New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) With the BJP-led government set to take charge for the second successive term, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has sought to build pressure on it over the Ram temple construction, amidst a seeming impatience and unhappiness in the Sangh parivar that it remained unsolved during the five-year rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi has avoided a direct mention of the issue after he came to power in 2014, except once in January this year when he, responding to a question in an interview, said the verdict of the Supreme Court will have to be awaited.
In the election manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had promised to work for building Ram temple, an issue extremely dear to the Sangh Parivar.
“The BJP reiterates its stand to explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” the BJP manifesto had said in 2014.
However, during his five-year prime ministership, Modi personally steered clear of the issue, while his government and the BJP kept saying that a solution would have to be found legally or through negotiations.
The Prime Minister’s silence and his government’s stand that a solution would have to be found legally did not go down well with the Sangh parivar and even the BJP ally Shiv Sena, which repeatedly questioned why an ordinance could not be promulgated on the issue like it was done in the case of ‘triple talaq’ to favour Muslim women.
In January this year, Modi, when asked in an interview why the government was not bringing an ordinance to build the Ram temple, said such a question could arise only after the legal process gets over and the Supreme Court gives its verdict.
He said the ordinance on ‘triple talaq’ was brought after the verdict of the Supreme Court.
Significantly, when he visited Ayodhya during the election campaign on May 1, his first as the Prime Minister, he disappointed the Sangh and Hindutva elements by not paying obeisance to ‘Ram Lala’ (the idol kept at the makeshift tent at the disputed site).
He also skipped any mention on the construction of the temple at the disputed site, although he raised the slogans of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ while beginning his rally at Maya Bazar, which is about 26 km from the disputed site.
He began his 25-minute speech by calling out thrice, ‘Prabhu Ram ji ki dharti se, Jai Shri Ram’ (hail Shri Ram from the land of Lord Ram) but did not say anything about the temple or dispute.
During his five years of rule, the Prime Minister was reportedly invited by the mahants and sadhus to visit the disputed place but it never happened.
In the 2019 manifesto, the BJP again stated, “We reiterate our stand on Ram Mandir. We will explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and all necessary efforts to facilitate the expeditious construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.”
However, the Sangh seems to be losing patience.
On Sunday, the RSS chief said in Udaipur in Rajasthan, “Ram ka kaam karna hai, Ram ka kaam ho kar hi rahega” (Ram’s work needs to be done and Ram’s work will be done), implying that a grand Ram temple would be constructed at all costs at the site of the razed Babri mosque in Ayodhya.
He added that Lord Ram “resides in our hearts and we all need to be active and move ahead to realize our goals”.
The matter is currently before the Supreme Court which has appointed a three-member panel of eminent people to hold negotiations.
On January 29, the central government filed an application in the top court, seeking permission to transfer a portion of the disputed land in the Ram Temple-Babri Mosque dispute to Ram Janambhoomi Nyas.
After the December 6, 1992 demolition of the disputed structure, the Centre had in 1993 acquired 67 acres of land around the disputed site, saying it was related to the dispute.
The SC had upheld the acquisition in 1994 and ordered that this land shall remain with the Central government and shall not be released in anyone’s favour until the dispute is decided.
This arrangement was continued and reasserted by Supreme Court by a 2011 order in the Aslam Bhure’s petition. Bhure was also a petitioner in the case.
Now, the Centre wants to release a portion of this acquired land in favour of the Nyas and is seeking the apex court’s permission.