VHP Working President Alok Kumar, who took over from Praveen Togadia recently, has said that in case the Supreme Court gives “adverse” ruling on Ram Temple, they will ask the Centre to step in, as the temple “has to be constructed at Lord Ram’s birthplace”.
In an interview with The Indian Express, he said, “We are looking forward to the court decision. We expect it soon and we will win.” But, he added, in case the verdict is “adverse”, since Supreme Court is treating it as a “land dispute”, Parliament has the power to make adequate laws to acquire the property and give it for Ram Temple. “We have merit in our case and we hope to win. But assuming an adverse order, people of this country will ask the government to legislate.”
Kumar said the Supreme Court’s judgment on SC/ST Act has caused discontent among Scheduled Castes. “I believe this Act should not be diluted. I am satisfied that the government has opted for a review,” said Kumar.
“We have been working on several issues since 1964 (when VHP was formed), such as social harmony, establishing family values, and Ram Temple; they all continue to be relevant,” said Kumar. “But priorities might have changed. Right now, the priority is to work towards social harmony. We are pained how the situation is being exploited by certain groups.”
He said, “It’s unfortunate that incidents such as Una and Kasganj (where a Dalit youth was discouraged from taking his baarat through an upper-caste area) still happen”. He says the solution lies in empowering the Dalit community, going beyond symbolic moves such as community feasts and worshipping SC girls on Ashtami. “Those may have been need of the hour in the 1930s but today, they are not enough; the answer lies in making an effort towards financial progress of SC/STs. Reservation is necessary and it will be there,” he added.
On the Opposition moving to impeach the CJI, Kumar said he is “not sure if it is a VHP issue at the moment, maybe tomorrow it is”. He added, “If this pillar of democracy is weakened, then god save the country.”
Targeting the Opposition, he said, “Some parties have realised that they don’t win elections by minority-pandering. So they decide that their leader should go to the temple in traditional dress, and then they will appear as Hindus. And so their think-tank created a dichotomy that Hinduism is good and Hindutva is demonic. All this is a political ploy.”
A lawyer practising in Supreme Court and Delhi High Court, Kumar is an office-bearer in Delhi RSS and Chairman of Bharatiya Chitra Sadhna, a right-wing outfit formed to promote “Indian-ness in cinema”.