Swaraj Prakash Gupta (S. P. Gupta, 1931-2007) was a controversial Indian archaeologist, who was closely associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist organisation. He was the Chairman of Indian Archaeological Society and the Director of Allahabad Museum.
|"||From the crumbling walls of the so-called Babri [Mosque] and the old and new debris there emerged, like the proverbial phoenix, hundreds of objects which testify ... to the existence of the eleventh- to twelfth-century Rama temple ...||"|
He has been accused of collaborating with B. B. Lal in their organisational capacity, to ensure that the archaeological disputes of Ayodhya was not discussed at the World Archaeological Congress at Delhi in December 1994, which resulted in a barrage of criticism from multiple historians and archaeologists, for stifling free discourse. At the subsequent congress in 1998, a resolution was adopted condemning the demolition of the Babri Masjid and denouncing the infusion of "racial, religious or national chauvinist claims" into the profession or archaeology; Lal and Gupta walked out after unsuccessfully trying to block the passage.
The Indian Archaeological Society under Gupta's chairmanship, received considerable support from Vishva Hindu Parishad (a sister organisation of RSS) and had even organised a Press Conference in August 2003, where Gupta disclosed certain privileged contents of an ASI report about its excavations in Ayodhya, ten days before they were submitted to the Allahabad High Court in a sealed cover.
The Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies had published a volume of papers in his honour in 2009.