With the reconstruction of Ayodhya Ram Mandir nearing completion, it is time to look back on the long and painful history of its destruction by the Moghul invader Babur in 1526, the indomitable spirit of the Hindu community to keep its memory alive, the never-ending struggle to regain its possession, and, of course, the painful saga of the last seven decades to reclaim the right to rebuild the Mandir during the so-called “Independent India.”
In preparation for the inauguration of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir and the “Pran Pratishtha” ceremony on January 22, 2024, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), in collaboration with the Hindu University of America (HUA), organized a series of webinars to reprise the long history of the Hindu struggle and eventual victory to reclaim this sacred symbol of our civilization narrative. This “Good over Evil” struggle was chronicled in five parts:
Webinar 1: Archaeological Findings (Speaker: Sh. KK Muhammed)
Webinar 2: Historical Perspective (Speaker: Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi)
Webinar 3: The Legal Case (Speaker: Sh. Vishnu Shankar Jain)
Webinar 4: The Lessons Learned (Dr. Anand Ranganathan)
Webinar 5: Contribution of American Hindus (4-person panel)
Sh. KK Muhammed obtained his master’s degree in history and a postgraduate degree from the School of Archaeology, both from Aligarh Muslim University, and a postgraduate diploma from the School of Archeology, ASI, New Delhi. He has held a variety of positions with the ASI and retired in 2012 as the Regional Director (North) of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). During his long career, Muhammed is credited for the discovery and restoration of many important monuments, a work which garnered him the Padma Shri award in 2019, India’s fourth highest civilian honor.
KK Muhammed was part of Prof. B.B. Lal’s team, which conducted the excavation of the Babri Masjid/Ram Mandir complex in 1976. He was deeply troubled by the fact that the archeological discoveries clearly showed that the masjid was erected on the debris of a temple. The Marxist historian Irfan Habib tried to use his influence to keep these findings from the public. However, Mr. Muhammed decided to publish them anyway, noting that as the only Muslim in the excavation team, he felt it was his duty to defend Prof. Lal, who was being mercilessly attacked by the left for not conforming to their views.
Since his retirement from the ASI in 2012, Dr. Muhammed has been sharing his views on various social and news media.