Seer groups outdo each other in Ram temple bid

Replica of the proposed Ram Mandir on display at Karsewakpuram, in Ayodhya. (PTI Photo)

A race of sorts appears to have started among the various groups that had played a role in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, to build a grand temple at Ayodhya after the Supreme Court paved the way for it. ‘Ayodhya Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Ramalaya Trust’, claiming to represent 25 top Hindu religious leaders, shot off letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah asking to allow it to lead the efforts to build a Ram temple at Ayodhya.

The Ramalaya Trust was set up on the direction of the then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, during whose tenure the Babri Masjid was demolished. Incidentally, the Trust comprises religious leaders who are not associated with the VHP. It is led by Swaroopananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of the Dwarkapeeth.

In the letters, Ramalaya Trust made it clear that there was no need to set up a separate trust to build the Ram Temple and that it should be construct it as per the scriptures. The patriarch of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas (RJN), Nritya Gopal Das, too has claimed that there was no need to form a separate trust and that it too was ready to build the temple.

The RJN is considered close to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Swami Avimukteshwaranand, Secretary of the Ramalaya Trust claimed that the Acquisition of Certain Area Act (Ayodhya Act) of 1993 makes it clear that land acquired by the government at Ayodhya can be handed over to a trust that has been formed after the enactment of the law.

“Since Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas was set up before 1993, the acquired land cannot be handed over to it,” he said adding that RJN’s contribution should be lauded. “The donations collected by the RJN and the stones collected by it should be handed over to the Ramalaya Trust for use in construction of the temple. If the RJN wishes, the Ramalaya Trust can accommodate the members of the Nyas with due respect,” Avimukteshwaranand told reporters here.

“We believe now that the central government has got all the credit (for paving the way for building the temple), it should rise above the politics of credit-seeking and allow the religious leaders of Ramalaya Trust to build the temple,” he said.

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