Ahead of Gujarat elections, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday raised the pitch for a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, saying it will be constructed only at the disputed site and “nothing else” will be built there.
“The Ram temple will be constructed at the site of Ramjanmabhoomi and nothing else will be built. It will be constructed and that too in its original form and with the same stones. It will be built under the leadership of those who led this movement and have been holding its flag for 20-25 years,” he said at a three-day Dharam Sansad of the VHP in Udupi, Karnataka.
“Time has come close. We have to be very careful and take steps one by one. We don't have to think about anything else.
“For the welfare of Hindu society and for the universal welfare of the world, let the Ram temple be built at Ramjanbhoomi in Ayodhya. This is my only wish,” Bhagwat said after the head of Pejawar Mutt, Vishweshateertha Swamiji, said that construction of Ram temple would begin within one yera after crossing all hurdles.
This is for the first time that Bhagwat has spoken so vehemently on the Ram temple issue in a public address.
His comments assume significance in the context of renewed mediation attempts by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to find a solution to the dragging dispute in Ayodhya.
The Shia Central Wakf Board said earlier this week that it was ready to build a mosque in Lucknow so that the temple could be built in Ayodhya, a proposal which was also submitted to the Supreme Court.
Recalling his association with Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackrey, Bhagwat said: “Balasaheb once told me clearly that you cannot build Ram temple by kar sewa only. It needs a tough fight which may take even 20 to 30 years. If you continue with this fight then there is a possibility of construction of Ram temple in 20 to 30 years.
He said swayamsewaks often come to him and ask when the temple will come up Ayodhya.
“I do not say anything to them as I am not an astrologer. It started in 1990. What Balasaheb used to say, we have completed 20 years in 2010 and would complete 30 years in 2020. His words would not go in vain,” he said.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists tore down the 16th century Babri Mosque at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, claiming it had been built after destroying an original Ram temple. The VHP then raised a makeshift Ram temple, saying it was where Lord Ram was born.