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Ayodhya Verdict - Citizens Appeal to Chief Justice of India and Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court

18 October 2010

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The Ayodhya judgment of the Allahabad High Court has relied on a Report, submitted to the High Court 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 High Court of Allahabad 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.

We humbly request the Honourable Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and the Honourable Chief Justice of India to kindly look into this matter.

Signatories:

Uma Chakravarti, Historian, Formerly of Miranda House, Delhi University; Prof K. Satchidanandan, Formerly of the Sahitya Akademi, Delhi; Mogen Trolle Larsen, Retired Professor of Assyriology, Copenhagen University; David Wengrow, Reader in Archaeology, University College, London; Ajay Dandekar, Professor, Institute of Rural Management, Anand; Anand Teltumbde, Author and Research Scholar; Eva Myrdal, Archaelogist and Curator, Stockholm; K.N. Pannikar, former Vice Chancellor, Sree Sankaracharya University, Eranakulam; Philip L. Kohl, Professor of Anthropology, Wellesley College, USA; Dr Narayani Gupta, Historian, Retired Professor, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi; Tanika Sarkar, Historian, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Sumit Sarkar, Historian, Retired Professor, Delhi University; Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker; P.A. Sebastian, Advocate and Civil Rights Activist; IIona Aronovsky, Writer on Archaeology, London; Dr Rohini Hensman, Writer, Researcher, Mumbai; Nandini Manjrekar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; Jyoti Punwani, Journalist, Mumbai; Bernard D’Mello, Deputy Editor, Economic and Political Weekly; Anand Chakravarti, Retired Professor, Delhi University; Jal Choksi, Professor of Mathematics, Montreal, Canada; Dr Jairus Banaji, Historian, Mumbai; Sudhir Chandra, Institute of Advanced Study, Nantes, France; Govind Shahani, Retired Principal, Jai Hind College, Mumbai; Saraju Rath, Epigraphist, International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden; Jan E.M. Houben, Professor, Ecole Pratique, Paris; Shohini Ghosh, MCRC, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi; Roop Rekha Verma, Retired Professor, Lucknow University; Farha Imam, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi; Kalyani Menon Sen, Economist, Independent Researcher; Salima Tyabji, Editorial Consultant, Delhi; Sandeep Pandey, Asha Parivar; Arundhati Dhuru, National Alliance of People’s Movements; Major General (Dr) S.G. Vombatkere, Mysore; Deepti Mehrotra, Political Scientist and Educationist, Delhi; Shirin Rai, University of Warwick (ctd); Ammu Abraham, Women’s Rights Activist; Sujato Bhadra, SDBI College, University of Calcutta; Shefali Chandra, Department of South Asian History, Washington University, at St Louis, USA; Saroj Giri, Department of Political Science, Delhi University; Dr Tahir Ashgar, Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Prof Chaman Lal, Centre of Indian Languages, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Anand Kumar, Professor, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Karen Gabriel, St Stephens College, Delhi University; G. Arunima, Women’s Studies Programme, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Premola Ghose, Arts Administrator, India International Centre, Delhi; Kamla Bhasin, Author, Poet, Activist, Gender Trainer, Delhi; Benjamin Zachariah, Historian, Sheffield; Naveen Vasudevan, Vellore, Tamil Nadu; P.K. Datta, Department of Political Science, Delhi University; Anjali Choksi, Law Teacher, Montreal, Canada; Ashley Tellis, Independent Researcher, Journalist, Editor; G.N. Saibaba, Teacher, Activist, Delhi; Neha Kagal, Activist, Kaagad Kaach Panchayat, Pune; and 88 others