A judicial verdict on the consolidated title suit of the 61-year old Ayodhya dispute may be some days away, but the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has said that the disputed land must be “handed over to Hindus” to enable the building of a grand Ram temple there.

Ashok Singhal, former secretary-general and now international president of the VHP, has said a peaceful resolution of the dispute was possible only through legislation. Parliament must enact legislation to enable the “peaceful” handing over to “Hindus” of the disputed land in and around the demolished Babri Masjid where a makeshift Ram Lala temple now stands.

The hearing in four Ayodhya-Babri title suits that were consolidated was completed last month before a three-judge Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Lucknow. With one of the three judges due to retire by October 1, the verdict is expected anytime in September.

Seeking support

The VHP has begun writing letters to all MPs asking them to support its cause. The letter says that MPs must take up the Ram temple cause, support legislation by Parliament to hand over the site to Hindus and “prevent the insult” that may be heaped on Hindus. The letter also cites a resolution adopted by ‘sants' at the Haridwar Kumbh Mela in January-February last asking for a “law” by Parliament to facilitate the handover.

At a press conference here on Friday Mr. Singhal cited the resolution and added that the ‘sants,' as also the VHP, continued to demand not only the disputed Ayodhya site but also the “return” of Krishna Janmabhoomi at Mathura and the site of the mosque that adjoins the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. He clarified this point when asked whether the VHP was prepared to give up its earlier demand on Mathura and Varanasi if the Ayodhya dispute were to be resolved to its satisfaction. The answer was, “no it was not.”

The VHP has enlisted the help of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and all its affiliates, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, for a programme under which Hanuman chalisas — holy verses in praise of Lord Hanuman — are to be chanted at “five lakh temples” across the country, Jeeveshwar Mishra, convener of the Hanuman Shakti Jagram Samiti told reporters. RSS general secretary Suresh Joshi and other senior leaders like Indresh and Champat Rai would be involved in the programme, he said.

On August 16 the RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat had launched the Hanuman chalisa programme at Nagpur, saying “a judicial verdict is expected but the Ram temple issue is beyond the jurisdiction of man-made courts … a grand temple ought to be built, but it seems we will have to launch a struggle for it.”

“BJP made a mistake”

Although BJP workers have been asked to get involved in the programme, the party's role is not being looked at with kindness by Mr. Singhal. “The BJP had made a mistake by jumping on the Ayodhya bandwagon for political gains earlier. This is not a subject for politics. The BJP should atone (‘prayschit kare') for this sin,” he said.