Voices of dissent against a seminar on Ram Janmabhoomi Temple issue being organised at the Delhi University, grew louder when BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that the construction of temple is “mandatory”. BJP and right wingers extended their focus from Ayodhya’s Ram Temple to Kashi and Mathura. Subramanian Swamy who has his hands deep in the Ram Temple construction issue, courted controversy and offered the “Lord Krishna’ package to the Muslim community where in return for ‘three temples’ they get to keep ‘39,997 mosques’ in return.
Meanwhile, describing Congress president Sonia Gandhi a “good wife”, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad too urged her to come forward for Ram Temple’s construction which her late husband and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi once wished. After three decades, BJP and VHP are remembering and reminding that late Rajiv Gandhi was in favour of the construction of the Ram Temple. Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister of the country then with Buta Singh as the Home Minister. ND Tiwari was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Subsequently, Rajiv Gandhi launched his campaign from Ayodhya promising ‘Ram Rajya’ across the country. Today, VHP and BJP are missing him and asking Sonia Gandhi to be a ‘good wife’ to allow Ram Temple construction and fulfill her husband’s dream but they are not seeking help of PM Modi for that, strange really strange!
If the Congress had not lost the north Indian Muslim vote to the Janata Dal, in 1989, it could have remained strong enough to cobble together a coalition rather than leave the initiative to the unwholesome and unstable Janata Dal-BJP-Communist combine. So, at the level of party politics, Rajiv’s decision may have made a big difference. Rajiv in his regime as the prime minister then ordered to unlock the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. Until then, a priest had been permitted to perform puja once a year for the idols installed there in 1949. Now, all Hindus were given access to what they consider the birthplace of Lord Rama, the prince posthumously deified as an incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu. On the other hand, the locks or unlocks have made no difference to the Karsevaks who brought the structure down in 1992. Whatever happened in the past was very painful, post Babri Masjid demolition riots claimed many innocent lives. Still, after 23 years of destruction we are confused whom to blame for that.
At present, whatever the leader promises, but the fact is that the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya is possible only through a law passed by the parliament. For that, all the political parties should reconsider their stand on the issue. The ultimate aim of the BJP government is to build the temple and they will use the seminar as an excuse of giving legitimacy to their agenda by saying that it has been approved by historians. You cannot call it an academic exercise when it is purely a political agenda. We saw it in the inaugural address when Subramanian Swamy said that it is mandatory to construct the temple for reviving the culture. Let it be Baba Ramdev speaking on Vedanta or Swamy speaking on Ram Temple in college campus, both are baking their agenda through academic stage. Present day students are not ready to buy such claims and talks. They immediately protest against the agenda if they get ‘political’ smell in that.
Once again, ahead of UP elections, BJP is raking up the Ram Mandir issue and is busy venting righteous resentment over its construction. Previously Subramanian Swamy had said: “Construction of Ram Temple is ‘mandatory’ for revival of our culture. We have started and we will not give up until it is made but nothing will be done forcibly and against the law.
The Ram Janmabhoomi is the name given to the site that many Hindus believe to be the birthplace of Lord Rama, the 7th avatar of the Hindu deity Vishnu. The Ramayana states that the location of Rama’s birthplace is on the banks of the river Sarayu in the city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. There is historical evidence for the claim regarding the precise location. Hindu tradition maintains that a temple existed at the site in historical times. In 1528, a Mosque was built at the site by the Mughal general Mir Baqi, and named the “Babri Masjid” in honour of the Mughal Emperor Babur. From 1528 to 1853 the Mosque remained a place of worship for Muslims. Following communal disputes in 1853, a separate area near the mosque was earmarked for Hindus to perform religious ceremonies.
In 1949, an idol of Rama was surreptitiously placed inside the mosque. Following Muslim outrage and a legal dispute, the gates to the mosque were locked. In the 1980s the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party launched a campaign to build a temple at the site. In 1992, a rally for this movement developed into a riot involving 150,000 people that led to the demolition of the Mosque. Since then, the future of the site has been debated in court. The debate around the history of the site is colloquially known as the Ayodhya dispute.
On 30th September 2010, Allahabad High Court ruled that the disputed site, with an area of 2,400 square feet (220 m2), on which the Babri Masjid had stood prior to its demolition on 6th December, 1992, should be divided into three parts. The ruling stated that the third of the site on which the idol of Lord Rama was placed would be granted to the party stating that it represented Rama. Another third of the site would be granted to the Sunni Wakf Board, and the remaining third to the Hindu sect Nirmohi Akhara. The verdict was appealed in the Supreme Court of India. In an order dated 27 Jan 2013, the court stated that the status quo should be maintained at the disputed site, while the appeals were dealt with.