Ayodhya/Faizabad: Purushottam Narayan Singh, central secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Ayodhya, says his organization is awaiting the Supreme Court verdict on the title suit, following which, he claims, the Ram temple movement will get a fresh impetus. Workers of the VHP, one of the three parties in the lawsuit, were instrumental in the razing of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and it hasn’t shifted from its hard line on the issue. Edited excerpts:
It’s been 20 years since the demolition of the Babri Masjid. How has the situation evolved?
I would like to clarify that it never was a Babri Masjid. Babur destroyed a Hindu temple and used its debris—the temple is still there below, but on top of it they gave it the shape of a mosque. In no mosque will you find a lotus flower, or a rising sun or the images of Ganapati or Durga. We have never accepted it as a Babri Masjid. We accept that there was Babur’s terror and the temple was destroyed to hurt the sentiments of Hindus and on the remains of the temple the mosque was built.
Why hasn’t the temple been built?
The matter has gone to the Supreme Court and we are awaiting the final verdict. The high court judgement was not appropriate; it divided the land among Hindus, Muslims and the Nirmohi Akhara when the case was to establish whether a Ram temple existed before the construction of Babri Masjid. There was no need to divide the land.
After the Supreme Court judgement, will you go ahead with the construction of the temple?
I don’t think this issue can be resolved even in the Supreme Court. The Ram temple can only be built after passing a law in Parliament. And for this, we have been meeting politicians and bureaucrats across the political spectrum. We will build a Ram temple and are ready to pay any price.
What if the Supreme Court ruling is not in your favour?
Hindu society will never accept any decision against it. The mandir will only be constructed at the disputed site and millions of people have taken this oath. We will never go back on this demand. If we were not hopeful, we would not have been carrying out the work of the proposed Ram temple. Almost 80% work is completed. We are just waiting for the Supreme Court verdict and after that we will restart the movement on the Ram temple. We believe that hundreds and thousands of people will come to Ayodhya for the Ram temple.
Will you allow a mosque to be built next to the Ram temple if this can help reach a compromise?
Why should there be a mosque? It has been proved that Babur built the mosque after destroying the temple.
The temple wasn’t built even though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power after the Babri Masjid demolition.
After coming to power, the BJP tried to wear the mask of secularism. It did not fulfil its promise. That has resulted in its fall.
In that case, why do you still support the BJP?
We do not have any other alternative. The BJP is the only party that shows some kind of inclination towards Hindutva. If Congress today promises construction of the Ram temple and shows the same feeling, we will support it. But Congress would not do that due to vote-bank politics. The BJP still listens to us whereas the rest of the parties, be it Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, are just the same.
What do you say to the allegations that the VHP, the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the BJP recently instigated riots in nearby Faizabad to polarize voters?
This is a propaganda by the so-called secular parties to keep their Muslim vote intact. They are behind the riots and don’t want peace among the communities.