Mughal descendant offers gold brick for Ram temple

Prince Habeebuddin Tucy, who claims to be a descendant of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, has offered to donate a gold brick to build the Ram temple at Ayodhya.

He, however, wants the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi land to be handed over to him saying he is the rightful owner of the land as a descendant of first Mughal emperor Babar, who constructed Babri Masjid in 1529.

Tucy said on Sunday that if the Supreme Court hands him over the land, he will donate the entire land for building the Ram temple as he respects their sentiments and the belief that a Ram temple stood at the place where Babri Masjid was built.

The mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992 by hundreds of ‘kar sevaks’.
The 50-year-old has filed a petition in the Supreme Court to implead him in the title suit currently being heard by the apex court. His petition, however, is yet to be admitted for hearing.

Tucy argues that none of the parties to the case had documents to prove their claim but he as the descendant of Mughals has a right to the land. He said he had already decided to give the entire land for construction of the temple.

Tucy, who visited Ayodhya thrice and offered prayers at the makeshift temple, had pledged the land for the temple during his visit last year.
He had apologized to the Hindu community for destruction of Ram temple. He offered a symbolic apology by placing the ‘charan-paduka’ on his head.



J&K will see a new dawn of development: Ram Madhav

With the scrapping of Article 370, the people of Jammu and Kashmir would see a new era of development, said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national vice-president Ram Madhav, here on Wednesday.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of a programme on education and Indian freedom struggle, Madhav said, “The people of J&K will join the development league with the scrapping of Article 370. They shall get the benefits of development in the form of health and education facilities, which will now reach the interiors of the state.

“When we talk of Kashmir, it means the entire territory once ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh is ours. Today, it might be occupied by other nations, but it’s and always will be ours. When situations come in our favour, it will be brought back to us,” the BJP leader said.

Recalling the resolution passed by Parliament in 1994 that the territories occupied by other countries need to be brought back to India. he said, “It’s pending and will be accomplished when right time comes.”

He said PoK and Aksai Cheen were integral parts of India.

The day Maharaj Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession, the merger of Kashmir with India happened on the constitutional grounds, but Article 370 proved a barrier in the emotional merger of the state with the rest of India, he said. Now with the scrapping of Article 370, that barricade had been removed, he added.

Madhav said the BJP government had made amendments to article 370 respecting all constitutional grounds, and added the strong will power of leaders helped us accomplish it. “We respected and abided by all constitutional procedures to take a step forward towards,” Madhav said.

He criticised the opposition parties for terming it a bad decision and added, “This is right for Kashmir”.

Before starting his address, Madhav paid condolences to former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who passed away on Tuesday following a heart attack. “The BJP had cancelled all its programmes, but it was important for me to attend this programme,” he said.



Kashmiri Pandits team meets Bharatiya Janta Party leader Ram Madhav

Senior Bharatiya Janta Party General Secretary and in-charge of party’s Kashmir affairs Ram Madhav assured a delegation of senior Kashmiri Pandit activists on Tuesday that the government will not implement any rehabilitation policy for the displaced community without consulting a wider group of Kashmiri Pandit leadership.

Kashmiri Pandit activists Uttpal Kaul, Kamal Hak, Renuka Bazaz, Manoj Bhan and Amit Raina met Madhav on Tuesday.

During the meeting, he sought to assuage the apprehensions of a larger section of the displaced community by assuring the delegation that the government is open to discussion on the final modalities of their return and that there is no final decision on multiple resettlement locations.

“The government is committed to addressing the concerns of the displaced community and will discuss with them whether they wanted to return to three different clusters or one single concentrated area,” said Madhav, adding that the present government is determined to make all separatists and their cronies irrelevant and redundant and is even willing to explore the possibility of setting up a tribunal to address the reasons of migration.



Bengal’s Coochbehar district man forces victim to utter ‘Jai Shri Ram’

A man in West Bengal’s Coochbehar district was beaten up for not uttering ‘Jai Shree Ram’, police said.

The incident of Tufanganj surfaced after a video clip was circulated on social media. In the video, a man was being made to do sit-ups holding his ears and forced to say Jai Shree Ram’. The man followed helplessly.

