H.H. (Adv.) Hari Shankar Jain, a warrior of Dharma, who fought a long battle for Ram Janmabhoomi in the Court even at the risk to his life

H.H. (Adv.) Hari Shankar Jain

Many advocates have contributed greatly to the Ram Janmabhoomi case so that it goes in favour of Hindus. One of them is H.H. (Adv.) Hari Shankar Jain (President of ‘Hindu Front for Justice’). He fought the case for over 2 decades on behalf of the Hindu Mahasabha. Reading the experience He had while fighting this case, one can realise that He dedicated Himself as a warrior of Dharma and fought it as the mission for Dharma. Thus, despite facing various calamities, and risks to life, He did not deviate from His goal. For the benefit of society, we reproduce His interview to Sanatan Prabhat’s representative describing the perils He faced while fighting this case.

1. The fight for Ram Janmabhoomi began in 1990

Since 1990, I have been fighting the case on behalf of Hindu Mahasabha. I studied references, Scriptures and the bloody history of Hindus to find out the facts required in this case. At that time, I realised that places where Hindus have religious places, for example, Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura, etc., the Islamic invaders have set up mosques to show the supremacy of Islam.

2. Opposition by the then Governments at the Center and UP

2A. Opposition by Chandrashekhar’s Government at the Center and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Government in the State : I used to contemplate, ‘What can be done to ensure that the place of Ram Janmabhoomi remains safe and when will Hindus get it back ?’ When I filed a written statement in the Court after gathering all the facts, I realised that the then Central Government as well as the administration were largely against Hindus. At the same time, the then UP Government also started opposing.

2B. Government of the anti-Hindu Samajwadi Party, which demolished the roof over the foundation stone of Ram Mandir and a legal battle against it : The Government opposed it even at the time of laying the foundation stone of the Ram Mandir on 7th November 1989. The Mulayam Singh Yadav Government demolished the roof which was erected on the site of the foundation stone. After the demolition, I filed a petition in the Court. Taking note of this, the Court appointed a committee. After it submitted its report, the Court ordered the roof to be restored.

3. Anti-Hindutva Government of Mulayam Singh Yadav, who persecuted Adv. Hari Shankar Jain and went after His life

3A. Attempts to suppress vandalism at the place of the foundation stone were foiled by H.H. (Adv.) Jain : The material that had been vandalised at the site of the foundation stone was seized. This was the best moment of my life. All the members of the committee constituted by the Government were under pressure. They did not want the vandalism to be exposed. However, I was keen, even at the risk to my life, to bring it to light. By the grace of God, I was saved. I was able to convey the truth to the Court that there was vandalism at the site

3B. The Government keeping an eye on H.H. (Adv.) Jain and He challenging the Government’s anti-Hindu decisions in Court without bothering about the surveillance : The Mulayam Singh Government started harassing me. My movements were being tracked. However, it did not scare me. At that time, I used to file some petition or the other in the Court every day against the anti-Hindu orders issued by the Mulayam Singh Government.

3C. Legal fight against the Samajwadi Government that acquired Hindu Dharamshalas : The Mulayam Singh Government took over many Dharamshalas (Shelters for pilgrims) that were located in Uttar Pradesh at that time. Realising that this was wrong, I filed a petition in the Court against it. ‘This is a shrine and you cannot use it’, I said in the petition. At that time, despite a holiday during Diwali, the Court functioned and ordered the Government to vacate the Dharamshalas.

4. Babri structure demolished
due to the intense feeling of injustice

4A. Judge named Raza reserving the verdict : The then State Government acquired 2.77 acres in Ayodhya so as to increase the number of pilgrims and use the site during ‘symbolic Karseva’ (Voluntary service unto God) in the form of storing sand in the River Sarayu which was to be used for the construction of Ram Janmabhoomi in future. There was no intention of demolishing the Babri Masjid. The acquisition was challenged in the Court. The matter was to come up for hearing before a Bench of 3 Judges of the High Court and was to be decided on 4th December 1992.

Accordingly, the Hindus were scheduled to depart from Ayodhya after performing ‘symbolic service’ on 6th December. However, Justice Hyder Abbas Raza did not give any verdict. Hence, the remaining two judges of the Bench also could not take a decision in this case.

