Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 17
Speaking in Maharashtra last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had slammed “loudmouths” making “meaningless” statements over the Ram temple issue, asking them to exercise restraint and allow the Supreme Court to take a call on the issue.
While then his comments appeared to be aimed at BJP ally Shiv Sena and its chief Uddhav Thackeray, ahead of the Supreme Court judgment in the Ayodhya case, sources say the BJP has cautioned party leaders to not make statements that may create a “difficult situation” for the party, the government and local administrations.
The News Broadcasting Standards Authority has advised television channels to exercise caution while reporting on the dispute and clearly the ruling BJP also wants its cadres to follow the same.
“We have no idea about the final verdict (of the Supreme Court…We also do not know what the report of the mediation committee holds. Therefore it is best to keep calm and avoid making controversial statements,” said a party leader.
The Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel to resolve the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya is believed to have filed its report in a sealed cover, which reportedly calls for a “sort of a settlement” between Hindu and Muslim parties.
Even though Sangh affiliates, like the VHP, have constantly been clamouring for a temple through legislative process, including an ordinance, the BJP leadership always spoke of a solution through courts.
This was reiterated on several occasions by top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Modi and party chief Amit Shah.
“For any government, communal harmony and law and order is the top priority,” say sources.
Around September, Prime Minister Modi who was in Maharashtra for the conclusion of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s Maha Janadesh Yatra, was quoted as saying: “We should faith in the Supreme Court, have faith in the constitution given by Ambedkar, in the judiciary, to all these loudmouths who keep giving statements, I fold my hands and for God’s sake and for Lord Ram’s sake keep the faith in the country’s judicial process.”
Though he did not name anyone but the remark appeared to be aimed at the Sena whose chief Uddhav Thackeray had asked followers to be ready to “lay the first brick” of the Ram temple. Thackeray had also asked Prime Minister Modi to make a “courageous decision” like Article 370 and build the Ram Temple in spite of the case being in the court.
Modi’s veiled jibe found mention in an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana, which said that “loudmouths” speaking on the matter are “within the BJP”. Here the Sena cannot be faulted given the “number of motor mouths in the BJP” capable of giving statements, “embarrassing the party” and causing it trouble, the editorial elaborated.
Hindu Mahasabha seeks action against lawyer
Meanwhile Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha has complained to the Bar Council of India seeking action against senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan for tearing into pieces a map purportedly showing the exact place of birth of Lord Ram. The map was handed over to him during the Ayodhya case hearing on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court had witnessed high drama on the last day of hearing after Dhavan, representing Muslim Parties, tore up the map.
The incident took place when senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing All India Hindu Mahasabha, was arguing the case. Relying on the site map and books written by foreign and Indian authors, Singh tried to prove that the central dome of the demolished structure was the birthplace of deity ‘Ram Lalla’.
Taking strong exception to Singh’s submissions, Dhavan said such documents could not be cited and relied upon on the last day of the hearing, as the issue of location of ‘janmsthan’ was discussed by the Allahabad High Court on the basis of other documents.
As Singh cited a pictorial map from a book ‘Ayodhya Revisited’ written by former Bihar cadre IPS officer Kishore Kunal, Dhavan said “it can’t be done”. Singh relented and agreed not to press the pictorial map to be taken on record.
“What should I do with it (map)?” Dhavan asked the five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. As the CJI said Dhavan could tear it into pieces, the senior lawyer tore the pictorial map submitted by the All-India Hindu Mahasabha counsel, leaving lawyers and visitors surprised.
“The CJI said I could shred the papers and I just followed the order. I take advice of Mr (Arvind) Datar in such matters and he told me it was a mandamus (a kind of writ or direction),” Dhavan said.
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