in captivity in Cuttack in 1829. Jagabandhu’s capture severely demoralised the remaining Paikas and they were finally subdued in 1826.

A telling insight into the attitude of the British towards the Paikas is provided by Walter Ewer, a senior officer of the British East India Company who was on a commission set up to investigate the causes of the rebellion. Ewer wrote that the Paikas were dangerous and would have to be dealt with accordingly. “Still now where the Paikas are living, they have retained their previous aggressive nature. In order to break their poisonous teeth the British Police must be highly alert to keep the Paikas under their control for a pretty long period, and unless the Paika community is ruined completely the British rule cannot run smoothly,” read Ewer’s recommendation.

Surprisingly, the Paika rebellion has not been remembered even once over the past seventy years since the country’s independence. It was only this year that the National Democratic Alliance government decided to observe the bicentenary of the revolt. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan wrote to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last year requesting for a budgetary allocation to observe the bicentenary of the Paika rebellion this year. Jaitley obliged, bringing cheer to Odisha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi honoured the descendants of the brave Paika rebels when he was in Bhubaneshwar on 16 April this year to attend the Bharatiya Janata Party national executive meeting there. He met the descendants of Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mahapatra and a few other Paikas at the Raj Bhavan that day. And Modi alluded to the long neglect of the rebellion in his short address: “Today, the (Paika rebellion) history was recalled with pride. It is my honour to see the descendants of martyrs. Unfortunately, the long years of freedom movement was confined in few persons and a specific period. We should recall the events and contribution of everyone who participated in the freedom struggle”.

A number of other programmes have also been lined up to commemorate the revolt which, say historians, could have altered the course of history in this sub-continent had it succeeded.

Jaideep is a journalist with many years of experience in The Times Of India, Open, The Outlook, The Hindustan Times, The Pioneer and some other news organizations.

Courtesy: Swarajya

Pujya Adi Shankaracharya – The Spiritual General

When the Vaidic mode of communion with the ultimate was in jeopardy, with the rejuvenation and reassertion of its wisdom being a pressing need, Adi Shankara strode like a majestic lion across the country taking all other lions in his stride and converted even die hards making them opt for the path illumined by Upanishads, such a powerful leader was needed at that time when Hinduism had been almost smothered within an enticing entanglements of atheistic views and consequently the Hindu Society came to be disunited and broken up into numberless sects and denominations each championing a different new point and engaged in mutual quarrels and endless argumentations.

It was into such a chaotic intellectual atmosphere that Sri Shankara brought his life giving philosophy of non-dual Brahaman of the Upanishads. It can very well be understood what a colossal work it must have been for any one man to undertake in those days, when modern conveniences of mechanical transport and instruments of propaganda were unknown.

In His missionary work of propagating the great philosophical truths of the Upanishads and rediscovering through them the true cultural basis of our nation, Acharya Shankara had a variety of efficient weapons in his resourceful armory. An exquisite thinker, a brilliant intellect, a personality scintillating super think tank with the vision of Truth, a heart throbbing with industrious faith and ardent desire to serve the nation, sweetly emotional and relentlessly logical, Adi Shankara was the fittest Spiritual General to champion the cause of Upanishads. It was indeed a vast program that Shankara accomplished within the short span of 20 effective years for at the age of 32 he had finished his work and had folded up his manifestation. From masculine prose to feminine soft songs, from marching militant verses to dancing songful words, be in the halls of Upanishadic commentaries or in the temple of Brahmasutra expositions, in the theatre of his Bhagavad Gita discourses or in the open flowery fields of his devotional songs, His was a pen that danced to the rhythm of His heart and to the swing of His thoughts. But pen alone would not have won the war of culture for our country. He showed himself to be a great organizer, a far sighted diplomat courageous hero and a tireless servant of the country.

Before the advent of Sri Shankara numerous ritualistic practises engendered unclear practices which cried for reform. Sri Shankara completed this task. He gave them a new, purer and purposeful outlook. Working through its own tradition, each system or cult was helped to discipline mind conduct and practices, to be able to progress with the higher forum of truth. The evils were cleansed in the practice of rituals and a place was assigned to each cult in what may be described as a `federation of faiths’ with the prospect of leading its rotary to the understanding of Upanishadic ideal. Refinement of religious beliefs and practices leads to refinement of character and social respectability.

