Shri Kameshwar Chaupal, the person who laid the foundation stone of Shri Ram Mandir in 1989, still remembers the moment. “I can never forget the moment when I laid the foundation brick of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi. That moment will keep me feeling proud for life,” he told Organiser Sr Correspondent Nishant Kr. Azad and Yatharth Sikka on what the Supreme Court verdict means for him. Excerpts:
How do you see the Supreme Court verdict on Shri Ram Mandir?
The battle for Shri Ram Janmbhoomi has been going for the last 500 years. I think the decision of Supreme Court has connected the minds of India. The biggest thing about the verdict is that it has been accepted by the people of all religions. When I heard the verdict, my first reaction was that India has now attained the ability to become a Vishva Guru once again.
You laid the first foundation stone for the Temple. What will be your role in the reconstruction of the temple now?
I can’t say what my role will be because when Shri Ram went into exile, Hanuman’s role was different and when he came back, his role was different. When Shri Ram was being crowned in Ayodhya, everyone was rewarded. Sugriva got Kishkinda, Vibhishan got Lanka. But Hanuman ji was sitting in a corner. Mata Sita was saddened at seeing this and thought that if Hanuman ji did not reach Ashok Vatika in Lanka, she would have perished in the fire. She gave one of her necklaces to Hanuman ji. He stared at the necklace and threw it away. Mata Sita asked him why he threw the necklace. Then Hanuman ji said the thing in which there is no Ram is of no use of to him. It is the same with me too. If Ram Mandir is not built, then there is nothing in it for me. My role doesn’t matter. I am mortal. My only wish is that Ram Lalla has His own abode.
How can social harmony be achieved by building Shri Ram temple?
To know this, you will have to look at the history of India. The reason why India was enslaved for thousands of years was not its ability. The reason was that it was not united. People of India call this land ‘Bharat Mata.’ Bankim Chandra Chatterjee composed ‘Vande Mataram’ and there was so much strength in it that the people of India praised it and sacrificed their lives. Gandhi’s source of inspiration was Shri Ram and wherever he used to go, he used to sing ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram Patita Pawan Sita Ram’. Gandhiji first dreamt of Ram Rajya. Rajiv Gandhi also dreamt of this. It would not be wrong to say that Ram has created strength in India. Ram is Sanjeevani for us. When we are in the army, we do not fight the war by taking the name of our father, nor do we fight in the name of Gandhi or Nehru. We shout slogans Har Har Mahadev, Jai Bhavani, which create strength in us.
So can we say that Ram works to connect the society?
Yes, I want to say exactly this. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia was a great man. He has written three books, Ram Krishna and Shiva. He said Ram united India from North to South. Krishna united East to West and Shiva joined ‘Kankar-Kankar’.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad have been working towards social harmony for many years, what do you think has changed in this society?
I am an example of change. I want to say that if this work had not been done, Bharat, which is today, would not have happened. The result of the change is that the people who were lagging behind in different spheres now feel change in every sector whether in health, education and other sectors. Even then we have to work harder to make Bharat our dreams.
The section of intellectuals and media which has been engaged in proving that Shri Ram as anti-Dalit now say Shri Ram is the symbol of Brahminism. So what do you say about it?
Shri Ram’s life is an open book and it is for the Dalits. When he left Ayodhya, he first embraces a Dalit, Nishad Raj. After that he went to Shabri, who was on the last step of society and Ram had him fed. Ram says to Hanuman, ‘Tum mum priya Bharat sam bhai’. Rama created the strength of Narayana in humans.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad is going to start Sampark Yojana with the MPs, under your guidance, for which you are going to meet two Union Ministers. What is the purpose of this?
Ours is a democratic country. MPs are the law makers here. We would take the main challenges of the society to them. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad conducts this programme every year, which attracts the attention of MP towards different problems of the society. In the era of slavery, when Indians were taken abroad, those people are not able to express their views there and there is a danger of their existence, they are not able to follow their religion and worship there. Because India is not just a piece of land, but is ‘Bharat Mata’.
After Shri Ram Temple verdict, some people say it is not acceptable to them. Asaduddin Owaisi has even said that he does not want the 5-acre land. It is against Islam and they will file a review petition in the Supreme Court?
What I want to say is that our work is to connect people and I do not want to pay attention to such things, even the people of their society do not accept these things. Those people are neither ready to go to the review petition nor are ready to listen to such thoughts. There is no need to bring these people into consideration by discussing them.
From Shilanyas to the decision on the temple, you have seen many ups and down. How will you describe this journey?
Looking at the whole journey, I feel sad that the people, who inspired us in this movement, are not in this world today. Shri Ashok Singhal ji who spent the best of his life for this movement, is no more. Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia is not alive. Swami Vamdev and Mahant Avadiyanath ji are also not with us today. But I am still happy but if those people were alive then it would have been a big joy. They had a dream that ‘Bhavya Ram Mandir’ should be built. The dream is now going to be fulfilled. We want nothing more than this.