Excerpted from “Ram Janma Bhumi In High Court–How Pseudo-Experts Failed Pseudo-Seculars!” (pp. 362–385) In “Twisting Facts To Suit Theories & Other Selections From Voxindica”
Imagine a murder trial in progress in a court room. The prosecution introduces a forensic expert whose testimony establishes the time and cause of death. Imagine the defence counsel cross-examining the forensic expert, as part of normal court room procedure. Here is a snatch of the imaginary cross examination:
Defence Counsel: Would you please tell the court doctor, the exact time when the murder was committed and the cause of death?
Forensic Expert: Certainly. It was committed between 3.30 PM and 5.30 PM on the fifteenth of this month. The cause of death was stabbing with a blunt knife.
DC: How could you be so certain?
FE: You know; I was brought in as a forensic expert in this case.
DC: You are a forensic pathologist, then?
FE: No, I am not.
DC: Have you conducted any post-mortem examinations in the past?
FE: I have not conducted any.
DC: Have you conducted any surgeries?
FE: I have not conducted any surgeries.
DC: Are you a surgeon?
FE: No, I am not.
DC: Pardon me doctor, if you are not a forensic pathologist or a surgeon what is your specialty?
FE: I am a physician.
DC: If you are not a forensic pathologist, how did you tell with certainty the time and cause of death?
FE: You see, in the hospital where I work, doctors meet in the canteen during breaks. I was informed by a pathologist colleague who works in our hospital and who has read about the case in the newspapers, about the possible time and cause of death. I have also gone through various newspapers which published details of the case. It was based on these that I am able to tell with certainty, the time and cause of death.
DC: Does it mean that you cannot specify the time and cause of death based on your own study or your own knowledge.
FE: No. But I am a doctor. Based on what I have heard and read, I can tell the exact time and cause of death.
The Defence Counsel could have established that the doctor appeared as a witness in the case only to help his ‘old boy network’. But lengthening the imaginary ‘cross examination’ would test the patience of the reader. The imaginary scene is to help readers appreciate the type of ‘pseudo-experts’ fielded in the Ram Janma Bhumi case and how their testimonies were ripped apart in the cross examination. The pseudo-experts asserted that the mosque was not built on any temple debris and in fact no temple was destroyed, not only in Ayodhya but anywhere in the lands ruled by the Mogul invaders. Even normally reticent judges could not help chastising the witnesses in the case.