Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017 | Last Update : 03:43 PM IST

Age Debate: A political or religious issue?

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 7, 2017, 1:11 am IST
Updated : Dec 7, 2017, 4:51 am IST

The Babri Masjid has been a contentious point in every election; it is more of a political than a religious issue.

File photo of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya (Photo: PTI/File)
 File photo of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya (Photo: PTI/File)

We’ll abide by the court verdict
Sandeep Dikshit

Frankly, the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya is not only the BJP’s obsession but an electoral ploy that it unleashes to win elections. For the last 30 years, the BJP and its affiliates have kept the pot boiling on Ayodhya so that it can have electoral gains. It has got very little to do with their self-claimed aastha or faith.

The strange aspect that always comes to light is that whenever the BJP is in power, its government says that the resolution of the Ayodhya dispute should be through courts, and when it is in Opposition it says that it’s a matter of faith for them.Surprisingly, BJP president Amit Shah has the gumption to ask the Congress to clarify its stand on the issue. I would like to ask Mr Shah —   would he please clarify what his stand is.

The BJP government at the Centre is claiming that the dispute resolution should be done via the courts. Does it not show that the BJP as a party is speaking in a voice different from what the BJP government is saying?

The fact of the matter is that this is the evil-speak of the BJP to polarise people in an effort to garner votes. The BJP is in power at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh as well. Instead of asking us questions, the BJP and its president should be giving answers now. Will the BJP please clarify its stand on this issue? What is their clear stand on the construction of the temple? And most importantly, what has the BJP and its affiliates done in the way of easing the hurdles in the construction of the Ram temple.

If the BJP is so worried and anxious for temple what legal steps has it taken? Apart from using the issue politically what has the BJP done? Our stand has been clear that we will abide by the verdict of the top court, so why is the BJP giving a running commentary when the matter is sub-judice?

After the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 what has the BJP done? Has the BJP ever started a movement for the construction of the temple? Has any of its leaders taken out a yatra like the one they did which culminated into the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

Sadly, you will find that there is no such movement. Because as I said earlier the entire issue is not about faith but about electoral gains that the BJP wants. Interestingly, the BJP also has an army of affiliates that keep on taking the hard line to hoodwink people, while the official line of the BJP keeps disassociating itself from these utterances.
The writer is a Congress spokesman

We want an all-party meet on it
Harish Khurana

The Babri Masjid’s demolition is an important event in post-Indepen-dent India. The controversies, communal tension, political battle and religious flareup over the issue have been the hallmark of this dispute. It led to the collapse of a government, and drew worldwide attention.

The Babri Masjid has been a contentious point in every election; it is more of a political than a religious issue. A special bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer heard a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad HC in four civil suits in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janma-bhoomi temple dispute at Ayodhya, on December 5. The final hearing on the matter is on February 8, 2018. What exactly is the  Ayodhya dispute?

At the core of the nearly 70-year-old “Ayodhya dispute” is the belief that Hindu deity Lord Ram was born 900,000 years ago (in Treta Yug) in a room located under what was the central dome of the Babri Masjid. The masjid was built on the orders of Mughal emperor Babur in the 16th century before its demolition by kar sevaks on December 6, 1992.

As for the BJP, it talked about building a Ram mandir at Ayodhya for the first time in its manifesto in 1989. “By not allowing the rebuilding of the Ram mandir in Ayodhya, on the lines of the Somnath Mandir built by the Government of India in 1948, it has allowed tensions to rise, and gravely strained social harmony,” the 1989 BJP manifesto stated. The other parties are alleging that it is only now that we (the BJP) are talking about a constitutional framework to build Ram mandir in Ayodhya. But the BJP has always believed in going by the constitutional framework. In fact, it is the Congress which indulged in “vote bank ki rajneeti”. In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi ordered that the locks on the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid in Ayodhya be removed. Until then, a priest had been permitted to perform puja once a year for the idols installed there in 1949.

Having said that, the BJP stand is absolutely clear. We are committed to building Ram mandir as it is a question of our belief. That site is the birthplace of Lord Ram. But our topmost priority is finding an amicable solution to the issue. We want to have an all-party meet to discuss the issue, as directed by the apex court. We would like to explore all possibilities under the constitutional framework for building the temple.
The writer is Delhi BJP spokesman

Tags: babri masjid, amit shah, allahabad hc