The accused has been arrested by the officers of the local police station, sources said



Thane cab driver thrashed, forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’

Religious fanaticism came to the doorstep of Mumbai when some persons assaulted and almost lynched an Ola cab driver and forced him to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’, officials said on Friday.

While three accused have already been arrested and remanded in police custody till June 29, Mumbra Police are on the lookout for some more suspects in the incident that occurred last Saturday.

According to police, on June 22 night, the Ola cabbie from Mumbra, Faisal Usman Khan, 25, had gone to pick up some passengers from Diva on the far end of the Thane district, adjoining Mumbai.

En route, his vehicle broke down on the Agasan Road and he was trying to repair it with the parking lights blinking.

Suddenly, at least four-five persons, in a drunken state, came on two-wheelers and entered into a petty argument with Khan and started thrashing him, even as the scared passengers fled from the cab.

At one point, when he invoked the name of ‘allah’, the attackers realized that he belonged to a community and forced him to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

The injured and bleeding victim, in order to avoid further thrashing, obliged them by repeating ‘Jai Shri Ram’, and fell unconscious as they continued to beat him up.

Later, when he revived he was in the cab and his mobile phone was stolen, he said.

Later, he narrated the entire incident in a video clip which went viral, attracting condemnation from various quarters and coverage in the local media.

Mumbra Police swung into action and nabbed three persons from Diva – Jaideep Munde, Anil Suryawanshi and Mangesh Munde – and booked them under various sections of IPC.



Ram Nath Kovind for simultaneous elections, says terror to end

Appealing for simultaneous parliamentary and Assembly elections, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday outlined the new Modi government’s roadmap, saying it was determined to crush terrorism and Maoism.

Addressing a joint session of Parliament, Kovind also said that India was on its way to becoming the world’s fifth largest economy in terms of GDP and said the government’s aim was to make women equal stakeholders in economic development.

Making a strong case for ‘one nation, one election’ concept, the President said simultaneous elections were the need of the hour to accelerate development.

“With such a system in place, all political parties… will be able to better utilize their energy towards development and public welfare.

“Therefore, I urge all MPs to seriously ponder over this development-oriented proposal of ‘one nation – simultaneous elections’.”

The President’s remarks came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over an all-party meeting here to pitch for simultaneous parliamentary and state Assembly elections — an issue that has divided political parties.

Saying economic prosperity was linked to nation’s security, Kovind said that effective steps had been taken to tackle terrorism and Maoism.

“India has amply demonstrated both her intent and capabilities, first through surgical strikes and then through air strikes after the Pulwama attack at terrorist hideouts across the border. In future too, all possible steps will be taken to ensure our security.

“The area affected by Naxalism is reducing continuously.”

He said that illegal infiltrators posed a major threat to internal security, leading to social imbalance in many parts of the country.

“My government will make the zero tolerance policy against corruption more comprehensive and effective. The mission to eliminate corruption from public life and government services will be implemented with greater zeal.”

He said India was now getting information about economic offenders from 146 countries including Switzerland. “We are now receiving information about all those who have stashed black money abroad.”

India, he said, was among the fastest growing economies in the world today and was set to become the world’s fifth largest economy in terms of GDP.

As part of economic development, the Modi government was committed to make women equal stakeholders.

“Priority will be given to those enterprises where women’s participation in the workforce is more than the prescribed limit.”

The President said it was imperative to eradicate social evils like ‘triple talaq’ and ‘nikah-halala’. ”

Kovind said that after assessing the performance of the Modi government during the first tenure, the people of the country have given “even stronger support for the second term”.

Underlining the need for a strong rural economy, he said that the government will double the income of farmers by 2022.

The President also spoke about the water crisis and the government’s determination to clean up the Ganga river.

“On the lines of river Ganga, the government will also endeavour to clean up other rivers such as Kaveri, Periyar, Narmada, Yamuna, Mahanadi and Godavari.”

He said that India had acquired a new image today “and its relations with other countries have become stronger”.

“The world community supports India’s position on various issues… Today the whole world stands with India on the issue of terrorism.”



