RSS, VHP hit pause on Kashi, Mathura for now

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat addresses a press conference after the Supreme Court pronounces its verdict on Ayodhya land case, in New Delhi, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Welcoming the favourable verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, the RSS and the VHP on Saturday put a pause on its oft-declared agenda to “liberate” the temples at Kashi and Mathura.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat welcomed the Supreme Court verdict saying that it reflected the sentiments of the entire nation and urged followers to express happiness with “restraint, moderation and politeness, completely avoiding any provocative or instigating action or deed.”

Bhagwat said that he hoped that the central government would now move expeditiously to implement the Supreme Court verdict and initiate steps to put an end to the centuries-old dispute.

“Sangh does not get into any agitation, our focus is on man-making,” he said to questions on the demand for “liberating” the shrines at Kashi and Mathura.

Bhagwat made it clear that the RSS' association with the Ram temple movement was an “exception”.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which spearheaded the Ram temple movement, also indicated that it would not take up the Kashi and Mathura issues, at least for now.

The VHP had often called for launching Ram Janmabhoomi-like agitation to “liberate” the shrines at Kashi and Mathura, where mosques exist alongside temples.

“Our entire focus now is on the construction of a grand Ram temple. We are not looking at any other agenda,” VHP International working president Alok Kumar told reporters to questions on its demand for Kashi and Mathura.

A popular slogan during the Ram temple movement was “Ayodhya toh jhaanki hai, Kashi, Mathura baaki hai” (Ayodhya is just a sneak peek, Kashi Mathura still remain).

Bhagwat also steered clear of making remarks on the apex court direction of allocation of five-acre land to build a mosque in Ayodhya. A section of the saffron outfits had spoken about not allowing the mosque in Ayodhya.

“We don't have to give the land. The government has to do it. The government will take a decision in this regard,” the RSS said.

Bhagwat said that as far as building a new mosque is concerned, the central government will decide where it has to be built.

He also said that the verdict should not be seen through the prism of victory and defeat.

“Everyone has to come together to build the temple,” Bhagwat said, adding that the time has come to put an end to all disputes.

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