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RSS meet begins in shadow of Ram temple

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s annual meeting began in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior on Friday in the shadow of the Ram temple issue.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2019 23:27 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, Gwalior
RSS meet,Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,India news
Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Image for representation.(REUTERS FILE PHOTO)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s annual meeting began in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior on Friday in the shadow of the Ram temple issue.

The meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha comes weeks ahead of the upcoming general election and is being keenly watched for political undertones and polemic, perhaps one reason why the Sangh chose to pass resolutions on the Sabarimala issue , the promotion of family values, and challenges in contemporary India.

Issues in the domain of electoral politics are generally avoided at such meetings, a functionary of the RSS said on condition of anonymity. The Supreme Court’s decision to appoint a three-member committee, former SC judge Justice Kalifulla, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and advocate Sriram Panchu, to meet all the petitioners in the Ramjanmabhoomi case at Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, however, coincided with the inaugural of the Sabha, the meeting of the highest decision making body of the Sangh.

Although, the Sangh, the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party, did not issue a statement on the court’s decision, functionaries who spoke on condition of anonymity said the order has not enthused the Sangh, which has been pushing or an early decision on the issue.

“ The Sangh has made its stand clear that a decision on the issue must be passed without any more delay. Mediation has been tried in the past as well, but it did not bear any results; therefore, it is time that the issue is resolved without wasting any more time” said a second senior functionary.

A third senior functionary said the issue and the apex court’s order will come up for discussion at the meeting that concludes on Sunday. Another indication of the Sangh’s opinion on the simmering issue came from the statement made in the annual report, frowning on the delay in the hearing of the issue in court.

“In Ram Janambhomi case, instead of accelerating the judicial process to end the long-drawn dispute, the Supreme Court has taken a surprising stand. That the Supreme Court should find no priority for the sensitive subject associated with the deep faith of Hindu society is beyond understanding...” the statement said. It went on to say that national pride and identity and Hindu society are being “continuously neglected” and called for “judgment on the dispute to be expediated and obstacles removed in the construction a rand temple.”

While affiliates of the RSS, such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad mounted pressure on the Bharatiya Janata Party to bring a legislation to pave the way for the passage of the temple construction, the party, which is in power at the Centre decided to let the court find a resolution to the problem that has been a festering issue for both Hindus and Muslims . The court’s decision to appoint Sri Sri Ravishankar as the mediator too has not gone down well with the Sangh.

First Published: Mar 08, 2019 23:27 IST