Lucknow, Modi is our Supreme Court: Sena leader on Ram temple

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said on Monday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Supreme Court for his party on the Ram temple issue because the country had elected him with an overwhelming majority.

Speaking to reporters here, Raut said: “The auspicious time has arrived. Soon the construction of the Ram temple will begin in Ayodhya under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. This is not a fight for taking credit. We will listen to Modiji because the country has elected him. He is our Supreme Court.”

Asserting that a grand Ram temple will soon be a reality in Ayodhya, Raut said, “The BJP cannot keep asking people for votes in the name of the Ram temple year after year. It is Ram Lalla’s blessings that resulted in the overwhelming mandate for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

The Shiv Sena leader’s comments came ahead of his party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya. Thackeray and his party’s newly elected MPs are scheduled to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya on June 16.

“They will thank Ram Lalla for making Shiv Sena the largest party in the NDA after the BJP,” said Raut.



‘Ram ka kaam ho kar hi rahega’: Mohan Bhagwat in Udaipur

Days after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) scripted a resounding victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said that “Ram ka kaam karna hai, Ram ka kaam ho kar hi rahega (Ram’s work needs to be done and Ram’s work will be done).”

Bhagwat made the comments during his visit to Udaipur on Sunday for a “mandir pran pratishtha” programme in Pratap Gaurav Kendra, where he was accompanied by spiritual leader Morari Bapu.

The programme was first addressed by Morari Bapu. Speaking on the occasion, he said, “Since centuries this country has been chanting the name of lord Ram. Today the country is passing through such circumstances that we need to think of doing Ram’s work too. It makes me happy to see Ram’s name written on the youth’s hands.”

Soon after his address, Bhagwat said, “We should remember the message given by Morari Bapu. Ram’s work needs to be done and Ram’s work will be done. Ram resides in our hearts. We all need to be active and move ahead to fulfil our goals.”

Bhagwat was on a four-day trip to Udaipur since Friday to attend the RSS-run ‘Sangh Shiksha Seva II’ training camp.

Soon after landing in Udaipur airport on Friday, Bhagwat told the media: “Aa gaayi hai sarkar wapas (The government is back).”

Even before the Lok Sabha elections, the RSS had pitched for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodha, and had asked the Narendra Modi-led government to hasten the process of temple construction.

The Ram Temple has been on the BJP manifesto since 2014.



Ram temple will be built when God wants says V.K. Singh

Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Ghaziabad V.K. Singh said a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya will be built when the God himself wants it.

“Ramlala had surfaced (in Babri mosque) when he decided to. So his temple will be built when he wishes to have a temple,” Singh told reporters after casting his vote here.

The BJP has reiterated its commitment to construct a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya in its Lok Sabha election manifesto.

Singh said people would support the party over the development works done by the Modi government in the past five years.

Taking a dig at the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party ‘mahagathbandhan’, the Minister of States for External Affairs said: “What to say about those who have contrasting ideologies and were enemies once. They have come together due to helplessness.”

Voting began on Thursday in 91 Lok Sabha constituencies, spread over 18 states and two Union Territories, as the first phase of the mega seven-phase electoral exercise kicked off.



Not job of PM or parties to decide Ram Janmabhoomi; KCR

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Tuesday said it was not job of the Prime Minister or political parties to decide where is the Ram Janmabhoomi.

In his first-ever comments on the issue, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief lashed out at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for pursuing politics of communalism.

Addressing an election rally in Nizamabad town, he said the political parties should work to solve people’s problems.

“Ram Janmabhoomi, Ravana Janmabhoomi, Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi. Do political parties need to decide this?” he asked and said these issues should be best left to seers and the religious heads.

“This is not the job of political parties. We should work to solve people’s problems, provide water and electricity to farmers, solve problem of unemployment and remove their hardships. If we go on talking of Janmabhoomi, it is not going to solve people’s problems,” he said.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, said if there was a dispute between two communities, there were courts to deal with it. “The issue is in Supreme Court. We should not interfere,” he said.

“They say we are Hindus. Are we not Hindus. Are we not following Hindu traditions,” the TRS chief asked.

He alleged that for BJP leaders, Hindus were those who target people of other religions. “Hinduism has not said this. It asks you to respect all and love all.”

