Updated: November 10, 2019 8:45:57 am
THE most prominent face of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, L K Advani remained out of limelight on Saturday, not venturing out of his house and waiting till the evening to issue a statement saying the Supreme Court order had “vindicated” his stand.
Among the first visitors to the 30, Prithviraj Road, residence of the BJP veteran, who turned 92 on Friday, was Uma Bharti, who came some time after noon. Also a prominent figure in the temple movement, she is accused along with Advani in the Babri demolition case.
In his statement, Advani called the temple agitation “the biggest since India’s freedom movement”, and said it had made possible Saturday’s verdict, “paving the way for construction of a magnificent temple for Lord Ram”.
While welcoming the apex court award of five acres of alternative land for a mosque, Advani appealed to all sections to work together to “strengthen the country’s national unity and integrity”. “Now that the prolonged Mandir-Masjid dispute in Ayodhya has come to an end, the time has come to leave all contention and acrimony behind and embrace communal concord and peace.”
Saying Ram and Ramayana held a special place in India’s heritage and Ram Janmabhoomi a special and sacred place in the hearts of its people, Advani added that it was gratifying that their sentiments had been respected.
Leaving Advani’s house, Bharti said, “I came here to bow before Advaniji because he is the person who challenged the issue from the beginning. He had raised the issue in Parliament and it was the first time there was a discussion on national vs pseudo secularism on a national platform.”
Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, also an accused in the demolition case, said on Saturday that the trust responsible for construction of a Ram temple would have to be “considerate about keeping unity intact among people”. Welcoming the verdict as historic, he said, “It should be accepted with an open mind by all communities.”
Outside Advani’s residence, 40-year-old Sarabjit Singh cut a solitary figure. A resident of Jangpura in Delhi, Singh, who carried a saffron flag, said, “Advaniji is the person behind all the work. I have come here to express my gratitude.”
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