SC verdict opportunity for Modi govt to build Ram Mandir at characteristic speed and scale, make Ayodhya foremost Hindu pilgrim site

  • Since its Palampur convention in 1989 and since LK Advani's Ram Rath Yatra in the early 1990s, the BJP has called the construction of Ram Temple an article of faith for them

  • Saturday's judgment has given an opportunity to the ruling dispensation to build Ram Mandir at its characteristic speed and scale and make Ayodhya the foremost Hindu pilgrim site in the country

  • The political situation couldn't be better than what currently exists on the ground - a substantive majority Narendra Modi government at the Centre and Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh

  • The Ayodhya judgment has not only given the entire land to juristic entity Ram Lalla Virajman or the Ramjanambhoomi Nyas (a VHP front) but also directed the Modi government to suitably make provisions to form a trust to lay a mechanism for the construction of the temple

  • Sources said that the government would like to go through the legislative route to give Ayodhya trust a greater legal sanctity and making it binding on all concerned

Ramlalla hum aayenge mandir wahin banayenge”.

This BJP, VHP and Sangh Parivar-sponsored slogan caught fancy of Hindus in urban as well as rural India in the 1990s. Decades later, the political opponents of the Hindutava forces would taunt them saying "kab aayenge (when are you going to go there)".

The unanimous verdict by the five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in the Ayodhya title suit has practically vindicated the Sangh Parivar’s position on an issue that put Hindus and Muslims at loggerheads since the 16th Century and had gone through various legal processes for the last 134 years.

Nobody would be asking that counter-question to the ruling BJP now. The question when the Ram Temple at Ayodhya would be built is soon going to be a thing of past well before the next UP Assembly election is held. While the Hindu side was always assertive hat the disputed site was actually Ram Janambhoomi sthal (the place where Lord Ram was born), given the pace at which the matter was moving in the court not many believed that the construction of a temple would become a reality in their lifetime. That question has now reached a conclusion.

 SC verdict opportunity for Modi govt to build Ram Mandir at characteristic speed and scale, make Ayodhya foremost Hindu pilgrim site

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday stated that the judgment shouldn't be taken as "anyone’s victory or loss", the BJP supporters and sympathisers would take the verdict as a victory for them and for the Modi government. The onus is, of course, on the ruling party leaders and cadre to ensure peace, tranquillity and harmony in the society is maintained.

In the first six months of the Modi 2.0 government, two issues, which were at the core of the BJP agenda in all its manifestoes for decades — abrogation of Article 370 which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the construction of Ram Mandir — have been settled. One through its own surprise initiative and the other through the judicial process.

The political situation couldn’t be better than what currently exists on the ground — a substantive majority Modi government at the Centre and Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh.

What makes the BJP and Hindu groups particularly happy with the Ayodhya judgment is the fact that it has not only given the entire land to juristic entity Ram Lalla Virajman or the Ramjanambhoomi Nyas (a VHP front) but also directed the Modi government to suitably make provisions to form a trust to lay a mechanism for the construction of the temple and give five acres of alternate land to the Sunni Waqf Board to construct a mosque.

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The timing of the verdict could not be better from the Modi government and BJP's perspective. The four-week-long Winter Session of the Parliament is set to begin from 18 November. Based on the way the arguments in the court had proceeded and after weighing the various possibilities in the judgment, the Modi government and the Sangh Parivar had already begun deliberations on the need to bring a bill to form a trust and bring clarity on various aspects of the construction of the temple and its management thereupon.

On Thursday, Firstpost had published as to how the Modi government and the RSS were working in tandem and the various legal options to avoid confusion in the wake of the judgment were discussed at a recent meeting between RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and BJP president and home minister Amit Shah.

Though the Supreme Court has not specified whether the Ayodhya trust should be formed through executive order or by enacting a new law, sources said that the government would like to go through the legislative route to give it a greater legal sanctity and making it binding on all concerned. It does not want any confusion on the issue, now, or, in the future.

There couldn’t be any guesses as to how the Modi government would henceforth proceed on the issue, more so when it will be acting as per the directions of the Supreme Court. Since its Palampur convention in 1989 and since LK Advani’s Ram Rath Yatra in the early 1990s, the BJP has called the construction of Ram Temple an article of faith for them. For the last three decades, this was mentioned in every single poll manifesto that the BJP has issued. The BJP’s growth from a meagre two-member party in the Lok Sabha in 1984 to the second-largest party in 1989, and to becoming the single largest party in 1996 and ruling the country for six years from 1998 is owed largely to the kind of mobilisation it made on the Ayodhya issue and by starting a countrywide debate on pseudo-secularism and minority appeasement.

Way back in 2013, Amit Shah had started his work as general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh by paying a visit to Ayodhya and darshan of Ram Lalla at the then-disputed site. Today, Shah is at the helm of the home ministry. Though Modi has not expressed his feelings on Ram Mandir, it is more than obvious as to what he thinks on the topic and on the development of Ayodhya.

Sources said the formation of a trust and drawing an architectural plan for the temple would take some time and then approval of the plan by the competent authorities would take its own time. Once that part is over, leaders and workers are convinced that work would progress really fast. After all, the Modi government is known for "speed and scale".

With the Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh, which is already doing its bit for the development of Ayodhya, Saturday's judgment has given an opportunity to the ruling dispensation to build Ram Mandir at its characteristic speed and scale and make Ayodhya the foremost Hindu pilgrim site in the country.

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Updated Date: Nov 09, 2019 17:17:11 IST