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RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat pitches for Ram temple at disputed site in Ayodhya

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat pitches for Ram temple at disputed site in Ayodhya
Photo: PTI

Udupi: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat today made a strong pitch for building the Ram Temple on the disputed site at Ayodhya, saying only the mandir would come up there and not any other structure. Addressing the “Dharma Sansad”, a congregation of 2,000 Hindu saints, mutt heads and VHP leaders from across the country at this small temple town here, he said there should be no ambiguity that Ram Temple will be built at Ayodhya.

“We will construct it. It is not a populist declaration but a matter of our faith. It will not change,” Bhagwat said. The Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh(RSS) chief said that after years of efforts and sacrifice, it (building the Ram temple) seemed possible now, while also noting that the matter was in the court.

“Ram Mandir only will be constructed and nothing else. It will be constructed there only” (what is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram), Bhagwat said. He said the temple would be constructed in the same grandeur as it existed before, using the “same stones” under the guidance of those who were the flag-bearers of the Ram janmabhoomi movement for the last 25 years.

But prior to it (building the temple), public awareness was essential, he said. “We are close to achieving our goal but at this juncture, we should be extra cautious,” he said. Construction of the Ram temple, prevention of religious conversions and cow protection are among the key issues to be discussed at VHP’s three-day ‘Dharma Sansad’.

The meet will also discuss issues of discrimination on the basis of caste and gender and explore ways to ensure harmony within Hindu society, the organisers said. The RSS chief also said the seers and Hindus gathered in huge numbers at the meet need to ponder over the conducive atmosphere prevailing in the country and elsewhere.

He cautioned the people against the forces which divide the society and asked them to remain alert. The RSS supremo also spoke about religious conversion and the need to reach out to those who are prone to it.

“The strength of the society lies in its unity. When it is destroyed, anti-national forces gain foothold. We need to understand the consequences of religious conversion. We need to reach out to those who are prone to conversion,” Bhagwat said.

He reminded the meet about the duty of seers and members of upper caste towards Dalits and other backward communities.

“The need for equality is still elusive in our deeds and practises though we all understand its significance.”
“We should rise above the barriers of caste, creed and religion in our speech and action while treating people and embrace everybody wholeheartedly. There should not be any discrimination on the issues of sharing water, religious places and cremation grounds,” said Bhagwat.

On cow-vigilantism, Bhagwat said people know what happens to the cows when they are sold to butchers. He said ‘cow protectors’ surface due to the callousness of society. “Society is careless about the status of cows. Those who have concern for the cows stand up to protect the cattle. This leads to conflict in the society resulting in bad name to the ‘cow protectors’,” said Bhagwat.

Vishvesha Teertha Swamiji of Pejavar Math of Udupi, who chairs the reception committee, said the Ram Temple would be built in a year, well before 2019. The octogenarian seer with a huge following in Karnataka and elsewhere, demanded that the government amend the Constitution to do away with special provisions for minorities in order for equality in the society.

Addressing the meet earlier, VHP leader Pravin Togadia set the tone for the issues to be discussed in the Dharma Sansad in the next three days.

He reiterated VHP’s affirmation to build the Ram Temple and a ban on cow slaughter.

Togadia also demanded that the government should not regulate Hindu temples.

“If the Indian Constitution is secular, why are governments regulating Hindu temples? Are there any instances of government controlling any mosque or church? If not, then why is this discrimination only with Hindu temples. “Let Hindus manage their temples,” he said.

Located in the coastal area, Udupi is famous for the Krishna temple with the idol believed to have been discovered by 13th century Vaishnavite saint Madhwacharya, who founded the Dwaitha school of philosophy.

While ochre colour festoons and flags dotted every part of Udupi and neighbouring towns such as Manipal, the attire of the participants and the marquee has filled in the atmosphere with Hindutva flavour.

Elaborate security has been made for the Dharma Sansad. The Udupi event is significant as the first formal announcement for Ram Temple at Rama Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya was made here in 1985 and a year later, the doors of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya were open to the public for darshan.