As PM pitches for harmony, Ram Temple row makes a comeback

As PM pitches for harmony, Ram Temple row makes a comeback

As PM pitches for harmony, Ram Temple row makes a comeback
After being on the back burner for the past around five years, the vexed Ram Temple-Babri Masjid issue returned to hog the limelight at the fag end of 2015 following arrival of a truckload of stones at the Ramsevak Puram workshop in Ayodhya.

The arrival of the stones to be used in the construction of Ram Temple would have gone unnoticed but for the ‘shilapujan’ (worshipping of the stones) by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders and saints and the averments by them that they had received ‘positive signals’ from the BJP government on the issue.

As the VHP leaders and the Ram Janambhoomi Trust chairman Mahant Nritya Gopal Das indicated that efforts to construct a grand Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya would gain momentum with the BJP at the helm, Muslim leaders asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter.

The arrival of the stones not only evoked a sharp reaction from the Muslim leaders but also brought a section of them in direct confrontation with the saints after a model of the Babri Masjid was put on display on a main thoroughfare at a Muslim-dominated locality in Ayodhya. The displaying of the model triggered alarm bells in the police and authorities, apprehending that it might lead to communal flare up, immediately had it removed from the main market.

The Muslim leaders had also indicated that they too could bring stones in Ayodhya for construction of Babri Masjid.

Alarmed at the developments, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sought a detailed report from the district administration and directed that the Supreme Court orders for maintaining status quo at the disputed site must be adhered to at any cost.

Ram Janambhoomi Trust chairman Nritya Gopal Das, who was among those, who performed ‘shilapujan’ of the stones at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad workshop at Ramsevak Puram in Ayodhya where the work of stone carving had been going on for the past several years, said that Ram Temple would be constructed during Narendra Modi’s tenure fuelling speculations that he had received some positive signal from the Centre.

‘It’s time for temple’
“Time has come for the construction of the Ram Temple”, Nritya Gopal Das said after the ‘shilapujan’. A group of saints from Ayodhya was also likely to meet Modi to seek his help in this regard.

The VHP had on the 23rd anniversary of Babri Mosque demolition organized a meeting of the saints and had also created a twitter handle to seek and mobilize support for the Ram Temple at Ayodhya.

The Samajwadi Party (SP), Congress and the BSP saw a conspiracy by the BJP in the developemtns in Ayodhya and alleged that it was a ploy by the BJP to rake up the temple issue with a view to derive electoral mileage in the next Assembly elections in UP, which were due in early 2017.
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