Ayodhya: BJP


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No basic difference with VHP on Ayodhya: BJP

By Bhaskar Roy

The Times of India News Service
Wednesday 10 February 1999

NEW DELHI: In a move fraught with far-reaching implications,
the BJP has stated that it has no ``basic difference'' with the
Vishva Hindu Parishad on the issue of constructing a temple at
the site believed to be Lord Ram's birthplace.

``The BJP stands for construction of a temple at Ram
janmabhoomi, that was the reason we participated in the
campaign and adopted a resolution,'' party vice-president J.P.
Mathur told The Times of India here on Tuesday.

Responding to the VHP announcement that the construction of a
Ram temple would be completed by 2001, Mr Mathur said:
``There is no basic difference between the BJP and VHP on this
issue.'' He recalled in this context the party's involvement in the
Ayodhya agitation and referred to the resolution adopted at its
Palampur session in 1989.

VHP leaders Acharya Giriraj Kishore and Acharya Dharmendra
had told mediapersons earlier in the day that the temple work
would be completed by 2001 irrespective of a judicial decision in
this regard.

They said that 25 per cent of stone-carving for this purpose had
already been done and that construction would be completed on
an auspicious date.

Mr Mathur said that despite the identical stand of the BJP and
VHP on the Ayodhya issue, his party would ensure that no laws
were violated for construction of the temple.

He said that the temple could be constructed either through
negotiations between the parties to the dispute or following a
favourable court judgement or by enactment of a new law.

Mr Mathur's remarks assumed significance in view of the party's
silence on the Ayodhya issue ever since the Vajpayee
government had assumed office. The ``national agenda'' of the
ruling coalition left out the temple question along with other
contentious issues the BJP had championed in the past.

Mr Mathur's views seem to have marked a rethinking in the party
about the need for a return to the aggressive Hindutva phase of
the 1989-92 phase discarding the moderate image projected by
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during the 1998 general

``They have every right to go on explaining their programme to
the people,'' Mr Mathur said reacting to the VHP announcement.
He, however, made it clear that while campaigning on the temple
issue the VHP should ensure that no laws were violated.

Briefing newspersons on the decisions taken at the
just-concluded dharam sansad, Acharya Dharmendra said that
the temple construction being a ``purely religious matter'', the
sadhus should have the final say in this regard.

The Acharya said there was no need for waiting indefinitely for
judicial views in this regard. ``The Ram temple will be
constructed at the same spot -- no question of shifting it even by
an inch to the right, left, back or front,'' he remarked.

He said construction of the temple would be a way of
implementing the Hindu agenda.

Jethmalani's legal opinion

Ram Jethmalani on the law and the masjid's demolition:


"THE Indian Penal Code makes it a serious criminal offence to pull down any place of worship. It is no defence in law that the place of worship was constructed five hundred years ago on the site of another demolished place of worship belonging to the com munity of the accused. The throngs that threaten to converge on Ayodhya and pull down the mosque will in the eye of law be an unlawful assembly determined to commit offences of mischief, criminal trespass, wounding of religious feelings and desecration o f a holy place. Grievous injury and killings as possible consequences will be within the reasonable contemplation of its members. It would be the plain duty of the Government to tackle this situation according to the law of the land. The law doubtless re quires the state to use all the force at its command to disperse the unlawful assembly and prevent the commission of the threatened offences. The resulting mayhem and loss of life will only be legitimate consequences of the execution of legal and constit utional duty. Every sane person must therefore pause and do a bit of rational introspection while there is still some time left - however short.

"The time bomb is ticking away. When it explodes communal harmony and national integration will be the prime casualties. The nation will not emerge stronger but weakened and debilitated beyond measure. Mr. L. K. Advani is a Member of Parliament. He has s worn to uphold the law and the Constitution.

"While he will lead the assembly of law-breakers what does he expect the U.P. Government to do? Its Ministers are also sworn to uphold the law and Constitution. The police force is statutorily committed to neutralise the marching hordes even though compo sed of Sadhus, Acharyas and otherwise respectable political leaders. There is no loophole or ambiguity in the law."

 - Indian Express, October 16, 1990


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Last updated: October 29, 2000 .