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Ayodhya: VHP demand finds not many takers in Muslim community

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s demand telling Muslims to surrender land for construction of Ram temple before the BJP government brought an ordinance has not found many takers in the minority community.

lucknow Updated: Nov 28, 2018 11:23 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Ayodhya
Ayodhya,VHP,Ram Mandir
The Allahabad HC’s verdict has proved that Muslims are one of the legal owners of the land. The court has given one part of the land to Sunni Waqf Board.(HT Photo)

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s demand telling Muslims to surrender land for construction of Ram temple before the BJP government brought an ordinance has not found many takers in the minority community.

At its “Virat Dharam Sabha” held in Ayodhya on Sunday, the VHP had resolved for construction of Ram temple “at any cost” and urged the Muslims to surrender land for the Ram temple before the BJP brought an ordinance or else the issue concerning Kashi Vishwanath temple (Varanasi), Krishna Janm Bhoomi (Mathura) and other temples (razed by Mughal rulers) will be brought back on its agenda.

“Ram Mandir and Babri Masjid issue are to be resolved by the government. I don’t want to say anything on the VHP’s demand and stir another controversy.” Aftab Aam, resident of Ayodhya

Besides asserting that there is nothing new in the VHP’s “legally untenable” call and terming the demand as “politically motivated”, those representing the Muslim community feel recent developments in Ayodhya reflects on how two ideologically closer outfits (Shiv Sena and VHP) are in competition with each other to get hold of the Ram temple movement. “The VHP has been raising these issues in the past too. So, there is nothing new in it. The VHP cannot raise these issues in the backdrop of The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 that provides for maintenance of religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947. The VHP’s demand is legally not tenable and so the organization will not be able to get any relief on these issues,” said Zafaryab Jilani, convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee.

About Mathura (Krishna Janmbhoomi) issue, Jilani said a compromise had been reached in 1958 and the same has been followed there. A petition had been moved in a district court in Varanasi about the Kashi Vishwanath temple too and the issue is pending in court,” he said. Jilani said both of these places were covered by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

About the demand for an ordinance, Jilani said, “The Supreme Court will take up the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid issue in January 2019. The union government is, however, free to bring an ordinance on the issue. It is for the union government to bring an ordinance. We will challenge it.” Iqbal Ansari, petitioner in the Ram Janmabhoomi –Babri Masjid case, said: “It is for the government to take note of the VHP’s demand.”

“I am not concerned about the VHP’s demand. I am thankful to the state government for proper security arrangements in Ayodhya and peaceful completion of the VHP’s event,” Ansari added.

Another petitioner in the case and Ayodhya resident Haji Mahboob said VHP’s demand held no ground. The Acquisition of Certain Area At Ayodhya Act framed on January 7, 1993, clearly stated that no other mosque would be considered for acquisition, he added. The Ayodhya Act was to acquire the disputed and adjacent land for construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Aftab Alam, 44, resident of Ayodhya, said: “Ram Mandir and Babri Masjid issue are to be resolved by the government. I don’t want to say anything on the VHP’s demand and stir another controversy.”

Maulana Khalid Rasheed “Firangi Mahali” of Lucknow said Muslims had nothing to do with whatever had happened in Ayodhya in the past two days. “It appears two organisations following the ideology of RSS are in completion with each other to gain control on the temple moment. The Allahabad HC’s verdict has proved that Muslims are one of the legal owners of the land. The court has given one part of the land to Sunni Waqf Board. The VHP is not a party to the case and has no claim,” said Khalid Rasheed.

First Published: Nov 28, 2018 11:20 IST