Those in power should heed people’s sentiments: RSS general secretary.
New Delhi: RSS general secretary Suresh “Bhaiyyaji” Joshi made a veiled attack on the BJP on Sunday for not fulfilling its promise of constructing a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and demanded that the Union government enact legislation, if need be, to enable it. Over one lakh people have gathered at the Ramlila Maidan for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s rally which comes ahead of Parliament’s Winter Session which begins on Tuesday.
Speaking at the rally, Mr Joshi said: “Those in power today had promised to construct a Ram Temple. They should listen to the people and fulfil the demand for a temple in Ayodhya. They are aware of the sentiments.” Without naming the BJP directly, Mr Joshi added: “We are not begging for it. We are expressing our emotions. The country wants ‘Ram rajya’.”
Addressing the gathering to press the demand for a Ram Mandir, Mr Joshi further said that a country which develops distrust for the judicial system cannot walk on the path of development, and the Supreme Court should also delve into this factor and take public sentiments into account. “We are not engaged in a conflict with any community. We are not begging but expressing (our) sentiments. Enacting a law is the only option for the Ram temple. The movement will continue till the promise is fulfilled,” Mr Joshi added.
Swami Hansdevacharya of Hardwar warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying: “We will not let him off his seat until the temple is built. He must fulfil his promise.”
The title suit of the Ayodhya land dispute case is pending before the Supreme Court. In January, the court is expected to announce a date for the beginning of the hearings. But as the dispute has remained unresolved for more than 26 years, the right-wing groups are demanding that the Centre sidestep the courts and go ahead with the temple building.
VHP president Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje said that public sentiments should be respected as in a democracy, the public should be supreme, and not the court. “It’s a misconception that we want to construct a temple in place of a mosque. The mosque was built there after demolishing the temple. Also, terming the demand for a Ram temple as an election issue is wrong. There are elections in the country every six months. That does not mean we will keep sitting on it,” Mr Kogze added.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made at the Ramlila Maidan and snipers have been deployed at many highrise buildings in the area. The VHP had carried out a door-to-door campaign to make the rally a success.
“It is a massive gathering which will change the hearts of all those who are not in favour of bringing the bill for construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” said VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal. The right-wing group had approached President Ram Nath Kovind and state governors during earlier phases of its temple campaign. In the forthcoming stage, it will hold religious rituals and prayers at temples and mutts. The campaign will then culminate at Prayag with a “Dharam Sansad” of priests and saints, while the final religious congregation will be held on January 31 and February 1.