Even as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) tried to adopt a soft stand on the Mandir issue at the ongoing Dharma Sansad organised at Kumbh 2019 on Friday, they were greeted with ugly protest by saints present at the spot who resorted to sloganeering to demand the announcement of date for the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya.
Stating that they are not going to budge an inch from their stand, the saints said “pehley mandir phir chunav (Temple before elections),” and added that if Ram Mandir was not constructed this time around, then it might as well never be built at all.
Coming down heavily on the BJP-led government at Centre, the saints, including those from the Digambar Akhara and those owing allegiance to Akhara Parishad, affirmed that they will adhere to the directions of the earlier dharma sansad, organised by Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati. The saints further said that they would join him in his march to Ayodhya on February 21 to take part in the shila pujan.
Things started taking an ugly turn after the conclusion of the speech of Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mohan Bhagwat. The RSS chief said that like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the RSS is also an organisation which is a strong votary of the movement for construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya. “Nothing short of Ram temple is acceptable to us and government should ensure it’s construction,” Bhagwat said during his speech.
He, however, also tried to clear the government’s stand on the issue, saying that it is making all efforts to settle the issue as early as possible and the recent attempt to seek court’s intervention in getting the land other than the disputed one returned to its original owner is a step in this direction.
Echoing similar feelings, a saint said, “We had told the government that we would not disturb them for the first three years but now we are not ready to give them any further time”
However, this failed to assuage the feelings of some saints present at the spot, who raised the issue of dilly-dallying by the government.
Swami Namdev Tyagi alias Computer Baba said, “ The central government has cheated the people on the Ram Temple issue during the last four and a half years, and now it is waking up from it’s slumber. This reflects on their sincerity towards the issue.”
Another saint, Mahanat Paramhans Das, from Ayodhya warned the ruling party, “You (BJP) can only enjoy the fruits of power by constructing the Ram Temple and time has come for declaration of date because failure to do so would amount to cheating of Ram Bhakts.”
Echoing similar feelings, a saint said, “We had told the government that we would not disturb them for the first three years but now we are not ready to give them any further time.”
Meanwhile, chaos prevailed at the camp in the wake of protest as VHP volunteers tried to push the saints away from the cameras of waiting mediapersons. They also formed a cordon around them, preventing them from speaking to the media.