VHP calls for drive to raise funds for temple
PRAYAGRAJ: Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in the Lok Sabha, announcing the formation of a trust for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) sent out a call for a nationwide drive to raise funds for the temple’s construction.
“The Hindu Samaj will contribute funds for the temple construction under the supervision of the newly formed trust,” said VHP’s senior office-bearers.
Modi announced the formation of the trust, theShri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kehstra to construct the temple, as directed by the Supreme Court in its landmark verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case in November last year; the trust will have 15 members from different sections of the society, including a representative of the Dalit community.
“As proposed by VHP, the trust should now announce the start of a campaign to collect donations of ₹11 and a brick from every Hindu across the country, which will ensure the participation of every member of the Hindu community in the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya,” said Surendra Jain, joint general secretary, VHP.
Jain said he hoped the new trust would be built on the model put forth by the VHP because, he claimed, that “has widespread acceptance of Hindus and cannot be ignored.”
On the possibility of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das being made president of the new trust, Jain said, “We want this announcement to come from the government and not us.” The Nyas was set up by the VHP in 1993 as part of the movement for the temple.
VHP’s Sangathan Mantri (organization secretary), Uttar Pradesh, Ambrish Singh said it was decided in the Dharam Sansad held during the Kumbh Mela in 1989 that the contribution of every Hindu was a must for the construction of the Ram Temple, after which ‘Shila Pujan’ was conducted in nearly 2.75 lakh villages across the country during which Hindus donated bricks with Shri Ram inscribed on them.
“Now it is time for all Hindus to come forward and register their participation in temple construction through fund and brick donations,” he added.
He too expressed the hope that Das would be named president of the trust.
The President of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (AKAP), an apex body of Hindu saints, Mahant Narendra Giri also welcomed the formation of the trust.
He said now all formalities needed to be completed at the earliest so that the construction of a “magnificent Ram Temple” can start .
He said that as per the Supreme Court’s verdict, it is the prerogative of the Central government to appoint members to the 15-member trust. Still, he added, AKAP too, would like to see Das heading it.
Since 1989, the VHP has collected around Rs 8.25 crore from 60 million people.
“The money has been spent over the past three decades in making preparations for the temple construction in Karsewakpuram, including carving stone pillars and bricks, besides getting a blue print from professional architects,” said VHP’s vice president Champat Rai.