'Construction of Ram temple will start from Feb 21'

'Construction of Ram temple will start from Feb 21'

BRICK BY BRICK: A worker engraves a stone that Hindu groups say will be used to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya. REUTERS FILE

Upping the ante within days after the NDA government moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of a portion of the “undisputed land” at Ayodhya, a Param Dharm Sansad (religious parliament) at Kumbh on Wednesday declared that Ram temple construction would begin from February 21.

The dharm sansad, which was chaired by Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth, accused the BJP-led Union government of “conspiring” to construct the temple on a different land and not at the birthplace of Lord Rama.

“The foundation stone for the Ram temple will be laid on February 21... the construction will start from that day,” said Swami Avimukteshwarananda Maharaj, the spokesman for the dharm sansad.

It also coined a slogan ‘ghas ki roti khayenge, mandir wahin banayenge’ (we will eat bread of grass, but build temple there only).

He said the saints and seers would “march” towards Ayodhya after Basant Panchami on February 10. “We will not stop even if we are sprayed with bullets,” he said, comparing it to the historical ‘Dandi March’ undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi against the British regime.

He also slammed the BJP for not doing anything for the temple construction. 

The Shankaracharya said it was the Ram temple which had been demolished on December 6, 1992, and not Babri Mosque. “A temple was demolished on that day. There was no mosque there,” he asserted.

He also said the BJP would never get Ram temple constructed at Ayodhya and accused the saffron party of conspiring to shift the temple to some other land, apparently referring to the petition in the apex court by the Centre.

The swami said that they did not need millions for starting temple work. “We need only four people who will carry four bricks for laying the foundation,” he said.

Four bricks were handed over to the Shankaracharya, who will lead the march to Ayodhya.

The Shankaracharya also alleged that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had collected huge donations in the name of Ram temple but had not furnished its accounts so far.

He said they would not break any law. “We believe in peace and harmony. There must not be any violence. We are ready to face every difficulty for Lord Rama,’’ he said.

The VHP has also convened a dharm sansad at Kumbh on Thursday to discuss the issue.

The three-day Param Dharm Sansad, which concluded on Wednesday, also discussed issues including cow protection, conversion and environment preservation.