Construction of a grand temple at Ayodhya, considered the birthplace of Hindu god Ram, will eliminate a big reason for disagreements between Hindus and Muslims, Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said on Wednesday.
The RSS is the ideological parent of the ruling BJP.
“Ram is Bhagwan (god) for many, but there are some who consider him as an icon of maryada (moral standard), for some he is imam-e-hind (spiritual leader). This is an issue of faith for all sections of society that where his birthplace is, there should be a temple,” Bhagwat said. He was speaking on the last day of his outreach programme in the national capital.
He said it has been proven that there was a temple at the site (where the Babri Masjid stood till it was demolished in 1992) and that the reconstruction would render redundant a contentious issue between Hindus and Muslims.
“The building of Ram mandir will end a major issue of friction between Hindus and Muslims. And if it is done amicably, it will automatically silence those who point fingers at the Muslim community,” he said.
Asked if the RSS supports the idea of an ordinance to pave the way for the construction of the temple, Bhagwat said the issue rests with the government.
“The decision to bring the ordinance is of the government’s; and the proposal to start a movement on the issue rests with the Ram Janam Bhoomi Mukti Yajan Samiti, I am not part of both. They will have take a call on whether the ordinance can be brought in legally, whether it will be challenged and they will be asked question on whether the decision (to bring the ordinance) was taken with the elections in mind… But as a swayamsevak and the RSS chief, I feel the temple should be constructed soon,” he said.
The case pertaining to the construction of a temple at the disputed spot is currently being heard in the Supreme Court and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an RSS affiliate and one of the main campaigners for the temple has been demanding that the government should consider bringing an ordinance if a solution is not found through the legal route.
The RSS chief said the issue of the temple’s construction is a matter of faith for millions of people and should not have been allowed to remain pending for so long. “It should not have been politicised. Had a decision been taken with nation’s interest in mind, there would have been an early resolution,” he said.