“Yours’ is political Hindutva. Ours is real Hindutva. You are duplicate Hindus. Your game will not last long,” said KCR.

At an election rally in Karimnagar on Sunday, KCR had said that he was an original Hindu. In response, BJP’s Telangana unit chief K. Laxman had asked him make his stand clear on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue.

“You first spell out whether your party is a political party working to solve people’s problems or it is a party to propagate religion,” KCR told Laxman.



Development not Ram temple to be key poll issue; UP Dy CM

The BJP invariably raises the Ram temple issue before a general election but not so this time around as it’s “not an issue” as it would await the Supreme Court’s verdict. The 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be fought on the plank of development, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said.

“Ram temple is not an election issue for us because it is the issue of our faith which is bigger than any issue,” Sharma told IANS in an interview.

Sharma said the BJP, in its 2014 election manifesto had made it clear that it will follow the wishes of the different parties in the Ayodhya dispute or follow the Supreme Court’s guidelines.

He pointed out that many times, people had sat together to mediate on the dispute but “unfortunately it has failed in the past.

“And that is the reason why we are looking at the Supreme Court to give its verdict on the Ram temple issue,” the former Lucknow Mayor, who is also a professor, said.

Commenting on the SP-BSP-RLD (Rashtriya Lok Dal) alliance in the state, Sharma said: “These parties look different from the outside but they are the same from inside. Their only motive is to stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi from returning to power.

“They (SP-BSP and the Congress) have not announced their alliance publicly but are performing as alliance partners from the inside,” he maintained.

Sharma also accused Congress of acting as a “dummy” for the SP-BSP to cut into the BJP’s vote share.

The BJP and its ally Apna Dal had won 73 of the state’s 80 seats in 2014. The Congress had won two and the SP five.

Taking a jibe at recently-appointed Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s meeting with Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, Sharma said, “The Congress, by supporting caste parties like Bhim Army and others is trying to again breathe air into such parties which were curbed by Modi and (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) Yogi Adityanath.”

“It is the third election for Priyankaji. Earlier, she had campaigned in two Lok Sabha elections. If you look at her election campaign in 2014 you will find that she covered 46 seats and of these the Congress lost in 44 seats. At many places many of their candidates lost their deposit,” he noted.

Sharma said that due to the BJP’s ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ mantra in 2014, and its policy to move away from caste or community politics, there had been no communal riot in the state in the last three years.

“The main issue for the BJP is development,” he said.

Asked if there was a Modi wave in the country, Sharma said: “There is an atmosphere for Modiji across the country.”

Hitting out at opposition parties for questioning the Indian Air Force strikes across the border in Pakistan, he said: “Few opposition parties are using such language which are making headlines in Pakistan,” he said, adding: “And by doing so, they question the strength and valour of our country and the security forces,” he said.

Urging the opposition parties to refrain from such comments, the BJP leader said: “I want to advise them that elections are meant to strengthen the democratic system and not to demean the pride and respect of the country. And the opposition should refrain from such utterances.”

The Deputy Chief Minister noted that elections for the Congress’ first family had now become more of a picnic.

On the Nehru-Gandhi family, the deputy chief minister said: “The family has a history of participating in elections. Now it seems that for them elections have been reduced to a picnic. They can be seen campaigning during elections, but after the elections are over they go on vacation to foreign countries,” he said.

On Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s prospects for contesting from south India, Sharma said: “It is his party’s matter. He can contest from anywhere, from the east or northeast or west India. It’s his party’s decision.”

“He is fearing (something) and I don’t have any cure for his fear,” he said.




IMB News Room

SC Orders Mediation on Babri Masjid & Ram Janma Bhoomi Issue

Watch Farhan Hoda interview Mohammed Zafarullah Khan (Chairman, KMDC). They discuss about his personal life, his future plans, corruption in KMDC and how he will organise a proper system.

An IMB Production


Sources will be protected, Rafale documents not stolen; N. Ram

The documents pertaining to the purchase of Rafale fighter jets based on which articles were published in The Hindu were not stolen and the sources which provided them will not be revealed, said N. Ram, Chairman of The Hindu Group of Publications.

