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Non-communal Hindu religious leaders oppose VHP-BJP

Non-Sangh Hindu religious heads have decided to repay the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Vahini and other violent and communal organisations of the Sangh in their own coin. For this they have sanctified 108 lathis during a yagna in Ayodhya and have announced that communalists like Ashok Singhal and Parveen Togadia etc. would not be allowed to enter Ayodhya, and if they dared to do so they would be beaten with these specially consecrated lathis. 

The mastermind behind this decision is Baba Dharam Das, the head priest of Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya. An organisation called Vishwa Dharam Raksha Parishad(world council to protect religion) has been constituted for the occasion. This organisation is meant to give a befitting reply to Vishwa Hindu Parishad. 

Baba Dharam Das is the founder trustee of Ram Janambhoomi Trust now spearheading the movement to construct a Ram temple at the Babri Masjid site. The trust was later hijacked by Paramhans Ramchandra Das and other leaders belonging to the VHP. 

Non-sadhus from other religious places like Hardwar, Varanasi or Prayag attended the conclave at Hanuman Mandir situated in Beniganj locality of Faizabad. They came down heavily on Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party, saying these organisations had destroyed the age-old tradition of secularism of India. 

Swami Hans Das of Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti Hardwar said that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had not only demolished the mosque but they also demolished dozens of temples. Terming the Vishwa Hindu Parishad as a power-broker Baba Dharam Das alleged that it was playing the politics of hate and violence for obtaining political power and not for making the temple. It had not only played havoc with life and property of Muslims but had done great damage to the Hindus also. It befooled the Hindu community by raking up the temple issue and then started dancing to the tune of the central government to get close to power, he alleged. 

Brahm Swaroop Brahmchari of Jai Ram Ashram of Hardwar said that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had exploited the religious sentiments of Hindus just to bring BJP to power. “Vishwa Hindu Parishad is exploiting us but it cannot deceive us and take us for granted,” he asserted. Prominent among those who attended the conclave included Jagadguru Ramchandraacharya Hariacharya of Ayodhya and Dr Satyendra Kumar Das, head priest of the makeshift Ram Janambhoomi temple. 

Former Miss India and film actress Nafisa Ali, Dr MA Haleem and other prominent Muslim social workers also attended the conclave. Dr Haleem announced to start a harmony journey from Ayodhya to Ajmer to spread the message of peace and love. 

Earlier in Lucknow, an all-religion harmony meeting was organised by Muslim Samaj, which was attended by many religious leaders, including Baba Gyan Das of Ayodhya who bitterly criticised the Sangh for dividing the nation on communal lines for petty political considerations. 

The Hindu and Muslim leaders decided to work for peaceful settlement of the Ayodhya dispute and Baba Dharam Das offered 10 acres of land in Ayodhya for construction of a mosque if Muslims hand over the disputed site for the construction of a Ram temple. He said that he too stood for the construction of a temple at the disputed site, but with the consent of Muslims and not by coercion. 

Such attempts seem to be an exercise in futility as far as the Ayodhya dispute is concerned as the newly floated organisation too is adamant on building the temple at the same Babri Masjid site but with the consent of Muslims. 

Few Muslims will agree to hand over Babri Masjid site. At present majority of Hindus also could not be expected to accept an alternative site for Ram Temple, but a middle path has to be worked out. However, it will need an atmosphere of communal amity which the newly floated forum is trying to build. One thing is certain, that a majority of Hindus disapprove the hate policy of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and are openly coming out against them.

¯ Obaid Nasir in Lucknow

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