Is Hindutva lobby pressing Modi to pass law for Ram Mandir, irrespective of SC verdict?
Irrespective of what the Supreme Court of India decides in the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute, the Hindutva brigade may press on with their demand for a temple, indicates a report. The report further said that they may press the BJP to take the legislative route for the construction of a temple at the disputed site.
A source at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the major force behind the movement to build a grand temple at the site of the erstwhile Babri Masjid, said it will press the Narendra Modi government for a legislation for the construction, reported Anandabazar Patrika.
According to the report in the leading Bengali daily, the source also indicated that there could be a movement from the grassroots level upwards to back the demand. To build popular sentiment for such a demand, the organisation could hold small religious gatherings and meetings at the village-level for six months.
The outline for such a plan could be chalked out at VHP's special Bhubaneswar session on 25-26 December, the report said. Such a plan would be in tune with the resolution to start building the temple next October that was taken a Dharma Sansad recently in Udupi.
Why the hurry?
The VHP and other saffron organisations are not sure of securing a favourable verdict in the Supreme Court. They have also taken into account the possibility that even if there is a favourable verdict, there is a chance of objections being raised, leading to further litigation.
Also, they aren’t counting on convincing Muslim organisations for the construction of a temple. Thus the push on a legislative route, in line with the way the Somnath temple was built in Gujarat. In fact, the Anandabazar report cited a source who said this could be “Modi's Sardar Patel moment”.
Independent India's first home minister Vallabhbhai Patel led the camp that pressed for a legislation to rebuild the Shiva temple that was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni. However, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wasn't particularly keen on it.
Modi's keenness on assuming the mantle of Patel is well known.
The fact that the Modi government will also have a stronger say in Rajya Sabha next year has boosted the 'legislation camp'. It has also been encouraged by Adityanath leading the Uttar Pradesh government at the moment.
This quarter has raised the point that there is no guarantee that the Modi-Yogi combine would continue after the 2019 General Elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party's just-past-the-post performance in the recently concluded Gujarat Assembly polls has given credence to this school of thought.
In fact, according to the report, a section of the saffron camp also stresses the point that a renewed Ram Mandir movement next October would come in handy in the build-up to the elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
Catch has not independently verified the information.