Contrasting the days when he wrote extensively on the kickbacks paid in the Bofors gun deal, Ram said no threats were then made to him or to The Hindu like invoking the Official Secrets Act as it was being done by the Modi government.

On Wednesday, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the Supreme Court that the Rafale deal documents were stolen from the government and those publishing them were guilty under the Official Secrets Act.

Speaking to IANS on Thursday, Ram said the bogey of stolen documents were raised during WiKi leaks, Pentagon Papers and other issues as well.

On the central government’s stand that the documents pertaining to Rafale fighter jet deal were stolen, the veteran journalist said: “We don’t have stolen documents. We will not reveal our source as we have given our word (to our sources).”

Ram said the information was published in public interest as part of investigative journalism as it was suppressed despite repeated demands made inside and outside Parliament.

According to him, the government saying the documents were stolen authenticated their genuineness.

Ram said there was protection available under Article 19 (1) A of the Constitution, the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression as also under Sections 8(1) (i) and 8(2) of the Right to Information Act that overrides the Official Secrets Act.

According to him, the India specific enhancements in the Rafale fighter planes were not published as they were not relevant for investigative journalism.

Asked if the data he had put out were part of the papers submitted to the Supreme Court by the central government, Ram said: “We don’t know what the central government gave to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover. I feel what we have published may not be part of the documents shared with the Supreme Court by the central government.”

Ram said the Official Secrets Act had outlived its necessity and must be scrapped.

He said there was no threat from the central government after his first report on Rafale deal some time ago.

On the impact of central government advertisement revenues to The Hindu after he started writing about the Rafale deal, Ram said: “We are getting the advertisements. Initially our access to DAVP (Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity) was blocked after a couple of reports.”

When the Hindu exposed the kickbacks allegedly given in the Bofors artillery deal, Ram said, “there was no threat to The Hindu and to me.

“Our investigation into the purchase of Swedish gun Bofors started after the Swedish Radio put out news about commissions paid as part of the deal. We carried out our investigations for over two years and we got the first set of documents in 1988,” Ram recalled.

Ram said the then Congress government did not make threats to invoke the Official Secrets Act.

“I had a meeting with Rajiv Gandhi when we were carrying reports about the Bofors deal. It was a friendly meeting. We also talked about Sri Lanka.

“Even at the swearing in ceremony of V.P. Singh as the Prime Minister, I had met Rajiv Gandhi who was friendly. He acted like a co-host offering tea.”

Ram was critical of newspapers when it came to reporting about the Rafale deal.

“During the Bofors investigation days, the competition was severe, with Arun Shourie writing in the Indian Express and India Today also carried articles about Bofors deal.

“But now big newspapers are not doing what is expected of them in the Rafale deal,” Ram added. “Further television channels are carrying out propaganda for the government.

“There is a huge difference between the two periods – Bofors period and Rafale period. At that time investigative journalism was on the upswing,” Ram said.



Congress to build Ram temple if it takes power; Harish Rawat

Congress General Secretary Harish Rawat on Friday said the party will launch sincere efforts to build a grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya if it comes to power after the Lok Sabha elections.

“On two previous occasions, the Congress made sincere attempts to build the Ram temple when it was in power. We will sincerely launch efforts to build the Ram temple if we come to power,” Rawat told reporters here.

Asked whether this the party’s official stand, Rawat quipped: “My statement regarding the Ram temple was widely reported in the media. There is no denial from the Congress.”

He accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of being insincere on the issue. “BJP is only doing politics on the Ram temple issue,” said Rawat. The government must work as a facilitator for building the temple, he said.

On the Pulwama suicide bombing, Rawat accused the BJP of projecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the only nationalist in the country.

“I have strong objections on the projection of Modi as the only nationalist in India. We all are nationalists. Everybody in the country is a nationalist,” Rawat said.

Criticizing the Uttarakhand BJP government on its budget presented this week, Rawat said the declining agriculture and manufacturing growth in the state was a matter of grave concern.

He said nearly a dozen factories had been closed in the state after the November 7 investors meet. He also claimed that of the nine lakh farmers in the state, 50,000 have quit farming in the past two years.