Incidents related to Sri Adi Shankara Life – Incidents from Sri Adi Shankara’s Life

How Ayodhya Ram Mandir was demolished and how RJB movement evolved: A Timeline of events

Here is a s a brief timeline: 

1528 AD – Mir Baki, the Commander-in-Chief of Babur destroys the Shri Rama Janmabhoomi Temple at Ayodhya

76 –the number of battles that have been fought from 1528 till 1934

Anatomy of these 76 battles fought by several generations of Hindus to reclaim the Shri Ram Janambhoomi temple

During Babur’s rein
1528 –1530 AD
4 battles were fought

During Humayun’s rein
1530 – 1556 AD
10 battles were fought

During Akbar’s rein
1556 –1606 AD
20 battles were fought

During Aurangzeb’s rein
1658—1707 AD
30 battles were fought

During Nawab SaadatAli’s rein
1770—1814 AD
5 battles were fought

During Naseeruddin Haider’s rein
1814 —1836 AD
3 battles were fought

During Wajid Ali Shah’s rein
1847 –1857 AD
2 battles were fought

During British regime
1912 till 1934 AD
2 battles were fought

So the Hindu Society fought a total of 76 battles till the year 1934.

Ram Janmabhoomi has been a people’s movement right since 1528 when Babur’s commander Mir Baki destroyed the temple.Every generation since 1528 has been fighting to claim the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple…and each generation did whatever they could to take the movement forward.

Right since 1528 Hindus have constantly surged ahead in their fight to secure the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi site.

The year 1934
After a few Muslims slaughtered a cow in Ayodhya, a pitched battle ensued between the Hindus and Muslims…the butchers who had slaughtered the cow were decimated…..and subsequently the Hindu society attacked the Babari structure thereby damaging all its three domes and took possession of the Babari structure.

However, Britishers forcibly took back the Babari Structure from Hindu Society and imposed a penalty on Hindus to carry out repair work of the damaged domes.Since 1934 no Muslim has ever dared to enter the premises of Babari structure.

Is the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi a political movement?
No certainly not. For Hindus, a temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi is not an issue of mere bricks and mortar.It is an issue of our cultural resurgence and identity, where Shri Rama, as maryada purushottam, has a prime place of importance. The movement is an expression of the collective consciousness of the Hindu ethos.

In destroying the Babari structure, does it not mean that the present day Muslims are being asked to pay a price for the mistakes of those who indulged in vandalism and destruction?

The real issue is how the present day Muslims view the Babari structure. Do they consider it as their holy place? If the answer is yes, then they end up owning the barbarism of Babur and others like him. The right way for Muslims is to distance themselves away from such vandalism and barbarism of the past. When the Germans are asked to apologise for the crimes of Hitler, they do not hesitate to do so, clearly indicating that they do not own Nazism.

Hindus have asked for a peaceful return, through judiciary and negotiations, of only three of their holy sites (Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi) that were vandalised. Hindus are not asking for thousands of other temples that were plundered, looted, destroyed and mosques were built thereupon.

What has been the case with similar historically vandalised sites?
In 1918 in Warsaw, at the end of first Russian occupation of Poland (1614-1915), one of the first things that Polish people did was to bring down the Russian Orthodox Christian Cathedral that was built by Russians in the centre of the town. This was done despite the fact Poles are Christians by faith and Jesus Christ was worshipped in that Cathedral. The Poles demolished the Cathedral built by Russians because they viewed the Cathedral not as a place of worship rather a structure that reminded them of their slavery.

Around the 12th century, Spain was conquered by Moors and the people were forcibly converted from Christianity to Islam. In the 16th century, when Christians recovered the whole of Spain from Moors they gave Muslims in their country only three choices—reconvert to Christianity,leave the country along with the Moors, or be killed. All the Muslim places of worship were converted back to Christian churches. This re-Christianisation was also done with force.

Why do we need to have a grand temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi, in place of the existing functional temple?
The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi movement is not only about bricks and mortar, but as the one that will restore honour of the nation and its culture. People take great pride inand receive inspiration from temples which signify their glorious past. This can be done only when we have a proper and full-fledged temple at the site.

Is it true that the foundation stone for temple was laid by a person who belonged to the Vanchit Varg?
Yes, Shri Kameshwar Chaupal of Bihar had the honour of laying the foundation stone of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple on November 10, 1989. It is a clear sign of the immense unifying power of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

Archaeological evidence
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) after extensive excavations has established it beyond doubt that there did exist a grand temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi site that was razed down to build Babari structure. The excavations done by ASI establish that the Janmabhoomi site was occupied prior to 7th century BC.

Literary Evidence
(a) Sanskrit Literature
(b) Books by Muslim writers, and
(c) Works and reports by foreign writers.

