Ayodhya to witness yet another congregation

Ayodhya to witness yet another congregation

People participate in `Dharam Sabha’ in Ayodhya. PTI file photo

After the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) sponsored 'Dharm Sabha', the temple town of Ayodhya would witness yet another religious congregation.

This time the congregation will be of the scantily clad, ash covered and bearded 'Naga sadhus' (a sub-group within a sect), for the construction of Ram temple.

According to sources, thousands of 'Naga sadhus' would reach Ayodhya from different parts of the country on Tuesday and hold a meeting, which would be presided over by the seers from different 'Akharas' (sects).

The All India Akhara Parishad (AIAP), an apex body of the saints in the country, which has organised the congregation, also plans to meet the Muslim parties to resolve the vexed Ayodhya issue through negotiations.

AIAP president Narendra Giri, who presided over a meeting of the seers from different sects in Prayagraj, about 200 kilometre from Lucknow, on Sunday, said that a delegation of the seers would visit Ayodhya before the meeting to seek permission for the congregation.

He also said that the seers would hold discussions with various Muslim parties in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid Title suits, currently pending in the Supreme Court.

The AIAP, which had not taken part in the 'Dharm Sabha', said that the Ram temple issue needed to be resolved amicably through discussions and by taking all parties to the dispute into confidence.

''We are in favour of settling this issue either through a court order or through negotiations. We do not want to force our decision on any one,'' Giri said.

The AIAP's stand ran contrary to the stand by the seers affiliated with the VHP, who have ruled out a ''negotiated settlement''.

''There is no need to talk to the Muslim parties any more. The government should immediately clear the way for the temple's construction through a legislation or an ordinance,'' Mahant Kanahiyadas, a prominent seer, had said at the 'Dharm Sabha'.

The AIAP had termed the 'Dharm Sabha' an ''electoral drama'' of the VHP aimed at helping the BJP in the next general elections.

Another saffron outfit Vishwa Vedanta Sansthan organised an 'Ashwamedh Yajna' (a ritual by fire) in Ayodhya for construction of the Ram temple.

Over a 1,000 priests have been taking part in the ritual.