Does the 1,500 square yard piece of land where the disputed Babri
Masjid once stood support the mansion of Queen Kaushalya, the
mother of Hindu god Ram, and is it the exact place of his birth?
According to Justice S.U. Khan, one of the three judges in the
Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court who gave the Sep 30
Ayodhya verdict, there is a difference between Janamsthan,
Janambhoomi and Janamsthal.
Translating the words in English, Justice Khan says 'janam' means
'birth', 'sthan' means 'place', 'bhoomi' means 'land' and 'sthal'
means site. "No one has used the word Janamsthal (birth site in
English)," points out Justice Khan.
Queen Kaushalya was one of the three favourite queens of Raja
Dasharath of Ayodhya, the father of Lord Ram, according to the
The question on the 1,500 sq yard piece of land arose in the
course of the hearing of the title suit and was dealt with by
Justice Khan in his separate but concurrent judgment with Justice
Sudhir Agarwal in the title suit case.
Justice Khan says that each of the counsel who appeared for
different Hindu contenders replied in the affirmative when they
were asked if they were sure that the 1,500 sq yards, which was in
dispute, was the birthplace of Lord Rama.
However, the same counsel were not sure if by Janmasthan or
Janmabhoomi they meant that it was the exact site where Kaushalya
- the mother of Lord Rama gave birth to him, which by its very
nature could be a very, very small area of 5 to 10 square yard
only, or it meant the room in which the birth took place or it
meant the mansion where the mother of Lord Rama resided, he
Justice Khan said that in common parlance, birthplace denotes the
village, town or city where one is born. None of the learned
counsel could give any specific reply to this query.
Justice Khan further pointed out: "At this juncture it may be
noticed again that in the plaint of suit no.5 by the deities no
effort has been made to identify, specify and pinpoint 'the birth
The court was told that the position was too well known to need
any description. It is also mentioned in the plaint that both the
annexed maps clarify the position.
However, the first map is of premises in dispute and the second of
the premises in dispute as well as the adjoining land, most of
which was barren (parti) and unused.
Raja Dasharath was a king. In olden times there was not much
demand on the land.
It is given in several books and gazettes that the fort of Raja
Dasharath was quite big. The mother of Lord Ram was one of his
favourite queens. Accordingly, it cannot be assumed that she used
to live in a 'mansion' constructed only on an area of 1,500 sq
In those times even the houses of medium level people must have
been of quite larger area.
It has been mentioned in several books as well as gazettes that
for a long time till the first century BC, Ayodhya was completely
deserted and was almost a jungle, he pointed out.
It was Raja Vikramaditya in the first century BC, who after great
research located several places connected with activities of Lord
Ram in Ayodhya and constructed/got constructed 360 temples there,
However, it has also been mentioned that most of those temples
collapsed over the centuries and were in ruined condition.
It has also been noticed in various books and gazettes that even
before the construction of the mosque in question thousands of
pilgrims visited Ayodhya and treated and believed it to be the
birthplace of Lord Ram and revered it as such.
These and many other arguments have been used by Justice Khan to
conclude that firstly no temple was demolished for constructing
the mosque, and secondly, until the mosque was constructed during
the period of Babar in the 16th century the premises in dispute
was neither treated nor believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.
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