Politics

Only Ram Temple Will Be Built in Ayodhya, Says RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

Bhagwat’s statement comes ahead of the final Supreme Court hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi case set to begin on December 5.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Credit: PTI

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday (November 24) said that only Ram temple and not any other structure will be built at the disputed Ayodhya site. Bhagwat’s assertion came just 11 days before the Supreme Court is set to begin its final hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi case from December 5. Twenty-five years ago, on December 6, the Babri mosque was demolished after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unleashed a countrywide movement for constructing a Ram temple at the disputed site.

Pointing out that the moment of building a Ram temple at Ayodhya was becoming a “reality”, Bhagwat said, “On the Ram Janmabhoomi, the Ram Mandir alone will be built. Nothing else will be built. It will be built in the same form with the same stones and will be built by the same people who fought for it 20 to 25 years ago. This is not a populist announcement. It is an expression of our mind. When people ask me about the temple, I do not give a definite answer because I cannot predict the future. Balasaheb told us in 1990 that it will take 20 or 30 years. In 2010, it became 20 years. In 2020 it will be 30 years. The efforts have not gone to waste and the time is near. We have to take cautious steps forward.”

The RSS chief was speaking at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)-sponsored three-day Dharam Sansad conclave of Hindu religious leaders in the temple town of Udupi.

In its final hearing, the Supreme Court will begin to hear a clutch of petitions filed against the 2010 Allahabad high court verdict, which ordered a three-way split of the 2.77-acre land, assigning one-third each to the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the party for ‘Ram Lalla.’ According to the Indian Express, “There are nearly 90,000 pages of oral evidence and 533 documentary exhibits in eight different languages in the matter including in Sanskrit and Persian.”

Since the BJP came to power in 2014, the Sangh parivar has steadily been ratcheting up the slogan of Ram temple construction. The party’s massive victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections and the subsequent installation of Adityanath as the state’s chief minister have further enthused Ram temple supporters.

According to a previous report in The Wire, the VHP has accelerated preparations for constructing a temple, getting truckloads of stones to the site. “On cue with the VHP’s announcement that the mandir would be constructed by the year’s end, two truckloads of stones, to be used to build the temple, arrived in Ayodhya on Monday (June 19). This is to be followed by more than a hundred trucks in the next few days. The trucks have been unloaded at the VHP’s headquarters Karsewak Puram in the town,” said the report.

In his address to the Dharm Sansad on Friday, Bhagwat signalled the Sangh parivar’s resolve to mount pressure on the Ram temple issue. “For the benefit of the Hindu society and for its future, the only desire is to have a Ram temple at Ayodhya and there is no other thought in our minds. So we should take steps to build on the efforts of the past years – there is a saying in English that there is a distance between the cup and the lip,” said the RSS chief. “I feel victory is at hand,” he added.