Days after the RSS said the government should acquire land and hand it over for construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, a two-day Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti convention that began on Saturday demanded that the government clear the way for a temple soon. While one of the speakers called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “an incarnation of Lord Ram”, another said the judiciary won’t be of help as it was full of “anti-temple people”.
Swami Chinmayananda, who was a Union minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, said “the possibility of any dialogue with the opposite parties has ended”.
While most of those gathered demanded a law clearing the way for a temple, former BJP MP and Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas member Ram Vilas Vedanti said the temple cannot be built by ordinance or legislation but only through “mutual consensus”, warning that otherwise, “no one can stop communal riots”.
Addressing the convention, Vedanti also said, “I pray to Ramlalla in Ayodhya to give sadbuddhi (wisdom) to all and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi so that construction of a grand temple of Ramlalla could be started in December.”
Citing the recent Supreme Court order deferring hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit to January 2019, Vedanti, who spoke the longest, said that the Congress had kept the Ram Janmabhoomi case pending for over 70 years but “nobody can do so any more”.
He added that PM Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, as well as all the ministers of the BJP government, all its MPs and all its MLAs, wanted construction of Ram temple. Vedanti went on to say that instead of a legislation, the temple should be built by consensus. “Mandir banne ka kannoon banega, vidheyak ayega, Bill paas hoga… lekin phir desh me sampradayik danga ko koi rok nahin sakta. Hum chahte hain khoon kharaba na ho… Iss desh ke andar shanti bani rahe (Law would be enacted to build the temple, Bill wukk be introduced and passed… but after that, no one can stop communal violence in the country. We don’t want a bloodbath, we want the country to remain peaceful).”
The VHP leader also pointed out that while the BJP may manage to get the Bill passed in the Lok Sabha, it would fall in the Rajya Sabha.
As part of building a consensus, Vedanti said he could assure that if a Ram temple was built in Ayodhya, a mosque could be built in Lucknow “in the name of Khuda”. A Muslim had donated stones for the temple recently, Vedanti said.
In his address to the gathering, Jain muni Guptisagar, from Haryana, said, “Jo Ram ka nahin woh mere kisi kaam ka nahin (The one who doesn’t care for Ram is of no use to me).” Mentioning the PM directly, he said, “Modiji sansad mein sachcha parvan chahiye, 56-inch seene walon ka samvidhan chahiye (Modiji, we need a truthful testimony in Parliament, a sign of resolve from those with 56-inch chests).”
Guptisagar added that the judiciary would not allow a temple because anti-temple people were sitting there for the past 70 years.
Swami Pragyanand of Uttarakhand urged that Ram temple in Ayodhya be built on the lines of Gujarat’s Somnath temple. “We should here today force a commitment from the Modi government to ensure that a Ram temple is built at Ram Janmabhoomi.”
Swami Vivekanandji Maharaj said there couldn’t be a more ideal situation to ensure this than having “Ram bhakt Narendra Modi” as the PM and another “Ram bhakt”, Yogi Adityanath, as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. “I feel that in devotion, Modiji is the incarnation of Lord Ram. If Ram temples are not built in his regime, it would be surprising.”
Swami Jitendranand Saraswati, who came from Vrindavan and is the national general secretary of the All India Sant Samiti, said if Muslims continued to have Sharia courts, the Sant Samiti would introduce “kesariya (saffron)” courts, adding that it was “not the responsibility of Hindus alone to follow the Constitution”. Saraswati added that they were right to ask the judge who gave the order on the temple about his priorities as “he was serving as a judge on salary is given from public money”.
Swami Chinmayanand said “the historic mandate” that the BJP had got in 2014 “should not go in vain”, and that if no decision was taken on Ram temple, it would create a crisis in society’s faith in the RSS and BJP.
Chinmayanand also warned that they couldn’t wait for a decision from the court, adding that the latter didn’t seem to want to take a decision. “The courage of 56-inch shown in surgical strike and demonetisation should be shown also in Ayodhya. Then the Opposition, which has 44 seats, will find it difficult to win four seats.”
Presenting the agenda of the two-day meet, ‘Jagadguru’ Ramanandcharya Swami Hansdevacharyaji Maharaj said it was “the duty of saints” to expose “the conspiracies behind the letters issued by Bishops and the fatwas issued by Islam to change the government”. Hansdevacharyaji also called for a campaign against “the paadri (priests)” and “maulanas” who “harassed Hindu women by impersonating as Hindu saints”, and demanded that every state compile a National Register for Citizens and all illegal immigrants be deported.
Going on to add that the public wants a Ram temple and the government should make way for it by enacting a law, Hansdevacharyaji said that all these issues would be discussed at the Sant Samiti meeting, followed by a “Dharmadesh (religious diktat)” on Sunday.