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As parties analyse Ayodhya verdict,craftsmen look for job opportunity

There had been some 50 to 80 artisans working on a daily basis,carving slabs of pink sandstone.

Even as Hindu and Muslim groups mull over the implications of Ayodhya verdict and the next course of action,the craftsmen who had worked here till 2007 carving stone slabs for the planned Ram temple are sensing an employment opportunity.

“Soon after the pronouncement of the verdict,there had been phone calls from the craftsmen hailing from Gujarat,Rajasthan and parts of Uttar Pradesh who had been working here between 1990 and 2007 asking us when they have to come back to finish the work,” VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma says.

There had been some 50 to 80 artisans working on a daily basis,carving slabs of pink sandstone brought from Bharatpur,Rajasthan and had been getting Rs 200 to Rs 300 daily.

Though they had left in 2007 after completing almost 65 per cent work of the proposed temple,they had been asked to remain prepared to rush back whenever they are required,according to Sharma.

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“They have taken the verdict as an opportunity to revive their works and are waiting for our call,” Sharma said.

In a much-awaited verdict,the Allahabad High Court had on September 30 ruled that the 2.77 acre disputed land in Ayodhya be divided into three parts among Hindus and Muslims and had held that the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Ram currently exists belongs to Hindus.

Both Hindu and Muslim groups have said they will challenge the decision of trifurcation in the Supreme Court.

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Over these 17 years,1.25 lakh cubic feet stone of the total “required” 1.75 lakh cubic feet as per Hindu groups’ plan have been carved into pillars,domes,floor and ceiling of the temple to form the entire ground floor which would be the sanctum sanctorum and a part of the first floor which would be the ‘Ram Darbur’.

These artisans had been giving shape to the temple which,according to the plan of the Hindu organisations,would be about 268 feet wide and 140 feet in length designed by Chandrakant Bhai Sompura of Gujarat — a model of which in sandalwood prepared in 1979 adorn their workshop.

“Sompura has also designed different Akshardham temples of Swami Narain trust and is the grandson of the architect of Somnath temple,” Sharma said.

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The carved stones stacked in piles in the four-acre ‘Sri Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas karyashala (workshop)” in a narrow by-lane about three kms from the Janmbhoomi site have developed signs of time with dark patches and moss growing on it.

However,the carved material and the workshop are being guarded by some seven to eight Provincial Armed Constabulary jawans besides VHP’s own securitymen.

First published on: 03-10-2010 at 10:33:21 am
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