Sanskrit Literature
Several Sanskrit epics, Purans, Upanishads, poetries and religious scriptures from the timeof Maharishi Valmiki till modern days have numerous instances that Ayodhya is the birth place of Shri Ram. There is also a detailed description about several holy places pertaining to Shri Ram in the AyodhyaMahatmya wherein the significance of Shri Ram Janmabhumi Mandir is narrated after mentioning the location of this Mandir.

Epics— Valmiki Ramayana, Ram Upakhyan of Mahabharat (Van Parva), Yog Vasisth, Adhyatma Ramayan, Raghuvamsh etc.

Poetries:- Ramgeet-Govind, Geet Raghav, Ram Vilas, Ram Ashtak etc.

Dramas:- Pratima, Abhishek, Uttar Ramcharit, Hanumannatak, Prasanna Raghav, Ramabhyudaya etc.

Akhyan:- Bruhat Kathamanjari, Champu Ramayan, Katha Saritsar etc.

Purans:- Vishnu, Brahmand, Vayu, Koorma, Padma, Skanda, Narad etc.

Upanishads:- Ramottar Tapaniya, Ram Rahasya etc.

Other Religious Scriptures:- Jaiminiya Ashwamedh, Hanumat Vijaya, Hanumat Sanhita, Bruhat Koushal Khand etc.

Books by Muslim Writers

1. Sahifa-e-Chahal Nasa-ih-Bahaddur Shahi : by the daughter of Alamgir, son of Bahadur Shah (End of 17th century and beginning of 18th century)
The Masjids, which have been built on the basis of orders of Badashah (Ba Farman-e-Badashahi) are not permitted to hold Namaz prayers, nor to read the Khutba therein. The Hindus (Kufr) have lot of faith in the Hindu temples situated in Mathura, Benaras, Avadh etc. Like the birth place of Kanhaya, Sita Rasoi (kitchen), Hanuman Sthan, where he had sat in the proximity of Shri. Ramachandra on return after the Lanka victory. All these places were destroyed and Mosques were built on those spots only with a view to display the Islamic power. These Masjids have not been given the permission to hold Juma and Jamiyat (Namaj offered on Juma). But it was made mandatory not to worship any idols in them nor should any sound of conch shells be allowed to fall on the Muslim ears…

2. Hadika-e-Shahda by Mirzha Jan – 1856
Mirza Jan, who claims that he has studied various ancient sources indepth, asserts in his statements that the earlier Sultans did encourage the propagation and glorification of Islam and trampled the non-believers (Kufr) i.e. Hindu forces. Thus they redeemed Faizabad and Avadh of this mean tradition (Kufr) …… This (Avadh) was a very big centre of worship and the capital city of the kingdom of Ram’s father. There was a majestic temple on the spot a huge Musjid was constructed there on and a small canopy Mosque (Kanati Masjid) on the spot, where there was a small Mandap. The Janmasthan temple was the original birth place (Maskat) of Ram. Adjacent to it, there is the Sita Rasoi. ……Sita is the name of Ram’s wife. Hence Badashah Babar got constructed a tall (Sarbuland) Masjid on that spot under the guidance of Moosa Ashikan. The same Mosque is known as Sita Rasoi till today.

3. Fasana-e-Ibrat: by Mirza Rajab Ali Baig Sarur
During the regime of Badashah Babur, a grand Mosque was constructed on the site pertaining to Sita Rasoi in Avadh. This was the Babari Masjid. Since the Hindus were not strong enough to oppose, the Masjid was constructed under the guidance of Sayyad Mir Ashikan…..

4. Gumgasht-e-Halat-e-Ayodhya Avadh : by Moulavi Abdul Karim (Imam of Babari Musjid) – 1885
While giving details of the Dargah of Hazarat Shah Jamal Gojjari, the author writes that there is Mahalla Akbarpur on the east of this Dargah, whose other name is Kot Raja Ramachandra also. There were some Burz (Large cells with domes) in this Kot. There were the house of birth (Makan Paidaish) of the above mentioned Raja (King) and the Rasoi (Kitchen); besides, the western Burz and this premise is presently known as Janmasthan and Rasoi Sita. After demolishing and wiping out these houses (i.e. Janmasthan and Sita Rasoi), Badashah Babar got constructed a grand (Ajim) Masjid on that spot.

5. Tarikh-e-Avadh : by Allama Mohammed Nazamul Ghani Khan Rampuri – 1909
Babar constructed a grand Mosque under the protection of Sayyad Ashikan on the very same spot where once stood the temple of Janmasthan of Ramachandra in Ayodhya. Just adjacent to it stood the Sita Rasoi the date of Mosque construction is Khair Banki (Al Hizri 923). Till today this is known as Sita Rasoi. That temple stands just beside this…..

