Monday, April 22, 2024

This man has the gratitude of millions of Hindu devotees of Rama

Prof BB Lal

Braj Basi Lal, or BB Lal, is an archaeologist whom millions of Hindus would remember with utmost gratitude for centuries to come. It was this man who first produced the evidence that there is a Ram Temple beneath the Babri Masjid. 

President Ram Nath Kovind showed the gratitude of the nation when he awarded the Padma Vibhushan to the centenarian in a glittering ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday. 

Between 1975-76, the veteran archaeologist led a project named Archaeology of Ramayana. His purpose was to examine certain sites having references in Ramayana. There were nine members in all in the team including Prof. Lal. 

As per Prof. Lal, a five-site excavation project was done at Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringaverapur, Bharadwaj Ashram and Chitrakoot to ascertain the dates associated with Ramayana. 

While excavating the site in Ayodhya, near the Babri structure, pillar bases were found which suggested a temple buried. Strangely, as soon as he brought it to light, all the technical facilities were withdrawn from the area and the project was halted. 

The project remained suspended for over a decade despite Prof Lal’s multiple requests. The final report was never submitted. But as luck would’ve it, Prof. Lal’s preliminary report was published by the Indian Council of Historical Research in its volume on Historicity of Ramayana and Mahabharata in 1989. 

It was a shot in arm for the Ram Mandir advocates who were fighting a case in the Supreme Court for decades. The judgement finally came two years ago which paved the way for the construction of Ram Mandir. 

While the excavations were carried out on the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, various Hindu sculptures, including a Shivling, has been unearthed. Carved pillars of Indic designs have also been discovered. 

The objects included various archaeological artefacts and stone pillars with carvings of flowers, Kalash, Aamalak, etc, said Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust. 

During the excavation, a 5 feet Shivaling, 7 carved pillars of Black touchstone, 6 carved pillars of red sandstone and broken idols of Hindu gods were also found. 

The findings have vindicated the early work by pioneers like BB Lal and the latest honour to him is timely. 

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