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VHP for political solution to temple issue - The Observer

Observer Political Bureau ()
June 25, 1998

Title: VHP for political solution to temple issue
Author: Observer Political Bureau
Publication: The Observer
Date: June 25, 1998

The VHP has demanded that a "quick political solution" be found
to the Ayodhya temple issue and called for the constitution of an
appropriate forum for expediting the conclusion, as an adverse
court verdict may be difficult to execute.

"The controversy can be resolved by a forum which should take
into account traditions and opinions of religious priests and
archaeological experts to decide on Ram Janmabhoomi as soon as
possible", VHP Working President Ashok Singhal said in a press

Mr Singhal, however, did not elaborate on the type of forum he
had in mind.

He said the issue involving faiths, beliefs and emotions of
Hindus should be settled immediately and warned that consequences
would be bad if it was kept pending for long.

The VHP President also provided what he claimed was "irrefutable
archaeological evidence" to prove that the temple dedicated to
the Hindu deity Lord Ram existed on the site where the Babri
Masjid stood.

Mr Singhal said that the "politicisation of the Ayodhya issue
should end" and the eople and leaders should assert their
political will and take steps to build the Ram Temple at the
Janambhoomi as it involved the faith of the Hindu society and was
a symbol of the Indian national identity".

He said that "it will be unfortunate and have adverse
consequences if the courts were to decide that Ram Janmabhoomi
was not situated at that site as it was one of the sacred places
for the Hindus society".

He said that "certain issues cannot be decided by judicial
decisions alone, when the emotion and identity of a large number
of people are involved".

Cautioning against any delay in settling the issue, he said that
the Babri Masjid was demolished because religious leaders and
priests feared that the dispute would remain unresolved for ever.

Mr Singhal said the VHP cooperated with the authorities for
settlement of the dispute and was also ready for discussions with
Babri Masjid Action Committee, provided "it went beyond the
issues that have been raised in the past".

He asserted that Ram temple should be constructed at the
"traditionally accepted" site and said the VHP's "Kendriya
Margdarshak Mandal" would meet on July six and seven to discuss
the issue and decide the future strategy.

Mr Singhal said that though the original case was field m 1950
and "two separate decisions of the courts in 1951 and 1950 had
confirmed that pooja should take place at the site".

He said "from 1961 to 1990, not even one hearing took place in
the courts on an petition filed by the Sunni Wakf Board". Mr
Singhal said that m the current instance "only 10 of the 120
witnesses on the case have been examined by the courts and only
God knows how long it will take".

The VHP President refuted suggestions made by leaders like
Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party that the temple can be
built in three days, saying that "at the present rate it will
take a minimum of at least two years, to even install the garish

He said that "there is an urgent need to ascertain the exact site
of the Ram Janambhoomi" and can be found through three sources -
one, by tradition, two, by the experience and knowledge of the
sants and acharyas and three, by archaeological survey.

In that context, he said that a stone tablet discovered, at the
site with a twenty-line inscription, from the debris of the Babri
Masjid, on December 6, 1992, "Provides the most clinching
contemporary written evidence in favour of a Hindu temple which
was built at Rama Jamnabhoomi in the first half of the 12th
century, about 400 years prior to the coming up of the so-called
Babri Mosque".

Mr S P Gupta, Chairman Of the Indian Archaeological Society, who
was also present at the press conference, said that the
inscription has been found to be "original and genuine" by the
world's leading epigraphists.

Mr Gupta said that "the Left historian are not even caring to see
the original inscriptions, the genuineness of which they are

He said that contrary to the picture being painted that the work
on the prefabricated structures for the Ram temple was a ecret
affair", the fact is that the "work was started in 1990".

He said that he wondered why the issue was being "raked up now"
as a succession of prime ministers belonging to different
political parties, V P Singh, Narasimha Rao, Kalyan Singh and the
UF "had found nothing disturbing in it".

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