The names of the books written by some other Muslim authors which have the quotations confirming the construction of Masjid after destroying the temple are as follows:-
* Zia-e-Akhtar : by Haji Mohammed Hassan – 1878
* Kesar-ul-Tawarikh or Tawarikh-e-Avadh Vol.II : by Kamaluddin Hyder Hussain Al Hussain Al Mashahadi.
* Asrar-e-Haqiqat : by Lachhami Narayan Sadr Kanongo Assistant of munshi Moulavi Hashami
* Hindostan Islami Ahad : by Moulana Hakim Sayid Abdul Hai – 1972

Works and Reports by foreign authors
1. History and Geography of India : by Joseph Typhentheller – 1785
Babur constructed a Masjid after demolishing the Ram Janmsthan temple…and using its pillars. Hindus refused to give up the place and they continueto come to that place in spite of the efforts by Mughals to prevent them from coming there. That they constructed a platform called Ram Chabutara in the compound of the Masjid. They circumambulate it for three times and prostrate flat on the ground before it. They were following this devotional conduct at Ram Chabutara and inside the Masjid also.
2. Gazeteers of the Province of Oundh – 1877
This confirms that the Mughals had destroyed three important Hindu temples and constructed Masjids on those places. Babar built Babari Masjid on Ramajanmbhumi in 1528
3. Faizabad Settlement Report – 1880
This report confirms the fact that Babar got constructed the Babari Masjid in 1528 on the place of Janmasthan temple that marks the birth-place of Ram.
4. The Court Decision: by Judge Colonel F. E. A. Chaimier While reading out his decision on the Civil Appeal No. 27 of 1885 after personally inspecting the site of the Babari Masjid, the district judge had said, “It is most unfortunate to have built a Mosque on the land, which has been considered as holy, especially by the Hindus. But the time of finding a solution for this complaint has lapsed. Because this event has taken place 356 years ago.”
5. Indian Archaeological Survey Report: by A. Fuhrer – 1891 Fuhrer accepts that Mir Khan had built the Babari Mosque on the same place of Ram Janmabhumi by using several of its pillars. He has further confirmed that Aurangzeb had similarly constructed two other Mosques at Swarg Dwar and Treta Thakur Mandir in Ayodhya.

6. Barabanki District Gazeteers : by H.R. Nevil – 1902— Nevil states that a number of conflicts arose between Hindu priests of Ayodhya and the Muslims from time to time about the piece of land, where upon once stood the Junmasthan temple, which was destroyed by Babar and a Mosque was constructed on that place.

7. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition Vol. I – 1978 :- There is a mention of constructing a Mosque by Babar in place of a temple that existed on the birth place of Ram prior to 1528 AD. A photograph of the existing structure is also given in this Encyclopaedia, which has been referred to as a Mosque constructed on the birth place of Ram in Ayodhya of Uttar Pradesh state in India. Similar information were furnished in its earlier editions as well.

Other books
8. Travel Report : by William Finch – 1608-11
9. Historical Sketch of Faizabad ; by P. Carnegy – 1870
10. Imperial Gazeteer of Faizabad – 1881
11. Babar Nama (English) : by Enete Beberis – 1920
12. Archeological Survey of India – 1934
13. Ayodhya ; by Hans Becker – 1984
14. Ram Janmbhumi V/s Babary Musjid : by Coenrad Elst – 1990

Examination of the evidence submitted by the All India Babari Masjid Action Committee
None of the documents submitted by them have any evidentiary value and are merely opinions of people with political inclinations.There is no testimony that could show that Babur or any other Muslim Chieftain saw a vacant plot of land in Ayodhya and thereupon ordered the construction of a Masjid there.

Efforts to posit Buddhism against Shri Ram does not hold ground. The fable of Shri Ram finds a place in Buddhist Akhyanas. It has been very proudly said in the Buddhist sources that Buddha belonged to the Ikshwaku clan as Shri Ram did.They have tried to question the historicity of Ramayana by asserting that there are many versions of Ramanayana. Yet again this does not hold ground. There are two different stories about the creation in Bible. Two different genealogies are given about Jesus. In fact, every story of Jesus’s life is given by authors differently in various Gospels. But no serious intellectual conclude from this that Jesus was never born.