4B. It is important to understand the emotions of Hindus behind the demolition of Babri structure : On 6th December, Karsevaks assembled in Ayodhya. The religious sentiments of the Karsevaks had been hurt due to the delay in the verdict by the Court. Nobody wanted to demolish the Babri structure; however, Hindus felt intensely that in independent India, they are facing injustice and not able to even worship. Therefore, the Babri structure was demolished. Hindus were not even allowed to perform symbolic seva.

5. H.H. (Adv.) Hari Shankar Jain restored
the right of Hindus to worship Ramlalla

5A. After the death of my mother, I filed a petition for permission to worship at Ramlalla’s place on the 13th day of her death : Due to the demolition of the Babri structure, the Mandir was closed. The day on which the mosque was demolished, my mother died of brain haemorrhage. So, for the next 10-12 days, I could not engage myself in any activity. At the end of the 13th day of my mother’s death, I filed a petition in the Court that ‘Darshan of Ramlalla is our birthright and nobody can restrict us from getting it.’ The Court ruled in my favour and the Government was asked to remove restrictions on worship. After that, regular worship started.

5B. Religious fanatics made attempts on H.H. (Adv.) Jain’s life; however He was saved by God’s grace ! : The above verdict was announced by the Court after 2 p.m. in January 1993. There were only 3 Judges, a few staff members and me in the Court. The rest of the Court was filled with religious fanatics.

Not a single Hindu was present. These religious fanatics carried weapons. They were planning to kill me when I would leave the Court. The High Court administration got wind of this. I was told not to go out of the courtroom. The Court administration provided me with a safe place, and later, I was taken home in a 4-wheeler. All this was God’s grace.

5C. As soon as I came to know about my imminent arrest, I applied to the Court to prevent it : One day, I received definitive news that I will be arrested and dismembered. I applied to the Court saying my life is in danger and I am likely to be arrested. Everyone in the Court knew that I was working for Hindutva. The Court issued an order not to arrest me. I used to keep a copy of this order in my pocket. Hence, the Government could not touch me. Had I been arrested and hurt badly, my eldest son (who was 5-6 years-old) and my daughter (who was 3-4 years-old) would have been in a precarious situation.

5D. I faced adversities gallantly without getting disturbed : My wife used to be always worried. She cried thinking about what would happen to her and the children if some untoward incident happened to me. But I never got disturbed. I believed that ‘my way is that of the Truth’.

5E. By the grace of Prabhu Shriramchandra, I got the inspiration to fight in adverse circumstances : The events that took place in those days were terrifying. The situation was worse than even what it was during the Emergency. Hindus could have been killed any time just because they were Hindus. The Government of that time also closed its eyes and supported the religious fanatics.

The society of that time had also turned against Hindu interests due to ‘secularism’. Prabhu Shriramchandra’s grace and the support from Hindu brethren inspired me to continue the struggle. The Mulayam Singh Government continued the tradition of the brutal Aurangzeb by killing 335 Hindu Karsevaks.

On 30th October and 2nd November 1990, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Government ordered the Police to fire at Hindu activists who wanted to enter Ayodhya. Government figures say that 16 activists were killed in the firing; however, the figure was 335. To conceal such a large number of casualties, the bodies of the activists were tied to bricks and thrown into the River Sarayu. Many bodies were later found floating in the River Sarayu.

6. It is necessary to combine all Hindu Scriptures

6A. Attempts should be made to find out historical facts after Emperor Vikramaditya erected the Ram Mandir : It is well-known that Emperor Vikramaditya built the Ram Mandir. After that, many kings renovated it and worship started there. All these facts are not recorded in history. This is because all the Hindu Holy texts are scattered. Nobody knows where Shriram was born, where is the proof, how old is the Skanda Purana ? There are 28 types of Ramayan in India. There is also a Ramayan in Tamil. All these Holy texts lie scattered. Hindus should start combining their Holy texts.

