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Ayodhya temple an unfulfilled desire: Advani

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Ayodhya temple an unfulfilled desire: Advani

Our Political Bureau / New Delhi April 05, 2005

On the eve of his party's silver jubilee celebrations, Bhara-tiya Janata Party (BJP) chief LK Advani today said the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya remained an “unfulfilled desire†for him and said it would have been built had the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) returned to power.

He also gave a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the post-Godhra violence in the state saying the accusations against him were “incorrectâ€.

“There remains an unfulfilled desire in my heart that the Ram temple could not be built and it was due to this urge that in 2003, in the last six months of the NDA government, that serious efforts were made in this direction,†Advani said.

He said efforts would have borne fruit had the NDA got a renewed mandate.

“I am confident that the ground work we had done during six months preceding the elections in respect of the Ram temple, in respect of Ayodhya—if we had been able to get renewed mandate in the Lok Sabha, it would have been a few more months that there would have been agreement between Hindus and Muslims in respect of constructing a Ram temple,†he said.

Acknowledging that the Ram Janambhoomi movement had been to a “great advantage†of the BJP, he said, “I believe that our failure was not so much, not being able to reconstruct the temple, as much as the failure to get a renewed mandate.†He, however, asserted that the party’s commitment to building a Ram temple was “irreversible.â€

On the “popular notion†that he was responsible for the conspiracy that led to the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya, he said, “I have many times (in the past) had expressed regrets over the turn of events with regard to the demolition. Things did not go as per the plans.â€

Asked whether the construction of the temple would have alienated the party from a large section of the society, he said, “It would have contributed greatly to even social harmony, to the Hindu-Muslim amity.â€

Advani said an “enduring solution†to the problem was possible only through an agreement between the two communities. “There will be dispute even after any court verdict. I have seen many verdicts not acceptable to some communities.â€

Meanwhile, the BJP is set to walk down the memory lane in the next two days with the party’s national executive and national council being held on days that mark the 25 years of its formation.

The year-round events were flagged off by Advani today, when he inaugurated a photo exhibition showcasing the party’s journey from its Jan Sangh days.

The photo exhibition appeared to be celebration of mainly absent leaders of the Jan Sangh and the BJP, like Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, and now on bed rest Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Even Balraj Madhok, who acrimoniously parted ways with the BJP, found a moment in the sun.

Recalling the events, Advani said it was an emotional moment for the party. “This day— April 4, 1980— is important to us. It was on this day that the Janata Party passed a resolution throwing us out on the issue of dual membership of the RSS and the Janata Party,†said Advani.

“We stood firm on our ideals and have struggled this far. We are not interested in forming a government through sleight of hand, but by getting democratically elected,†he said.

He also warned the rank and file of not washing dirty linen in public. “Yesterday, when some Gujarat BJP leaders came to meet me in Ahmedabad, the press termed it a visit of protest. But it was not so. Thus I appeal to all to keep problems within the fold,†he said.

The national executive of the party will be passing an omnibus resolution looking at political events and economic issues that it wishes to address.

According to a senior-office bearer of the party, the resolution will do mention the Ayodhya issue, but mostly address issues such as internal security, increase in migration and the population explosion.

“In fact, we are going to have a separate discussion on population explosion,†he said.

The two meetings will also acknowledge that the party is still considered a party of a certain section of the society.

“Our theme for the year is strengthening the organisation and spreading our social base. We will hold farmers’ rallies and rallies for Dalits, women and weaker sections,†he said.

The party, which is desperately looking for a pick me up in the face of a demoralised cadre, is hoping that the harking back to a glorious past will be enough to stage a comeback.

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VHP plans new campaign for Ram temple

[World News] Raipur, March 21 : The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is all set to launch another nationwide campaign in support of a Ram temple in Ayodhya by taking out the god's statues to "all the villages" in India.

VHP general secretary Pravin Togadia lamented here that all political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had let down the Hindus.

"The VHP has a blueprint for converting India into a Hindu nation. In the first phase, statues of Lord Ram would be sent to all villages of the country from Ayodhya to spread religious awareness," Togadia told IANS.

He said artisans in Ayodhya had been trained to make small statues, which would be first dispatched to over 40,000 tribal villages where he alleged Christian missionaries were "forcibly converting people".

The VHP would then reach the rural and backward areas and ask Hindus to support only those political outfits dedicated to their community's interest, Togadia said.

"The majority community has to display unity to oppose the appeasement of Muslims by political parties. Otherwise, Hindus will be reduced to a minority by 2050," he said.

The VHP leader said the US had lost credibility among the Hindus by refusing a visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

"The US has never been a friend of India. It always worked against Hindus, but in Modi's case it has been exposed," Togadia said.

--Indo-Asian News Service

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