Rawat said the government’s decision to relax the stringent land laws would force the people to migrate to other states.

“Top industrialists like Adani and Ramdev would buy all the land. There will be no land left for living,” said Rawat.




Sack Meghalaya Governor; CPI-M tells Ram Nath Kovind

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Thursday asked President Ram Nath Kovind to sack Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy for “disgracing” his post and violating the “fundamentals of Constitution”.

“Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy, in yet another outrageous statement, has endorsed a call for boycott of Kashmir and Kashmiris in the wake of the Pulwama tragedy,” the CPI-M said in a statement.

It underlined that Roy’s comments came at a time when Kashmiris, particularly students, in various parts of the country were being “attacked, tormented and forced to leave”.

“The Governor holds a constitutional office. As the representative of the President of India, he is expected to act as the custodian of the Indian Constitution.

“This is not the first time he has made public comments which disgrace the post he holds and violate the fundamentals of the Indian Constitution.

“This is a transgression that is unacceptable. The President of India must immediately sack him,” the party said.

On Tuesday, Roy had tweeted: “An appeal from a retired colonel of the Indian Army: Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next two years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmiri emporia or Kashmiri tradesmen who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri…I am inclined to agree.”

His comments, which came in the wake of the Pulwama attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force troopers were killed, drew flak from various quarters.



Amit Shah dares SP, BSP and Congress to clear stands on Ram temple

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Friday dared the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress to clear their stands on the Ram temple construction.

Addressing a gathering of party workers of the Gorakhpur region, the BJP leader said while his party was all for early construction of the Ram temple at the site where Lord Ram was born, the Opposition was tied into knots on account of its appeasement politics.

“Bua-Bhatija and Rahul Baba should clarify their stands on this important issue,” the BJP President said while reassuring party workers that there was no need to worry about the SP-BSP alliance.

He added that the coming together of the arch rivals was out of the fear of being wiped out but the alliance would take them nowhere.

“The voters of Uttar Pradesh will wipe out the alliance and will give us more than the 73 seats we won in 2014,” he assured.

Shah said while the SP, BSP and the Congress only paid lip service to their voters, it was the BJP that got the other backward castes and the extremely backward constitutional approval.

Claiming that the likes of Imran Bhai, Azam Khan and Naseemuddin Siddiqui ruled the roost during SP-BSP’s ‘nizam-raj’, Shah said that it had been finished by the BJP. “They had made a terror corridor, which has been destroyed by the BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath,” he said.

Shah also slammed the Congress for promising that it would reverse the Triple Talaq bill when it comes to power, and said the country cannot be run like this as the rights of every woman, including those of Muslims, are to be accepted.



‘Sant versus sant’; Route to Ram temple paved with discord

At a time when the long-standing, contentious issue of the Ram Mandir is back in the spotlight, the seers and saints of Ayodhya, identified as the final ‘karta-dhartaa’ (doers) in the decades-old movement for construction of a grand Ram Temple here in Uttar Pradesh, are a divided lot.

Separated by local mutt politics and political allegiance, they are singing different tunes on the issue. In short, it is ‘Sant Vs Sant’ as the Ram temple issue hots up. 

The recent decision of a ‘Param Dharm Sansad’ at Kumbh in Prayagraj announcing the start of the construction of the temple from February 21, many feel, is an indicator of the chinks in the armour.

The group, led by Swami Swaroopanand, has announced that it has shown enough of patience and would now march to Ayodhya on ‘Basant Panchami’ and lay the foundation stone for the grand Ram temple.

Referring to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s announcement that a 221-metre-tall statue of Lord Ram would be installed in Ayodhya, the burly spiritual leader has also said that they will not settle for any diversionary tactics. The crux of the issue, he says, is the construction of the temple.

Many in the fraternity feel that Swami Swaroopanand’s muscle flexing was aimed at pre-empting a move by seers sympathetic to the Bharatiya Janata Party and also to put the state government and the district administration in a quandary over the proposed march to the temple town.

“The move is well thought out…the plan is to instigate the mobs and force the police to act in order to contain the mob to maintain status quo as ordered by the Supreme Court and then paint the BJP as anti-Hindu,” a religious leader told IANS not wishing to be named.

