As a senior lawyer, BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad had completed arguments for the Hindu groups at the fag end of the hearings at the Allahabad High Court four months ago. On Thursday, he felt his arguments were accepted as the court held the disputed site was the birthplace of Ram because “the Hindus believe so”.
In the media glare after the verdict, Prasad, who appeared on behalf of defendant Ram Chandra Paramhans, was quick to appeal to Muslims to accept the verdict and move for a settlement.
His argument before the court was a new position on why the title suits — on whether a Ram temple or masjid existed at Ayodhya — should be decided in favour of the Hindus.
Prasad, who hails from a family committed to the RSS, had invoked “the presence of the divine” at the site, a point he said was accepted by the court on Thursday.
“The presence of an idol in the temple, which is the home of God as per Hindu belief sanctified by scriptures, though desirable but is not a precondition. The test is that the people must believe there is a divine presence, whose blessings they seek for their salvation.”
Prasad had told the court that the Hindus needed a temple at that spot because they felt “that presence” there, apart from believing that Ram was born there.
He had also said “a deity or a temple is not alienable property. It is not subject to commerce. There are hundreds of decided cases by different high courts and the Supreme Court confirming the above legal position.”
He said, “Even the Holy Quran clearly says there can be no compulsion in religion. The alleged Babri mosque constructed in violation of Islamic injunction is a nullity and well-known jurists of Islamic law have gone to the extent of saying that it is void i.e. it never existed.”