Three Judges of the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court
1. Justice Dharam Veer Sharma
2. Justice Sudhir Agrawal
3. Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan
Date of Judgement: September 30, 2010
* The total area is approximately 1,480 square yards or 13,320 square feet.
* Two of the three judges have ordered for allotment of 1/3rd area to each of the three main Plaintiffs (complainants) respectively—Nirmohi Akhara, Muslims and Ramlala Virajman. The court has dismissed the suitof Sunni Waqf Board.
* The Government of India had acquired about 70 acres of land surrounding the disputed premises. This land is other than the disputed area and is in the possession of government of India.
* Although the suits were heard by a three-judge special bench of the Lucknow Bench of

Allahabad High Court, yet the three judges wrote and delivered their judgments separately since this court was functioning like a trial court.
1. Excerpts from Verbatim Gist of the findings by Justice Dharam Veer Sharma
2. The disputed site is the birth place of Lord Ram. Place of birth is a juristic person and is a deity. It is personified as the spirit of divine worshipped as birth place of Lord Rama as a child. Spirit of divine ever remains present everywhere at all times for anyone to invoke at any shape or form in accordance with his own aspirations and it can be shapeless and formless also.
3. The disputed building was constructed by Babar, the year is not certain but it was built against the tenets of Islam. Thus, it cannot have the character of a mosque.
4. The disputed structure was constructed on the site of old structure after demolition of the same. The Archaeological Survey of India has proved that the structure was a massive Hindu religious structure.
5. It is established that the property in suit is the site of Janm Bhumi of Ram Chandra Ji and Hindus in general had the right to worship Charan, Sita Rasoi, other idols and other object of worship existed upon the property in suit.
It is also established that Hindus have been worshipping the place in dispute as Janm Sthan i.e. a birth place as deity and visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since time immemorial. After the construction of the disputed structure it is proved the deities were installed inside the disputed structure on 22/23-12-1949 (December 22/23, 1949). It is also proved that the outer courtyard was in exclusive possession of Hindus and they were worshipping throughout and in the inner courtyard (in the disputed structure) they were also worshipping. It is also established that the disputed structure cannot be treated as a mosque as it came into existence against the tenets of Islam.

Excerpts from the Verbatim Gist of the findings by Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan
1. It is not proved by direct evidence that premises in dispute including constructed portion belonged to Babar or the person who constructed the mosque or under whose orders it was constructed.
Excerpts from the Verbatim Gist of the findings by Justice Sudhir Agarwal
1. The area covered under the central dome of the disputed structure is the birthplace of Lord Rama as per faith and belief of Hindus.

What kind of evidence did the three Judge Bench go through before they gave out their verdict?
The Judges took into account evidence from Muslim scriptures, Muslim Waqf Act, Hindu scriptures, Skanda Puran, Historical accounts written by Muslim historians, the Diary of a French Jesuit Priest Joseph Tieffenthaler, Gazetteers and books written by British officials and historians, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Carved stone blocks and inscription found from the debris of the structure, report of the Ground Penetrating Radar Survey (GPRS), report of the GPRS-inspired excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and oral cross-examinations and statements of approximately 85 witnesses.

Why did Ramlala win?
A Praan-Pratishthit Vigraha (deity) is a living entity that can fight its own case, and is a juridical person. But being a perpetual minor the Praan-Pratishthit Vigrahathereforeneeds a guardian to fight its legal battles. Late Shri Deoki Nandan Agrawal, a retired judge of Allahabad High Courthad filed Sri Ramlala’s case as the deity’s Next Friend. According to Hindu scriptures and the Present Law the deity can hold the propertyand nobody can have adverse possession over it.
Further, the place being Janmasthan of Bhagwan Shri Ram is not merely a property but being sacred the place itself is a deity and is worshipped. It can also fight its own case as Plaintiff (complainant). This provision in the Hindu scriptures has been there since time immemorial and the Courts of Law always accepted these accreditations.

Why was the case of Sunni Waqf Board Dismissed?
The Muslim Scriptures and Law lay down that no Wakf can be created on another’s property (the Deity’s seat, the Deity’s Home or the Temple) and Namaz offered in a Mosque thus erected is not accepted by Allah. In the eyes of law, therefore, the three-domed structure did not exist.
Neither Babur nor his commander-in-chief Mir Baki were the owners of the disputed site and so it could not be offered to Allah. Further, even if it is accepted for the sake of argument that Muslims were in occupation of this site since 1528, then also it was never continuous, uninterrupted and peaceful. Long occupation does not endow ownership rights. Moreover, the Waqf Board had to divulge as to whose property did Babur occupy and whether he did it with the knowledge of true owner. Also, it is the view of the Supreme Court that ‘Mosque’ is not an essential part of Islam, Namaz can be offered anywhere, even in an open ground. The Waqf Board was neither considered by the Court of Law to be the owner of the disputed land nor was the structure in question accepted to be a valid mosque according to Islam. So the Suit No. 4 filed by Sunni Waqf Board was dismissed by the Court declaring it time barred.

