Sunday, July 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Give Ayodhya, Mathura, Kashi to Hindus: RSS

Kanyakumari, July 5
Echoing the VHP’s stridency, the RSS today demanded the “handing over” of Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura to Hindus either through negotiation or legislation and asked the Muslims to give up their claim over these places of worship.

The demand was contained in a resolution adopted unanimously on the opening day of the two-day national executive meeting of the RSS with all leaders of the other sangh parivar outfits like the VHP supporting it, the RSS spokesman, Mr Ram Madhav, told reporters here.

He said the RSS was for an early solution but was not in a hurry. There should not be any hurry in enacting a legislation without satisfying either of the parties involved.

Mr Madhav said the RSS understood the difficulties of the BJP as it did not have the required numbers in Parliament.

The RSS demand assumes significance ahead of the crucial meeting of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board in Lucknow tomorrow to consider Kanchi Sankaracharya’s proposals on the Ayodhya issue and in the backdrop of heightened VHP campaign in favour of a legislation for “restoring” the three temples to Hindus.

Ahead of the start of the meeting, the VHP International President Mr Ashok Singhal reiterated his demand for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s resignation for “failure” to get a legislation enacted for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Mr Madhav said the resolution seeking to give a “direction” to the RSS cadres reiterated the support to the three temples — Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura.

“We fully support the countrywide movement for the resurrection of three temples. It should not be seen as a Hindu-Muslim dispute but as a matter of nation’s self-respect.”

“Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura should be handed over to the Hindus either through negotiation or through a legislation,” he said, adding that the VHP would seek the support of MPs approaching them individually in their constituency for the demand.

The meeting was also attended by the VHP international general secretary Pravin Togadia and former BJP President Kushabhau Thakre.

Mr Madhav referred to the “just demand of the Hindu community” for the restoration of the holy shrines of Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi to them, saying “Lord Ram, Lord Krishna and Lord Shankar symbolised India’s age-old civilisation,culture and spiritual identity.”

Asked about the VHP’s strident demand for a legislation on Ayodhya, Mr Madhav said “there should not be any hurry in enacting a legislation without satisfying either of the parties involved.”

“We are for an early solution, but are not in a hurry.”

“We know that our friends in the VHP are mobilising support of MPs by approaching them individually on the demand for legislation. So far, they have got around 160 signatures including BJP MPs and other groups,” he said, adding that “they are continuing their efforts.”

He said the RSS understood the difficulties of the BJP, as it did not have the required numbers in Parliament.

If there was no progress on the route of negotiated settlement on Ayodhya, the government should explore the possibilities of the legislative option on the temple issue, the RSS spokesman said.

The Sangh also wanted the Muslim leadership to give up its claim over the three places of worship and refrain from converting the issue into a bargain point between the two communities.

“The Muslims in this country are also inheritors of this culture and should not become flag-holders of invaders like Babur,” Mr Madhav said.

The conclave felt that the Ayodhya movement symbolised the manifestation of the yearning of a national culture for self-respect.

“The restoration of the pristine glory of these holy places is the bounden duty of independent India”, the resolution said.

Mr Madhav also cautioned against the efforts by “vested interests” within the Hindu community to create a rift in the Hindu movement by spreading “untruths and maligning holy persons.”

“We believe that nothing should be done by way of words or deeds to divide the Hindus.”


Seer’s proposal not positive: Muslim board
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
The much-hyped proposal sent by Kanchi Kamakoti Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati to solve the Ayodhya tangle is "not very positive" to be accepted at the first instance, said sources in the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today.

The proposal was sent by the Kanchi seer last month to the AIMPLB chairman Maulana Syed Mohammed Rabe Hassan Nadvi.

Some of the members of the AIMPLB, who had a close look at the two-page proposal written in English in Lucknow, today told TNS that "certain amendments" would be suggested to the proposal as it does not meet the demands of the Muslims.

In an interview to this paper, the convener of the Board, Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, had stated that the executive committee of the AIMPLB, which is meeting in Lucknow on Sunday, would accept the proposal in full or suggest amendment or would come up with an alternative proposal as the Board would not like to see the efforts of the Shankaracharya go in vain.

The seer's proposal does not contain what is appearing in the media, as there is nothing new than what was proposed last year. There is no proposal like the Archaeological Survey of India allowing Muslims to worship in 1000 other places in the country. A mosque would not be constructed in the acquired area and idol would not be shifted from the place, he said.

The latest remark of the Shankaracharya that Ayodhya does not need another mosque has not gone well with the members of the Board as they have taken serious umbrage to the remarks.

Sources said the Shankaracharya's statement clearly contradicts what he had stated in the proposal and the assurance he had given to the Board last year.

"It (mosque) should be built where it is required... It is not required in Ayodhya where people are already worshipping..", the seer told a news channel.

The Shankaracharya in his proposal last year had agreed to shift the "garbha griha" of the proposed Ram Temple, but did not give definite construction plan. He also did not provide an assurance that the VHP would abide by the court verdict.

The Board members are certain that a mosque will be built in the acquired land — either in the disputed or undisputed land.

The government, when it acquired the undisputed land stated that the purpose for acquisition was to build a temple, mosque, library and museum, and if any land is left, it would go to the owner.

On the disputed land, if the court verdict were to be in favour of the Muslims, Babri Masjid would be rebuilt. In either situation, mosque will be constructed in the area.

He said the Board was for the resolution of the dispute based on justice to bring about communal harmony and satisfaction of the community.

Against the backdrop of these developments, the 41-member working committee would meet to discuss the proposal sent by Kanchi Kamakoti Peeth last month to solve the Ayodhya tangle.

The meeting is seen as a last-ditch effort to solve the imbroglio before the Lok Sabha elections next year. It also gains importance following protest by a section of Hindu and Muslim leaders on the proposal of the seer terming it as a "political move" initiated at the behest of the NDA government. 

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