ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ayodhya and Archaeology: An Open Letter

The Ayodhya judgment of the Allahabad High Court has relied on a report – submitted to it in 2003 – by the Archaeological Survey of India after its excavations on the site, as ordered by the court. As citizens of India, or persons of Indian origin, or friends of India, we demand that this report should be published forthwith and be available for scrutiny in the public domain, especially to scholars, as it is now a part of the public judicial record.

We learn that two archaeologists, D Mandal and Shereen Ratnagar, who criticised this report in a book published in 2007, were served with a contempt of court notice by the Allahabad High Court this summer. So far as we know the orders in the contempt case are yet to be passed. If that be so, the world at large is equally constrained to silence. Such a judicially ordained zone of uncertainty curbs freedom of expression and fair comment.

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