Justice Sudhir Agrawal on some of the issues framed in the Suit of Sunni Waqf Board as Plaintiff (Complainant)

1. Whether the building (the three-domed Babari structure) had been constructed on the site of an alleged Hindu temple after demolishing the same?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– Affirmative, Yes.

2. Whether the building (the three-domed Babari structure) had been used by the members of the Muslim community for offering prayers from time immemorial?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–The building in question (the three-domed Babari structure) was not exclusively used by the members of Muslim community. After 1856-57, outer courtyard was exclusively used by Hindu and inner courtyard had been visited for the purpose of worship by the members of both the communities (Hindus and Muslims both).

3. Whether the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) were in possession of the property in suit up to 1949 and were dispossessed from the same in 1949?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:— Negative – Against the Sunni Waqf Board.

4. Whether the plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) have perfected their rights by adverse possession as alleged in the plaint (complaint)?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– Negative, against the plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) and Muslims in general.

5. Is the property in suit the site of Janma Bhumi of Shri Ramchandraji?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– It is held that the place of birth as believed and worshipped by Hindus is the area covered under the central dome of the three-domed structure, i.e., the disputed structure in the inner courtyard in the premises of dispute.

6. Whether the Hindus in general and defendants in particular had the right to worship the Charans and Sita Rasoi and other idols and other objects of worship, if any, existing in or upon the property in suit?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– Affirmative, Yes.

7. Have the Hindus been worshipping the place in dispute as Sri Ram Janam Bhumi or Janmasthan and have been visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since times immemorial?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Affirmative, Yes.

8. Have the Muslims been in possession of the property in suit from 1528 A.D. continuously, openly and to the knowledge of the Defendants and Hindus in general?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Answered in Negative, against the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) and Muslims in general.

9. Whether the building (the three-domed Babari structure) was landlocked and cannot be reached except by passing through places of Hindu worship?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Yes, to the extent that building was landlocked and could not be reached except of passing through the passage of Hindu worship.

Justice Dharam Veer Sharma on some of the issues framed in suit of Sunni Waqf Board (Plaintiff or complainant)

1. Whether the building in question described as mosque in the attached map was a mosque as claimed by the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)

2. Whether the building had been constructed on the site of an alleged Hindu temple after demolishing the same?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:–Decided in favour of defendants (the Hindu society in general) and against the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) on the basis of ASI report.

3. Whether the building had been used by the members of the Muslim community for offering prayers from time immemorial?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:–Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)

4. Whether the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) were in possession of the property in suit up to 1949 and were dispossessed from the same in 1949?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)

5. Whether the plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) have perfected their rights by adverse possession as alleged in the plaint (complaint)?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)

6. Is the property in suit the site of Janm Bhumi of Sri Ramchandraji?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) (and in favour of Hindu society in general)

7. Have the Hindus been worshipping the place in dispute as Sri Ram Janm Bhumi or Janmasthan and have been visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since times immemorial?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) (and in favour of Hindu society in general)

8. Have the Muslims been in possession of the property in suit from 1528 A.D. continuously, openly and to the knowledge of the Defendants and Hindus in general?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board).

9. To what relief, if any, are the plaintiffs or any of them, entitled?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) are not entitled for any relief. The suit is dismissed with easy costs.

10. Whether the building was landlocked and cannot be reached except by passing through places of Hindu worship?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) and in favour of defendants (the Hindu society in general).

Justice Sudhir Agarwal on some of the issues framed in Suit of Ramlala Virajman (Plaintiff no. 1) and Asthan Ram Janm Bhumi (Plaintiff No. 2) and Next Friend (Plaintiff no. 3)

1. Whether the plaintiffs 1 & 2 (Ramlala Virajman & Asthan Ram Janm Bhumi) are juridical persons?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Plaintiffs 1 & 2 both are juridical persons.

2. Whether the idol in question was installed under the central dome of the disputed building in the early hours of December 23rd, 1949 as alleged by the plaintiff:
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Affirmative. The idols were installed under the central dome of the disputed building in the early hours of 23rd December, 1949.

3. Whether the disputed structure claimed to be Babri Masjid was erected after demolishing Janmasthan Temple at its site?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– Affirmative (Yes).

