INDIAN TIMES

Ram temple to foster brotherhood and harmony: Temple trust member

NEW DELHI: The decades-long movement for building a Ram temple in Ayodhya may have been marked by political and, at times, social discord, but the beginning of its construction from August 5 will foster in society “brotherhood and harmony”, the values associated with Lord Ram, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust member Kameshwar Chaupal said on Sunday.
The trust, formed by the central government following the Supreme Court’s ruling in November last in favour of building the temple at the site, has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone of the Ram temple on August 5.
“This will also be a foundation stone of Ram Rajya in the country. Ram’s life encapsulates the values of social harmony and brotherhood. The temple will foster these values in our society,” Chaupal said.
Chaupal, a key figure of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and a Dalit member of the trust, told PTI that the BJP politically benefitted from the movement because the party associated itself with it and even “sacrificed” its four governments, including in Uttar Pradesh, for the sake of the temple.
The Congress government at the Centre had dismissed four BJP-ruled state governments in 1992 following the demolition of Babri mosque during a “kar seva” led by Hindutva organisations.
“Our movement never barred any political party from joining it. It was like the gushing water of the Ganges, with some collecting its sacred water and some not despite the river flowing near their door,” he said, in an apparent reference to parties like the Congress.
Chaupal, who was associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and later became a Lok Sabha member of the BJP, shot into limelight in 1989 after he was chosen to launch the temple’s ‘shilanyas’, a gesture apparently aimed at sending out a message of social inclusiveness of the movement.
He described Modi as a “rashtra nayak” (national hero) and a spiritually awakened leader who, he added, will lead the country towards “Ram Rajya”.
The BJP has argued that the previous UPA dispensation worked to delay a judicial resolution of the land dispute among warring parties, including Muslim groups, and it was only after the Modi government assumed office that the matter was speeded up.
Chaupal also described veteran BJP leader L K Advani as a “great soul” who connected the masses to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
He, however, asserted that politics should not be linked to the temple, saying people’s devotion to the cause is much older than any political party and that Lord Ram epitomised the values of brotherhood and harmony.
“After all, Mahatma Gandhi, our father of the nation, was the one who used Lord Ram’s name to rally people to the national politics,” he said.

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