A priest at the fabled Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya, said that the whole gameplan was “Congress-sponsored” to derail the efforts undertaken by the Narendra Modi government.

“These saints are into conspiracies, they don’t want Ram Lalla to sit in a temple” he said.

Mahant Pradeep Das of the Ram Janmabhoomi admits that there is no unity among religious leaders. Swamy Avimukteshwaranad who conducted the proceedings of the ‘Param Dharm Sansad’, however, accused the Modi government of making last ditch efforts for the Ram temple.

Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Swami Prnavananda of the Nirmohi Akhada said that the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi belonged to the Hindus and nobody could take it away from them.

Swami Anand Giri of the Juna Akhada rebuted charges of politics and said the orders of the Shankracharya would be complied with.

The chief priest of the Ram Janmabhoomi, Satyendra Das, was circumspect and told IANS: “There is both lack of unanimity among the religious leaders and too much politics on the issue.” The Ram temple, he said, was going to be a long haul.

He also trashed Swamy Swaroopanand’s announcement of beginning construction of the Ram temple on February 21 and said this could not happen as the Supreme Court had ordered status quo in the matter. According to him, Swaroopanand had little support among the religious leaders.



Contempt notice to Nageswara Rao, Subha Ram

The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on CBI Joint Director M. Nageswara Rao and prosecution in-charge S. Bhasuram Subha Ram for transferring a CBI officer probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case despite the courts embargo against the transfer of investigating officials.

In a sudden turn of events, the apex court initiated contempt proceedings against the two officials for processing a file relating to the transfer of then Additional Director A.K. Sharma who was heading the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Misra, and Justice Sanjiv Johanna slammed both officials for transferring Sharma without notifying the court or informing the Appointments Cabinet Committee (CCA).

Taking a “very very serious view” of the transfer, the bench sought their response by Monday and their personal presence in the court on Tuesday.

The court also sought the presence of all CBI officials who dealt with the file relating to the transfer of Sharma from CBI to the Central Reserve Police Force as its Additional Director.



For those in Ayodhya, Modi can make Ram temple a reality

The jury may be out on whether Narendra Modi will lead the NDA back to power. But, for those thronging the Ram Janmabhoomi (RJB) site at this temple town he is “the only man who will get the Ram temple constructed”.

For 19-year-old Suraj, who sells rosaries (beaded maalas) and other religious items near the barricade of the ‘isolated zone’ of the RJB, there is only one man who can get the temple built – Modi.

Ramesh Maali, who has come with his friend Ram Niyaad Pandya from Ajmer, said: “Only the Prime Minister appears serious in doing this.”

Septuagenerian Chattrapal who sells religious books like the Ramayan and Gita – came across as a disappointed soul but somewhat hopeful too.

Angry at the political class for the inordinate delay in the construction of the temple, he asked: Will the political class build the Ram temple?”

A self-professed fan of Subhas Chandra Bose, he fumed at the Congress and blamed it for the delay in temple construction.

Sumitra, who is from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh and is on his twelfth visit to the RJB, said she and her family are certain that Modi would help build the temple.

Raunak Pandey, from Lucknow, on his maiden visit to the temple town with his family echoed similar sentiments. He was in class 2 when the 16th-century Babri mosque was razed in 1992. He admitted that before his visit to RJB on Thursday he had little idea of how much the issue mattered to millions of Hindus.

Ram Nath Pandey from Jaswantnagar, Etawah, who is back from Kumbh and made a stopover in Ayodhya, was, however, doubtful on the timeline of the Ram temple’s construction.

“Modi is sincere but what of the other politicians?” he asked.

Everyone was busy creating and appeasing vote banks, Pandey said as he negotiated his way through the rusted iron-grilled corridors leading to the Ram Lalla’s makeshift temple under a tent.

Fourteen-year-old Bimal Narayan Das, who is learning priesthood at the fabled Hanumangarhi temple, however, has a different take on the issue. “Not Modi, Not Rahul Gandhi…the temple will be built only when Hanumanji wills,” he says.

For those in Ayodhya, Modi can make Ram temple a reality