Justice Dharam Veer Sharma on some of the issues framed in suit of Ramlala Virajman (Plaintiff no. 1), Asthan Ram Janm Bhumi (Plaintiff no. 2) and Next Friend (Plaintiff no. 3)

1. Whether the disputed structure claimed to be Babari Masjid was erected after demolishing Janmasthan Temple at its site?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:–Decided against Sunni Waqf Board and in favour of the plaintiffs. (So in general, Justice Sharma decreed that the disputed Babari structure was indeed built after demolishing the Shri Ram Janmasthan temple).

Courtesy: K Bharat on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 at TheIndianVoice (

A number of articles are blogged at AriseBharat:

  1. Ramjanmabhumi-Babri Masjid dispute – Views and Warnings
  2. The gist of judgements (PDF) are available at
  3. RSS Sarsanghachalak Video statement on Ayodhya
  4. An Insight into the Ayodhya Dispute – S.Gurumurthy & VigilOnline

Demolishing the propaganda on Social drinking of Alcohol

In the past 2-3 decades, there is a lot of focus by liquor companies to promote liquor among the youth by showing it is a trendy habit. A tool for them has been mainstream cinema. Movies like “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” to recent movies like “Yeh Jawani hai Diwani” have multiple instances where the main protagonist, both men and women indulge in alcohol and infact a tee-teetotaler is presented as a boring person.

The article from ToI below demolishes the propaganda that social drinking is ok and in fact recommended. Apart from health hazards, alcohol destroys families and Bharat’s youth have to be aware of the special drive being taken by liquor companies.

First the man takes a drink; then the drink takes a drink; then the drink takes the man.”

Liver is the second largest human organ. It removes toxins in your body, controls cholesterol levels, fight infections, aids digestion among other key functions. Sadly, liver diseases don’t show any signs or symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage.

Dr Amrish Sahney, Associate Consultant, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, BL Kapur Super Specialty Hospital writes about alcoholic liver disease on World Liver Day.

Magnitude of Problem

– Alcohol related toxicity is the third most common cause of morbidity and the fifth most common cause of disease burden worldwide.
– It is the leading cause of mortality in people aged 15-49 years, and the total expenditure amounts to billions of dollars.
– WHO estimates that 140 million people worldwide suffer from alcohol dependency, causing damage to lives and economies.
– The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that both males and females should not drink more than 28 g and 14 g per day, respectively.
– In addition, steady daily drinking, as compared with binge drinking, appears to be more harmful
– Persistent and heavy for long period more risky than sporadic heavy drinking.
– In USA, 2nd leading cause for liver transplantation is alcoholic cirrhosis.
– In India alcoholic liver disease occurs a decade early compared to west.
– Women had greater susceptibility to ALD at any given level of intake.

What is the spectrum of alcohol related liver disease?

There are three main types: alcoholic fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis.
Alcoholic cirrhosis leads to complications of ascites, blood in vomitus, liver cancer at advanced stage.

Alcohol related fatty liver

Excess alcohol consumption leads to accumulation of excess fat in the liver in 90% of individuals. This is the earliest stage of alcohol-related liver disease and usually there are no symptoms. Although reversible, cirrhosis may develop in 10% of heavy drinkers.

Patients who drink alcohol and are overweight or have diabetes have a higher risk of progressive liver damage.

Alcoholic hepatitis

In Alcoholic hepatitis, there is inflammation and swelling of the liver. It develops in individuals who are heavy drinkers and those who indulge in binge drinking. Symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever and jaundice. One out of three heavy drinkers develops alcoholic hepatitis. If it is mild, liver damage may be reversed after stopping alcohol. Some patients of mild alcoholic hepatitis continue to drink alcohol, and they may quickly progress to severe alcoholic hepatitis and develop liver failure. Signs of liver failure are accumulation of fluid in the belly, swelling of feet and mental confusion. Severe alcoholic hepatitis is a very serious condition and fifty percent of patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis die within one month.

Alcoholic cirrhosis

Alcoholic cirrhosis is scarring of the liver — hard scar tissue replaces soft healthy tissue. It is the most serious type of alcohol-related liver disease. Between 10 and 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis. The damage from cirrhosis cannot be reversed and usually leads to development of ascites, mental confusion, and blood in vomitus or passage of blood in stools, frequent infections and ICU admissions.

In one of the studies done by me in Liver ICU, consisting of 522 cirrhotic patients, majority (>50 per cent) had alcohol related liver disease. The prognosis of these patients was very poor with dismal survival. The cost involved in care of such patients may go upto 1 lakh rupees per day due to multiple organ failure state.

Most of these patients require liver transplantation after a period of alcohol abstinence.

