Several blogs and comments have linked back to my post on Did Ram Exist?, and quoted me as concurring with the refutation of the existence of Ram in the affidavit submitted recently by the Archaeological Survey of India to the Supreme Court of India [subsequently withdrawn], and writing that the refutation brought India closer to a secular democracy.
I’d like to clarify that I did not write anything to imply that Ram existed or not. Perhaps, the title of the post was misleading. Nowhere in the posted article did I assert that Ram did not exist. To say that "there is no proof that Ram existed" is not the same as saying that Ram did not exit. The statement is about the existence of the proof, and not about the existence of the subject of the proof. Of course, I don’t believe that Ram was god-incarnate, because I don’t believe that god (defined as an omnipotent, omniscient, creator of this universe and other universes) exists. Whether Ram existed or not, I don’t know, and I don’t care.
What ASI said in its affidavit was reasonable, too: "[Ramayana] cannot be said to be historical record to incontrovertibly prove the existence of [Ram]". This, in my opinion, is a carefully worded statement that simply highlights the limitation of Ramayana as sufficient proof for the existence of Ram. As far as I know, it didn’t say anything about the existence of Ram per se here or elsewhere. And, I agree with the statement.
That reason, and not religious considerations, prevailed in an affidavit submitted by the Government of India, brought it closer to a secular democracy. That the affidavit was withdrawn subsequently, has thrown that nation state back to where it was, probably farther.
I apologize for any miscommunication in this regard.