There is an excellent opportunity for Muslims to hand over Mathura and Kashi to Hindus,” former director of Archeological Survey of India (ASI) Dr K Muhammed stressed on Friday.
There is evidence to prove that temples existed in these disputed sites, he stressed while delivering a talk on ‘excavating truth’ at Mangaluru Lit Fest organised at Dr T M A Pai International Convention Centre.
While sharing insights, he said that during the excavation at the disputed land in Ayodhya, they had found 12 pillars with architectural symbols like ‘Amalka’ (on top of sanctum sanctorum) proving the existence of a temple.
He recollected that among the critics, JNU was the most vocal and had caused him much mental agony.
“I am of the firm belief that as Mecca is important to Muslims, even Ayodhya is important to Hindus. I had even welcomed death to uphold the truth. Though a reputed historian declared that there were no temples in the second archaeological survey (which he was not part of), the SC judgment was based on our findings,” he said.
Coming from a childhood background rich with teachings of Hindu mythology he stressed on the need for culture to be inculcated at the school level.
Dr Muhammed agreed with a member of the audience that Marxist historians were those who lost in the Ayodhya verdict. Dr Muhammed’s book ‘Njanenna Bharatheeyan’, translated into Kannada language, ‘Nanemba Bharatiya’ by Narasimha Rao, was released on the occasion.
The first session of Manthan was a talk on ‘Diversity and performative traditions’. Professor of Literature and Tradition Prof D Venkat Rao argued that abolition of ‘Jaatis’ can lead to a loss of traditional knowledge and memory in society.
At the session on India calling, Maria Wirth highlighted the irony in her life as she had vowed never to return to India after her first visit. But she fell in love with the culture and philosophy after her second visit and had not left India for the past 39 years.
Henrietta Lucy urged everyone to stand up and protect Hinduism for dharma. At one of the session, Prof Madhava Peraje interacting with Dr Ajjakala Girish Bhat highlighted the beauty of Folklore in India.
‘Barkha Dutt biased’
A session on ‘Media Leaning’ ended abruptly after a woman member in the audience accused the speaker Barkha Dutt of being biased. The audience member pointed out that Dutt had no moral right to talk about ethics as she had compromised on ethics for TRP ratings for the past two decades. Barkha Dutt refused to respond to charges. The moderator sensing the growing anger in the audience abruptly ended the session.