Forget The Past, Come Together For Mandir: RSS Head Mohan Bhagwat
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, addressing the media in New Delhi shortly after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ayodhya title dispute, appealed to the country to “express its happiness in a balanced manner within the confines of laws and the Constitution.”
A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, pronounced its verdict in the long-running Ayodhya title dispute between three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla Virajman.
The court directed that Hindus will get possession of the disputed land, subject to conditions. The inner courtyard, the five-judge SC bench said, will be handed over to a Centre-led Trust, and a suitable plot of land measuring five acres shall be given to the Sunni Waqf Board.
However, echoing the sentiments of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bhagwat added that one “should not view this judgment from the perspective of victory or defeat” but rather, we should forget the past and come together.
‘Be Balanced In Expressing Happiness’
Describing the judgment as one that should be seen as “upholding the unity and harmony of the entire Indian society”, Bhagwat made an appeal for restraint and harmony.
“My appeal to the entire country is that it should express its happiness in a balanced manner within the confines of laws and the Constitution,” Bhagwat said in his press statement before taking questions.
Moments after the apex court ruled that the disputed land would be handed over to the Hindus, subject to conditions, and an alternative plot will be handed over to the Sunni Waqf Board, leaders across the political spectrum took to social media.
Reiterating that the RSS accepts the judgment by the five-judge bench, Bhagwat said it was now incumbent upon the government to ensure harmony.
Silence on ‘Kashi-Mathura’ Question
Interestingly, Bhagwat was asked twice by reporters if the RSS had plans to move forward with building temples at Kashi and Mathura, two towns also considered holy for Hindus.
Bhagwat, however, offered no response at all.
Since the destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992, a parallel demand among right-wing groups’ claims over the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi (Kashi) and the Shahi Idgah in Mathura have gained currency.
With the Ayodhya title dispute being settled on 9 November, this question is likely to feature prominently in the days to come.
However, indicating that RSS may not be willing to start new movements akin to the ‘Ram janmabhoomi Movement’, Bhagwat vocalised a number of times, “The Sangh does not work for andolan movements, it works in manushya nirmaan or fostering humanity.”
‘We Accept SC Decision To Allot 5 Acres for Mosque’
Following his official statement, several questions from the press sought his reaction on the Sunni Central Waqf Board being allotted five acres of land within Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque.
Bhagwat stuck to his primary statement that the RSS accepts the verdict of the Supreme Court, adding that he had mentioned in his Vijayadashami speech that they will accept whatever the SC says, and added, “We just want to build the temple.”
“The court has allotted the land and asked the government to make a temple. Everyone has to build a temple together.”
“Having Puja as well as other things in the same place creates animosity among people. We felt this should end. This was our desire which has now been fulfilled,” he said.
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