Sunday, October 15, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

RSS attacks BJP on Ayodhya
To create pressure for temple construction
From S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

AGRA, Oct 14 — The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) today made a veiled attack on the BJP for “pushing to the backburner” the Ayodhya issue and Article 370 and warned that “the party which isolates itself from the temple issue will have to bear the consequences.”

Committing itself to the construction of the Ram temple at the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, the organisation said it would go all out to create “social pressure” to facilitate construction of the temple.

“We are committed to the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya and any party which tries to isolate itself from the Ayodhya issue will have to bear the consequences in the coming elections,” Mr Suresh Rao Ketkar, the RSS’ all-India organising chief told The Tribune here.

Accepting that the BJP was closest to the RSS ideology and that it understood the compulsions of the party leading the coalition at the Centre, Mr Ketkar wondered when other coalition partners like the Trinamool Congress and the Samata Party were pursuing their party agendas why had the BJP pushed to the backburner the Ayodhya issue and the abolition of Article 370 according special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“When other coalition partners like the Trinamool Congress and the Samata Party are going ahead with their own agendas why should the BJP fall back on pursuing its own?” he asked.

“It (the BJP) may be under compulsion not to include the temple issue on its agenda of national governance as it has to take along other coalition partners but why as a political party which rose to become the largest national party riding on the issue of Ayodhya and Article 370 is not taking up these issues at the party level,” he said.

“One should not ignore the fact that on the Ayodhya issue Mulayam Singh faced the consequences after he ordered firing on the kar sevaks in 1990,” he said, adding that the RSS through its units across the country would build “social pressure” to facilitate the construction of the Ram temple.

On the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s stand that it would go ahead with the temple construction irrespective of the court verdict and the resultant contradiction in the stand of the RSS and the BJP on the issue, he said “The difference was only theoretical and that on the basic issue of construction of the temple there was consensus.”

While the RSS stand is to wait for the court verdict or for the government’s permission for the construction of the temple, the BJP has put temple construction issue on the backburner due to coalition compulsions. The BJP maintains it will pursue the issue if it comes to power on its own.

Asked whether the RSS would accept the court verdict on the Ayodhya issue even if it went against the construction of the temple, the senior RSS leader said, “The RSS will accept the court verdict because we are fully confident that if there is an unbiased judgement, the verdict will be in our favour.”

“We are confident that the court can’t give any other verdict as it can be proved in the court that there was a temple and there should be a temple at Ayodhya,” Mr Ketkar said.

He felt the RSS could play a great role by creating social pressure in society to vote to power a government which favoured and is in a position to construct the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Condemning the political parties and other organisations which dubbed the RSS as “communal”, Mr Ketkar said, “We have launched a jan jagran abhiyan, in which the swayamsevaks will reach out to the masses to educate them about the RSS and remove the misnomers about the organisation.”

“We are termed the killers of Mahatma Gandhi, which is a total misnomer. We can’t allow such misnomers to destroy our image and ideology,” he said, adding that the jan jagran abhiyan would help in destroying misnomers like this among the masses.

Mr Ketkar said, despite the anti-RSS bashing from all quarters, the organisation had grown by leaps and bounds in the past five years. As part of the three-day convention, which began yesterday to mark the diamond jubilee celebrations of the RSS, the swayamsevaks numbering over 50,000 from across the country were given training on unarmed combat on the second day today. The top leaders and think-tank of the RSS also held closed-door meetings and interacted with the participants and deliberated on various national and organisational issues.

The final session of the convention will be addressed by the RSS chief, Mr K.S. Sudarshan, tomorrow amid the presence of top RSS leaders and some political and known personalities.


VHP lodges protest with Pak envoy
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Oct 14 — The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has demanded restoration of temple and houses destroyed by a mob in an attack in the Dalbandhin area, 340 km from Quetta, on Wednesday.

In a letter to the High Commissioner of Pakistan, the VHP secretary-general Dr Pravin Togadiya, also demanded apology to the affected minority community and prevention of such incidents in future.

Lodging strong protest over the “inhuman and cowardly” act, the VHP said a mob of over 5,000 Muslim clerics put on fire a Hindu temple and torched several houses on Wednesday afternoon. The mob was reacting to an illiterate Hindu woman distributing “prasad” wrapped in a religious curriculum book called Deeniyat.

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