DAYS AFTER the Supreme Court deferred the hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Friday said Hindus were “feeling insulted” that an issue linked to their “faith and sentiment” was not on the court’s “priority list”.
Addressing a press conference at the end of a three-day conclave at Bhayander, on the outskirts of Mumbai, RSS sarkaryavah Bhaiyyaji Joshi said they would “not hesitate to launch an agitation for the Ram temple, if needed, but since the matter is in the Supreme Court, there are restrictions.”
“The wait for the court’s verdict has been too long. Good news was expected before Diwali. We were hopeful. The Supreme Court’s decision to defer the hearing was a setback,” said Joshi.
“It is a matter of pain and anguish that an issue which Hindus consider their faith and sentiment is not on the priority list of the court… Hindus are feeling insulted… The court has clearly said that its priorities are different. This is shocking and surprising, as the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya is linked to the sentiments of crores of Hindus,” he said.
Stating that the “Supreme Court should rethink on this matter”, he said “society should respect the court and the court should also respect society and its sentiments.”
Favouring an ordinance to allow construction of the temple, Joshi said, “The government should consider this option if all other options run out… it is up to the government.” He said the RSS was “not putting pressure” on the government as “we respect the law and the Constitution, which is why there has been delay.”
BJP president Amit Shah held a closed-door meeting with RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat on the sidelines of the RSS conclave. While Joshi confirmed the meeting, he declined to divulge details. BJP sources, however, said the Ram temple issue was discussed. “The RSS was briefed about the hurdles in bringing a legislation, as the BJP does not have the numbers in the Rajya Sabha,” said a party source.
Meanwhile, the Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti is beginning a two-day meet in the national capital on Saturday to discuss the Ayodhya issue among other matters. A Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader said the construction of the Ram temple, Uniform Civil Code and religious conversion were on the agenda.
On October 29, the Supreme Court ordered listing of appeals against the Allahabad High Court order in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit before an “appropriate bench” in the first week of January 2019 to fix a date for hearing. When Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, sought an early hearing, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told him “we have our own priorities… whether the hearing will take place in January, February will be decided by an appropriate bench”.
Earlier this week, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also pushed for an early solution to the dispute, and said that “sometimes, justice delayed is equivalent to injustice”. On the demand that the Centre bring a legislation to allow construction of the Ram temple, he said there are “other options”, and the best step should be considered.
Speaking on the Sabarimala controversy, Joshi said: “There is no discrimination between men and women in Hindu society. In the Hindu system, no puja is completed without the participation of both husband and wife. However, some temples have their own rules. A society is run on the basis of not only rights but also traditions and beliefs. Women should get entry in all temples. However, it would not be appropriate to take any decision regarding specific traditions related to temples without consulting the temple’s management. The court should try to arrive at a consensus while giving its ruling in such matters.”