An honourable settlement of Ayodhya dispute

“Yad-e-Mazi azaab hai Ya Rabb, cheen le Mujh se Hafza mera.”

The recollections of past are scourge. Oh my God, take away my memory from me.”

I could vividly recall the ‘Chariot’ of Shri L K Advani, Shri Narendra Modi sitting almost at the vanguard before the razing of the Babri Mosque at Ayodya. Babri Masjid was ultimately demolished and the demolition sparked some of the deadliest riots in India’s independent history and deepened religious divisions that still exist today.

I want to forget that disastrous incident like a bad dream.

Those were the heady days for Advani Ji. Even Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee didn’t enjoy that clout. Come 2012 and in the month of September, the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would use the hi-tech “chariot” that his mentor L K Advani rode during his Jan Chetna Yatra last year.

On a visit to Ayodhya, the BJP’s state chief in Uttar Pradesh that time, Shri Keshav Prasad Maurya had described the BJP’s electoral strategy: emphasize development, expose corruption.

Asked about demands to build the Hindu temple, he said the courts should decide.

In 2002, Shri Rajnath Singh was the first chief minister who had offered prayers at the Ayodhya Site. No Mukhya Mantri of UP has, in the past 15 years, visited the disputed site to offer prayers. After a long passage of time, Yogi Adityanath, the well known Sadhu / Politician known for his aggressive pro-Hindutva stand for many years offered prayers at the Ram Lalla temple in Ayodhya after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. His visit to Ayodhya was described by the tamed media and saffron brigade as as a ‘return to Treta Yuga.’

Kick-starting the BJP’s civic poll campaign for the three-phase civic election in the state due on November 22, 26 and 29, the chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that SP and BSP did not like his visits to the temple town. Ayodhya goes to polls in the first phase.

The ‘Art Of Living’ founder on Wednesday pays a “courtesy call” to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The CM welcomes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s role in talks and says, “Since the government isn’t party to the case, I had already told the stakeholders that if they can come to a final decision on the matter through dialogue, then the government is committed to fully back it. But if they can’t come to such a decision… if they can’t talk it out… then it is in the court… and we will obey whatever is the court’s decision.”

Following the meeting, Shankar said, “I want unity… I want amity. This is just a beginning. We will talk to all,” reported PTI.

Former BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti on Thursday questions Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s offer to mediate in the Ayodhya dispute, adding that the Art of Living Founder has intervened in the issue to “avoid” being probed for his amassed wealth. His comments come on the same day Ravi Shankar is scheduled to visit Ayodhya to meet all stakeholders involved in the dispute.

“Who is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to mediate? He should continue running his NGO and hoarding foreign funds. I believe he has amassed a lot of wealth and to avoid a probe he has jumped into Ram Temple issue,” Vedanti was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Vedanti, who has been associated with the Ram Temple movement, has in the past too rejected Ravi Shankar’s offer to mediate in the dispute.

The people of town of Ayodhya have witnessed frequent visits of Yogi Adityanath. He has been sharpening his Hindutva agenda as he has recently attacked the SECULAR concept of Indian democracy. It is strange that a law maker who has taken the oath of Indian Constitution openly repudiating rather disparaging a focal concept of Constitution.

Our Prime Minister Modi has chosen to maintain silence but has given second-rung BJP leaders carte blanche to act as loose cannons and that is a part of well thought out RSS strategy. Modi has not visited Ayodhya even once in his prime-ministerial tenure of more than three years. Even when Modi visited Ayodhya’s twin city, Faizabad, in 2014 to address a rally organised in support of the BJP Lok Sabha candidate Lallu Singh, he refused to open his mouth on the Ayodhya issue.

It is neither Modi nor Adityanath who prefer their own tracks. It is the RSS design. Politics, Otto Von Bismarck said, politics is the art of the possible. But trust our politicians; they just don’t make things possible, they create them.

Yesterday, the senior saffronites had pulled down the Babri Masjid and now the new turks want to build a temple there with harmony and goodwill, persuading the Muslims to show magnanimity on the Ram temple construction issue. The argument is triggered that in a Hindu-majority country, it is expected of the Muslim minority to show big heart to Hindu majority and respect the faith of the Hindus. The idea has no place to include respect for the faith of the Muslims. The fundamentals of a peaceful and honourable settlement demand that all parties to a dispute are treated as equals. With the cunning tactics to force the other side into abject surrender is unacceptable.

However, as so many are joining the BJP bandwagon and the never-ending stream of Turncoat politicians and chameleon politicians knock the door, the saffronites are sure of winning Gujarat in 2017 and centre in 2019. Only the time will tell what the future holds for the secular India.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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