One date, two Ayodhya milestones, separated by 30 years
Thirty years on, the date, November 9, and its historic connect with Ayodhya was hard to miss.
As the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on Babri Masjid-Ram Janmbhoomi issue on Saturday, those associated with the Ram temple movement recollected the scenes of 30 years ago when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s temple movement was at its peak and the VHP leaders were allowed to lay the foundation stone of the Ram temple on November 9, 1989.
“Yes, I remember the VHP’s Ram temple movement was at its peak when Rajiv Gandhi government allowed us to lay foundation stone of the Ram temple adjacent to the disputed site on November 9, 1989,” said senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar.
As Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi had stayed away from the foundation laying ceremony in Ayodhya ahead of 1989 Lok Sabha elections. However, his government had worked on a formula for temple construction, sensing a growing affinity with the Ram temple cause in the majority community.
The then union home minister Buta Singh, along with the then UP chief minister Narain Dutt Tiwari, had held closed door meetings with VHP leaders before the Rajiv Gandhi government gave the go-ahead for laying the foundation stone.
The move did not ultimately work in favour of the Congress as the VHP decided to intensify the temple movement. It coined slogans like ‘Ram Lala Hum Aayenge, Mandir Wahin Banayenge’ and others when no progress was made on temple construction at the foundation stone laying site in Ayodhya.