Thiruvananthapuram: K.K. Mohammed, the archaeologist who made some important findings regarding the Ram Janmabhoomi temple has said that "Muslims should hand over Gyanvapi and Shahi Idgah mosques to Hindus". His strong and forceful views supporting the existence of a Ram temple under the demolished disputed structure in Ayodhya were discussed widely. He has also negated the anti-Ram temple theories.
Mohammed, who retired as the Regional Director of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), is credited with several key archaeological findings, including the discovery of the Ibadat Khana, a complex built by Mughal emperor Akbar for hosting religious debates and discussions among theologians and scholars of various religions.
Mohammed said he was part of a team that was headed by Professor B.B. Lal and found several pillars that had inscriptions resembling Hindu temples. "Even in the walls of the building, there were several depictions of Hindu gods and goddesses that were defaced in many places. We could also find terracotta statues of animals, females, warriors and several such materials," he said.
Mohammed further said he was then a student of Post Graduate Diploma at the ASI’s College of Archaeology after completing Post graduation in History from Aligarh Muslim University with a rank when he embarked on the excavation work. "One of our team members was Jaisree Ramanathan, wife of the senior Congress leader, Jairam Ramesh. I was involved in the excavation of Trench," Mohammed said.
On reports that Dr. B.B. Lal, who headed the team, did not want to publicise the findings as it would have created a major friction, Mohammed said it was true. According to Mohammed, the Communist Historians, led by Prof Irfan Habib, came out with press statements that Dr Lal and his team did not find anything from the excavations.
"It was then that Prof Lal was forced to respond and the findings were brought out to the public. Prof Irfan Habib was not an archaeologist and only a historian and he had distorted ideas that led to a major polarisation among the people. However, the crucial evidence was received after the Masjid was demolished in 1992 and not during the excavation your team undertook in 1976," Mohammed said.
He continued, "It was a 12th-century Vishnuharishila inscription that was there under the structure. Critics had earlier stated that it was an 18th-century inscription but they backed out later. In the inscription, it was clearly written about the Mahavishnu who had killed Bali and also killed the man with ten heads. This means Lord Ram and hence it is clear as to who the place belonged to."
He, however, said as an archaeologist, he never supported demolishing any structure that is of historical and archaeological importance. He admitted that he was shaken at the demolition of Babri Masjid.
On demands of Hindus for handing over Gyanvyapi and Mathura to them, Mohammed said giving back Gyanvapi and Mathura to Hindus is the only lasting solution to this issue. "All the religious leadership should in unison hand over these structures to the Hindu community. Kashi, Mathura and Ayodhya are very important for Hindus as they depict Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna and Lord Shri Ram. There are no emotions attached to Muslims for these mosques."
As a person who was a part of the excavation team and one who had relentlessly stated that it was a Ram temple, the archaeologist said, "Indeed I am happy as a professional archaeologist and that a majestic temple for Lord Ram has come up in Ayodhya. An archaeologist is not a Hindu or a Muslim. I am a professional archaeologist and I am professionally very happy that several years of excavations and scientific findings have given a correct result and a grand temple is coming up. I am happy about this."