Ranjan Gogoi on July 11 decided to commence hearing the Ayodhya title dispute appeals from July 25 if the mediation committee gives the word that talks with Hindu and Muslim parties to heal minds and hearts are not working. The Bench asked Justice (retired) F.M.I. Kalifulla, who heads the Supreme Court-appointed mediation committee, to submit a report on the progress made in the Ayodhya dispute mediation by July 18. The court added that if Justice Kalifulla, on behalf of the committee, concludes that there was no reason to continue with the mediation, the Constitution Bench would commence hearing the cross-appeals from July 25.Constitutional Bench led by Chief Justice of India
The court’s order to seek a progress report from the committee in a way jump-starts the case as the panel was earlier given time till August 15 to engage in talks with the parties for an amicable settlement to heal hearts and minds. The immediate trigger for the July 11 hearing is an urgent plea made by a claimant to the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land that the mediation proceedings were making no headway whatsoever.
Since then the Ram temple always remained an unfulfilled agenda of the BJP because once the mission is accomplished, it will be tough to mobilise people on emotive issues. The Congress’s 2019 campaign has almost entirely been about Modi’s Hindutva and divisiveness. This is partly because the Congress doesn’t have much of a story to tell about it, but also and perhaps more importantly because it is desperate to unite the Muslim vote and keep the BJP’s tally in the Hindi belt. That was the crux of the Congress strategy—to keep the BJP out of power in 2019 by any means, while the election outcome is known to all. The BJP and Modi were aware of this. So, the positive part of the Modi’s LS poll campaign had been built on the need for economic prosperity and that Hindus and Muslims should make this common cause.
The negative part, of course, was constant attacks on the UPA government and the Gandhi dynasty. Even worst was that they miscommunicate the historical facts and figures. BJP and PM went aimless on shooting allegations on all side opposition but if you look at the Party, 80 per cent of the leaders that BJP has now are joined leaving all those parties to whom BJP is allergic. As such BJP is not only short of issues but short of leaders too. This is the reason why Modi has kept scrupulously away from the Ram Mandir and the other big divisive issues in his speeches.
Modi campaigned in the name of development, black money, and employment but in his first tenure as the Prime Minister, he could not deliver his promises.
When the party was in its most dire state of affairs, issue of Ram Mandir was a trump card of the party to consolidate the Hindu votes and generate such a feeling. The issue of Ram Mandir for BJP is the “hen that lays golden eggs”, they will not build the temple and move on because this is an issue, and they can whip up emotions even in moderately rational people. This time it was development gimmick, it worked well. Temple issue could be exploited, but building it would be like killing the hen. These two communal passion, whipping issues would not be solved because when they are solved they have to come up with new ones. So, Ram Mandir will not be built, Kashmiri Pundits would not be rehabilitated.
In case BJP is serious about constructing the temple, this is the perfect time they can expedite the matter. They will keep Babri Masjid issue for the rainy days when Indian people would be disgruntled by false promises. If BJP has willed, it can easily draft a constitutional amendment or a bill to override the Supreme Court and do the needful. The question of Rajya Sabha is also simple; they will always find people to support it. Once the procedure starts, any party opposing the bill will leave itself highly vulnerable in the hands of the majority.
If the bill gets stalled in RS, the Congress will be thrashed to the core good being anti-Hindu and if it passes, BJP will make itself extremely strong as the savior of the Hindu Majority.
There are many arguments of building a hospital, dividing the land between Hindu and Muslims, constructing a mosque and so on and so forth. The matter is already in the court and there is polarisation for vote on the same topic. BJP pledged to build a Ram temple at Ayodhya, besides promising to gather views on the issue of triple talaq, ban mechanised and illegal slaughterhouses, form ‘Romeo Squads’ to check eve-teasing and prevent forced migration of Hindus from Muslim-dominated rural areas, if voted to power in Uttar Pradesh. BJP president Amit Shah opted for caution. He said if voted to power, the BJP would make all efforts to build a ‘grand’ Ram temple but would conform to the constitutional and legal framework.
With the overwhelming mandate in central government, the moot question is whether the BJP will deliver on the long-unfulfilled promise. Indeed, the question will acquire greater importance as we come closer to December 6 this year, as it marks a quarter century since the mosque – ‘disputed shrine’ for some – was demolished by rampaging Kar Sevaks mobilised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
There is a need to understand that the Ram Mandir will not be built in the near future because there is a legal injunction since 2011, when the Supreme Court stayed the Allahabad High Court verdict on title suits related to the Ayodhya dispute. The High Court, in September 2010, had ordered division of the disputed land in Ayodhya into three parts – 1/3 for the temple, 1/3 for the Sunni Wakf Board and the remaining to the Nirmohi Akhara, one of Ayodhya’s militant sects.
The second reason why the Ram temple is unlikely to become a reality for long is that the Sangh Parivar was not keen on undertaking the construction of a temple. This is because the temporary structure that stands in place of the demolished mosque is a convenient symbol that can be used as a political tool for mobilising support. There is also a need to understand that temple construction was never the main objective of the VHP agitation. But now Bhagwat took U-turn stating that the Sangh has been associated with sentiments of crores of countrymen in the efforts for construction of a magnificent Ram temple at the birthplace of Lord Rama, who is the personification of life energy of the nation and icon of upholding the dharma.
Only time will tell what happens, but in the end, till the time BJP is enjoying a majority in the Lok Sabha, you should get a Ram Mandir.
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