Clandestine moves to build a mosque in Ayodhya should be thwarted
OVER two decades after Hindus made a concerted bid to reclaim the glory of the birthplace of Sri Ram in Ayodhya, the issue of a grandiose temple is still undecided. Despite the will, wish and prayers of millions of Hindus, a temple dedicated to Sri Ram at the very place of his avatar seems like a mirage.
Appearing and yet, withdrawing. Several governments have come and gone in both the centre and the state of Uttar Pradesh. All parties involved have reaped the political harvest. But the faith of the Hindu remains undiminished. Each Hindu hopes that in his or her lifetime, the temple would come up, a symbol of resurgent India.
Now, the Uttar Pradesh government, if reports are to be believed, is making efforts to bring about an out-of-court settlement, which involves building a mosque within the religious boundaries of Ayodhya. A retired judge of the Allahabad High Court Palok Basu is holding regular monthly meetings in Ayodhya where he tries to bring the Hindus and Muslims to talk across. “Some formulas have emerged” in these meetings”, he says, refusing to divulge further details. But according to informed sources keeping a close watch on the goings-on, the basic premise is to make Muslims give up claim on the prime temple land, in lieu of a mosque nearby.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, one of the foremost representatives of Hindus in this issue, has already warned against any such move. VHP leader Shri Ashok Singhal said, “Regarding the Sri Rama Janma Bhumi all the Sants of the country are of the view that on the acquired 70-acre land only a huge temple to Sri Ram Lala would be built and the construction of no new mosque would take place within the scriptural and cultural rim and perimeter of Ayodhya. From the labours being put in by the Hon’ble Judge it seems that Sri Mulayam Singh Yadav wants to build a mosque and an Islamic Cultural Centre on the said plot of land (where an Ara/saw machine stands) adjoining the 70-acre acquired land of the Central Government. The Islamic forces are compelling him to do so.”
It is to be noted that Mulayam Singh Yadav has always been pandering to Muslim sentiments and has even earned a title ‘Mullah Mulayam.’ The UP government is today led by his son Akhilesh Singh. Hence, the unconfirmed reports of a solution favouring the Muslims gain credence. VHP has also pointed out the rising cases of idol desecration in the state. The series of orders that Akhilesh Singh government issued, including the release of Muslim youth in jail held on terror-related cases have not escaped public notice.
The UPA government at the Centre would be too willing a party to a settlement in Ayodhya which includes a mosque there. The central government has time and again gone out of its way to prove its pro-Muslim tilt in its policies and programmes. The minority vote bank is a big lure for all these parties.
The Ayodhya issue has seen a long-drawn legal battle. The Allahabad High Court gave a divided verdict on the matter. All the sides involved have gone to the Supreme Court for a final settlement. While an out of court settlement of any issue involving two communities is always welcome, no plan is acceptable to Hindus if it involves yielding space within the spiritual religious boundaries of Ayodhya. Also, the retired judge has claimed that he was working ‘on his own’ and had no political backing or prodding. It becomes all the more curious. Would a solution worked out by people outside the case be acceptable to anyone? If not, why this exercise?
By making covert attempts to force a decision on the Hindus, the Samajwadi Party government is displaying an eagerness to perpetuate a mosque within the sacred land of Ayodhya. Both the UP government as well the Centre may well understand that Hindus will not tolerate another Babur. Any move in that direction would receive a befitting rebuff and retaliation.