New Delhi (Sputnik): The centuries-old Hindu-Muslim row on the actual ownership of a piece of land where a mosque existed until the 1990s in Ayodhya town was settled last November by India’s Supreme Court. It cleared the decks for the construction of a Lord Ram temple and suggested rebuilding the mosque elsewhere in the city.
A day ahead of the foundation stone-laying ceremony for constructing a Lord Ram temple, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a key participant in the struggle for settling a centuries-old dispute over ownership of a piece of land in India’s Ayodhya town, has said “secular politics in India caused inferiority complex among Indians, especially Hindus at large”.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which launched the temple construction movement across India decades ago, said so without naming the country’s principal opposition party, Congress, for which the ideology of secularism has been the cornerstone of its electoral politics.
The VHP has also featured among those accused of demolishing the Babri Mosque, which existed at the same place where the ground-breaking ceremony will be held on Wednesday.
The temple’s grand ceremony is to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) always promised voters to ensure Lord Ram’s temple will be built at His purported birthplace, Ayodhya.
Talking to Sputnik, VHP’s Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain has said that the current priority for his organisation is to galvanise the entire nation for the ceremony to be held on Wednesday.
Avoiding questions on whether the VHP will begin similar movements for temples existing in other places of religious significance for Hindus, such as in the cities of Varanasi and Mathura, Jain said that the top priority is the construction of the temple in Ayodhya city in Uttar Pradesh state.
“Since 1947, the secular politics in India induced a notion of self-ignominy among the Indian populace. The widespread feeling that was propagated is that the country does not belong to any particular set of people and that no one belongs to the place”, he said.
Stating that a country-wide inferiority complex was created, especially in the mind of Hindus, the VHP said: “One of the major contributions of the movement in favour of the grand temple dedicated to Lord Ram is that the inferiority complex has now vanished”.
“Our national pride has been restored and the nationality of the Indians has been redefined”, he added.
The Babri Mosque existed on the same piece of land in Ayodhya for decades where the Ram temple is now to be built.
Hindu groups, however, claimed that a temple razed by the Mughal rulers in the 16th century predated the mosque.
In December 1992, a violent mob demolished the domes of the mosque on the disputed land. In 2019, Hindu-affiliated associations finally won a title suit following a verdict of the Supreme Court of India. It favoured Hindus’ claim while rejecting Muslim groups’ submissions that the land belonged to the mosque.
The verdict cleared the decks for the temple, ordering the Uttar Pradesh government to give a piece of land to the Muslims as compensation. The Modi government has set up the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra Trust to construct the Lord Ram temple.
Speaking about the preparations for the Wednesday ceremony, the VHP leader said the victory of the Ram Mandir movement is not a victory for only the BJP or VHP.
“It is symbol of victory for each and every Hindu living across the world… After decades our pride as a community is getting restored. We will celebrate the occasion like we celebrate the festival of lights, Diwali”.
When asked whether the VHP will begin similar movements in favour of temples that were razed by past conquerors in other holy cities such as Mathura or Varanasi, Jain said that right now the focus is to concentrate on the construction of the grand temple in Ayodhya.
History has it that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb demolished the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi that was dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Meanwhile, a day ahead of the foundation stone-laying ceremony in Ayodhya, many key politicians from the Congress party have also welcomed the move to construct a Lord Ram temple at his birthplace.
Priyanka Gandhi, a key Congress politician and daughter of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, on Tuesday tweeted about the virtues of Lord Ram.
In the tweet, posted in Hindi, Priyanka said: “Simplicity, courage, restraint, sacrifice, and commitment, are the essence of the name Deenbandhu Rama. Ram is with everyone, Ram is with everyone”.
She expressed hope that with the blessings of the deity, the ceremony in Ayodhya will help spread a message of unity, brotherhood, and cultural integration.
Other top party leaders also joined Priyanka in support of the grand temple at the deity’s widely-believed birthplace in Ayodhya.
Kamal Nath, a senior state Congress leader from Madhya Pradesh, offered prayers to the deity, saying he would be sending 11 silver bricks to be used in the construction of Lord Ram’s grand temple.
आज हनुमान चालीसा पाठ कर देश – प्रदेश की खुशहाली की कामना की ….#श्रीराम_के_हनुमान_करो_कल्याण pic.twitter.com/lL1pvA8tJK
— Office Of Kamal Nath (@OfficeOfKNath) August 4, 2020
The Congress Party has, however, not been invited to the special ceremony slated for Wednesday.