6B. Hindus do not have the guts to say that Ram Mandir will be built on Ram Janmabhoomi only : Today, people are not interested in studying theology. If a Hindu temple and a mosque are built at one place, they ask, ‘What difference does it make ?’ But Muslims will never agree to building a temple and mosque at one place. Christians do not say that a temple, mosque and church should be built at one place. Hindus say so because they do not like to create a controversy, and thus, they feel that they will be able to live comfortably. Hindus do not have the guts to say that Ram Mandir will be built on Ram Janmabhoomi only.

7. Working fearlessly even when
there was a hostile situation for Hindutva

7A. Opposition from colleagues and so-called ‘secularists’ : My advocate colleagues used to say, ‘You are wasting your life’. I was also threatened that the Government could take action against me in the future. By then, I had earned a reputation by practising well as an advocate for 14-15 years. During the years 1989-90, when I became associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi case, I was opposed even by my father. At that time I told him that even though it was dark, there would be light somewhere; it will be the light of Hindutva. My mother, however, supported me all the time.

7B. Over time, many advocates got involved in the activities of Hindutva : In the1990s, talking about Hindus or working for Hindutva was considered a big crime. At that time, I was the General Secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Advocates Association. We were called ‘mad’ and labelled ‘people disturbing the environment of the High Court by talking about Hindus’. However, a time came when more than half of the Court’s advocates became members of our team. After that, there was a wave of Hindutva, and everybody told me that I had done the right thing.

8. Difficulties faced in collecting
evidence on Ram Janmabhoomi

8A. Since there were many leftists working in the Archaeology Department, assistance could not be obtained to collect evidence on Ram Janmabhoomi : Archaeology Department is in the hands of the Communists. Since most of the people working in this Department were anti-Hindu, there was no question of obtaining cooperation from them. The excavation work was carried out at the place of Ram Janmabhoomi on the orders of the Court. It revealed a lot of things. Earlier, excavation was carried out under the supervision of former Director of Archaeology, BB Lal. However, since this was not done under the Court order, a lot of things that came out of it did not come to light due to Government pressure.

8B. If evidence of the situation before Babar reached Ram Janmabhoomi were to be available, the Court’s verdict would have been different : I got Scriptures read by some Sanskrut scholars to present the references (in the Scriptures) to the Court. I collected many aspects which were recorded by foreigners who had travelled to India at that time. Therefore, the Court had no difficulty in accepting these as evidence. Still, had we been able to present evidence about what Hindus have been doing there before Babar reached Ram Janmabhoomi, what kind of temple was there, etc., Muslims would not have been even allotted 5 acres of land. If there had been a temple, worship must have been performed. However, this has not been recorded in history. If such records had been available, the picture would have been different.

9. Since I became one with Dharma,
dangers and difficulties did not bother me

9A. Being absorbed in the mission to serve Dharma, negativity did not distract me : I got absorbed in this mission to serve Dharma. Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) of Dharma worked like magic on me, and I got absorbed in it. As a result, I was able to distance myself about negative aspects such as the outside world, criticism, threats, etc. When you become one with a subject, you see nothing else. Being able to get over negative aspects, I could work from the beginning to the end.

10. Since Dharma is supreme,
it is necessary to fight for its protection

10A. Unless we are determined, Dharma will not be protected : We should realise that Dharma is paramount, everything else is subservient to it ! If Dharma is supreme, then everything should be sacrificed for it. Bhagawan Shrikrushna said in the Geeta that Dharma is of utmost importance ! One should be in harmony with Dharma. Today, Hindu Dharma is in trouble. Hence, we have to fight in a legitimate manner to eliminate the crisis Dharma faces. Unless we are determined, Dharma will not be protected.

10B. Hindus will stand up to protect Dharma if they have bhav that Dharma means ‘parents’ : If we impart education on Dharma to our children today, they will come to know about Dharma in the future. They will certainly fight for Dharma legitimately. If someone assaults or swears at our father, we would immediately retaliate. Likewise, if the children are raised with the belief that Dharma is our ‘parent’, they would fight to stop if religion is attacked. If you have this bhav for Dharma, nobody will dare to act adversely against Dharma.

Nobody wanted to demolish the Babri structure; however, Hindus felt intensely that in independent India, they were not able to even worship !

We have to fight in a legitimate manner to eliminate the crisis Dharma faces. Unless we are determined, Dharma will not be protected !