Exclusive Q&A With : Kishore Kunal, Former Indian Police Service officer
Updated on: 29 Jun 2016
'Babur has been facing gross historical injustice for the last two centuries, when he had no role either in the demolition of any temple or in the construction of the so-called Babri mosque at Ayodhya.'
Kishore Kunal, a former Indian Police Service officer, was involved in discussions on the Ayodhya dispute in the early 1990s.
In his book, Ayodhya Revisited, Kunal states that the temple at Lord Ram's birthplace in Ayodhya was not demolished by Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire in 1528, but by Fidai Khan, the governor of Ayodhya in 1660 during Aurangzeb's reign.
Ayodhya Revisited appears at a time when some Sangh Parivar and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are again raising the controversial dispute ahead of next year's Uttar Pradesh assembly election.
After voluntary retirement from the IPS in early 2000, Kunal took up social work full time. He heads the Patna-based Mahavir Mandir Trust that runs the largest cancer hospital in Bihar.
The trust plans to construct the world's largest Hindu temple near Kesaria in Bihar's East Champaran district.
At his Patna home, which has about 8,000 books, Kunal spoke to M I Khan about the Ayodhya dispute, history and much more.
Why have you named the book Ayodhya Revisited?
My association with the Ayodhya dispute started officially in 1990 when I was made officer on special duty to then minister of state for home affairs Subodh Kant Sahay in the government led by Prime Minister V P Singh. I was retained in the same post by Prime Minister Chandrasekhar.
During the tenure of the two prime ministers, several rounds of negotiations were held between representative organisations of the two communities.
Naturally, I had hesitation as a person who was officially instrumental for negotiations on Ayodhya between Hindu and Muslim religious leaders in the early 1990s, so I stayed away from the historical debate.
Senior advocate and convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee Zafaryab Jilani presented his case in the right direction. On the other hand, Nirmohi Akhara lawyer Ranjit Lal Verma failed to present his case in the proper way. In fact, most of the lawyers of their side have not appeared before the court.
So I thought I should present the facts that I had gathered after doing years of research.
This book is the result of 25 years of my deep research on Ayodhya and took seven years for me write.
I am trying to resuscitate the real history of Ayodhya which is almost dead to the poisonous misinterpretation of facts.
I am sorry to say that the reliance of VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) historians on a fictitious book -- Sahifar-i-Chihal-Nasaih Bahadur Shahi -- is misplaced.
The VHP has cited this book as strong positive evidence in favour of the demolition of the original temple and construction of a mosque.
You are not a historian, so how can you justify a new thesis on the dispute?