No reason to revive Ayodhya issue

No reason to revive Ayodhya issue

There is trouble brewing in Ayodhya which has the potential to pose a threat to communal
peace and further vitiate the national mood. It is not just brewing but is being stoked by elements and groups which have always used the Ayodhya dispute to divide and polarise the nation. It has been reported that 35 tonnes of sandstones from Gujarat, purportedly to be used for construction of a Ram temple, were unloaded at a Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) office near the disputed site last week. The VHP has said that more stones are on the way. It has claimed that it has collected 1 lakh cubic ft of stones out of 1.75 lakh cubic feet needed for the construction of the temple. It also says the work of carving the stones is going on and will gather pace in the coming days.

The present spurt in activity is a deliberate provocation intended to keep the communal pot boiling. There is no reason to revive the Ram temple issue now because the dispute is under the consideration of the Supreme Court. The court is hearing appeals against an Allahabad High Court judgment which had divided the disputed property among three parties. There cannot be any construction on the site till the time there is a judicial resolution of the dispute. There is even a view that making preparations for construction and announcing that it would start soon may amount to contempt of court. The VHP and the RSS leadership had recently claimed that a temple would be built in Ayodhya soon. But legality is not the main issue involved in the present drive. There is a political and communal plan in it, and it is yet another of the various issues like beef-eating and ghar vapsi that Hindutva groups have revived and agitated about in recent past.

The VHP leadership has said that this may be the right time to build the temple and that there are positive signals from the Narendra Modi government about it. This may only be a claim but the government has to make its stand clear on it. The law and order situation in Ayodhya may be the responsibility of the state government, and the Faizabad administration has said it is watching the situation. But the situation in Ayodhya is not just one of law and order and the Central govern-ment is also responsible for it. The present drive could also be a ploy before the UP state assembly elections, but the elections are still far away. Whatever be the motive, the mischievous plan should not have a free run.

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