Identifying the problem drinking

A simple questionnaire CAGE can identify alcoholism.

C- Have you ever felt to cut down your drink ?

A- Do you feel annoyed about drinking?

G- Do you feel guilt about drinking?
E- Do you drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves?

The answer “Yes” to any of above question identifies a drinking problem. These individuals are at risk of alcohol related diseases. Timely medical referral and counseling can lead to prevention of an oncoming disease.

The awareness about alcohol related liver disease must be spread to every corner of the country. Special clinics and well trained hepatologists and staff are required to tackle problems related to alcohol. Government must take proper steps in this direction to make country free of problem drinking.


96% Muslims in Kashmir Valley and Are Still A Minority !!

“In the long run, it would be in the interest of all to forget that there is anything like majority or minority in this country and that in India there is only one community.”
—Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Constituent Assembly Debates (Proceedings)  – Vol VIII, Wednesday, May 25,1949

The State of Jammu and Kashmir (J & K) is a bunch of contradictions and anomalies. Like any other princely State, it opted for the complete accession in Bharat, still it is projected and discussed as an incomplete process. The loudest cry of discrimination and alienation comes from this State, even after receiving ‘special’ attention and assistance from the successive Union Governments. The only Presidential Order that was inserted in the Article 35 (A) is existing even after 60 years without any assent of the Parliament and is being misused to raise the flag of ‘Special Status’. The gender discrimination is a sanctioned norm in this ‘Secular Crown’ of Bharat. Now the hearing on a PIL seeking
identification of religious minorities in the State has opened up another set of contradiction prevailing there.

The Minorities Act of 1992 has not been extended to J&K, like many other provisions. So, Muslims, who constitute an overwhelming majority of around 69 per cent, continue to be  a minority as identified at the Central level. Various Central Government schemes, around 50 odd, have funding provisions for minority communities across Bharat, which benefits around 2.5 lakh Muslim children, mostly from the Valley, in the case of J & K. More importantly, it denies the same right to the real minorities of the State like Sikhs, Buddhist and Hindus. In this backdrop, Ankur Sharma, an Advocate from Kathua, has filed a case asking for stoppage of all Central schemes funds for J&K and demanding immediate set up of the Minority Commission in J & K.
If we go by the Constituent Assembly debates and the provisions in the Constitution, the term ‘minority’ does not have a mere religious connotation. In fact, stalwarts like Sardar Patel and Dr Ambedkar were against using this term, so there is no definition in the Constitution. The usage of ‘minority’ has religious, cultural, linguistic etc dimensions which change as per the context. This was expected to be the consideration while identifying the minorities and devising the policies of governance. Unfortunately, this ethos is killed by the blatant communal politics in the name of ‘secularism’.

The extension of this communal secularism is more peculiar in case of J & K, where the sub-regional demography varies drastically. The Muslim population of Kashmir Valley is 96 per cent. In some districts like Pulwama and Anantnag, Hindus are not even 1 per cent, thanks to persecution faced in the name of ‘Azadi’. According to estimates 99 per cent of the total population of Hindus, mainly Kashmiri Pandits (i.e. approximately 150,000 to 160,000) was either displaced or faced the wrath of Islamic militancy in the Kashmir Valley in 1990s. The condition of Sikhs and Buddhists is not very different in the Valley dominated politics of the State. So, in the State where religious minorities have faced worst ever discrimination and harassment in the independent Bharat, the majority community is legally a minority. As per the government records 17 out of 22 districts are Muslim majority and if still the community is being treated as the minority, then it is nothing but the murder of our Constitutional ethos.

The answer given by the incumbent Government on these anomalies is more worrying. The J&K government, in its response to the PIL, has contended that it was not the only State where the minority declared by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) was a majority, citing the cases of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Punjab and Lakshadweep where minority as declared by the NCM was in majority. This brings us to the federal perspective on the whole issue of majority-minority. As per the NCM data, 17 out of total 29 states have
constituted minority commissions and identified minorities as per their State demography. Most of the states that did not bother to do so are the ones where Hindus are in a
minority. This is the height of ‘Secular Irony’.

“The sooner these classifications (majority-minority) disappear the better” was the vision of Sardar Patel which he articulated while tabling his Report of Advisory Committee on Minorities etc to the Constituent Assembly. Ideally we should have attained the same by now. If not, then the logic of minoritism on religious lines should be extended to the federal units including J & K to clearly identify the minorities and give them the due rights and benefits. Otherwise we will keep defying not only the vision of our Constitution makers but also negating the legal provisions made in the name of ‘minority rights’.