A condolence meeting for VHP patron Ashok Singhal provided a forum for the Sangh Parivar to push for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat saying "serious attempts" should be made to accomplish the Hindutva leader's dream in this regard.
As glowing tributes were paid to Singhal, Bhagwat recalled Singhal's last meeting with him earlier this month and said he wanted two things to be accomplished - construction of Ram temple at Ram Janambhoomi and propagation of Vedas. The same should be accomplished by working sincerely towards them, he said.
"Ashokji during my meeting had shared his two resolves - of building the Ram temple at Ram Janmabhoomi and spreading Vedic wisdom in the world. If we have to accomplish the resolve of Ashokji, we have to take a pledge today to make his resolve ours. We have to make serious attempts to accomplish the Ram temple and that will be a true tribute to him. Ashokji's spirit will guide us in this task. We have to keep moving and working on the path shown by Ashokji and in the coming few years we hope to work towards accomplaishing his dream of Ram temple," he said at a function to pay tributes to Singhal.
The RSS supremo at the memorial service said Singhal is no more but his thoughts are with us and the task he undertook (of building the Ram temple) yielded some results.
Bhagwat said Singhal, who had become synonymous with the Ram temple movement, was an orator par excellence, a true stalwart of Hindutva movement, a good classical singer and a guiding force for all.
BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi also shared his over 60-year relationship with Singhal, saying he was committed to the spread of vedic wisdom and values in the world. He said Ram and Bharat are synonymous with each other and sought to remove misconceptions, asserting he never sought to divide people but was a unifying factor.
"Ram is Bharat and Bharat is Ram and both are synonymous.
If you want to develop Bharat, then Ram temple would also have to be set up. Ashokji was never communal or divisive and sought to unify people.
"It is considered divisive these days to talk about Ram temple. We can confidently say that Bharat was a Vishwaguru and will be one ... But, a confused country cannot move forward. To call it divisive is against our country's tradition," he said.
Singhal was a spiritual and unifying person and due to his personality he brought leaders of all communities and sects together on one platform, he said.
During the meeting, former VHP president Vishnu Hari Dalmia set the tone for construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, saying it would be a true tribute to Singhal, who dedicated his entire life for Hindutva and spearheaded the Ram Janambhoomi movement. He called upon Bhagwat to press upon the government for early construction of the temple.
VHP international working president Pravin Togadia called for passage of a law in Parliament for the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya on the lines of Somnath temple.
"The central government should pass an act in Parliament to construct a Ram temple in Ayodhya, It will be a fitting tribute to Ashok Singhal," he said, adding that Singhal was committed for elimination of untouchability and caste bias.
BJP president Amit Shah who specially flew back to Delhi for the condolence meeting after casting his vote in civic polls in Ahmedabad, said the demise of Ashok Singhal was an irreparable loss to the Sangh Parivar and nation. He was the architect as well as leader of the biggest mass movement of India after Independence, he said.