Virtually advocating a political solution to the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, Ashok Chowgule, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Working President (External), has said “it is now necessary for politics to enter the sphere.”

Restating the VHP’s stand that the Ram Janmabhoomi was forcibly taken away from Hindus and that justice could be done only when it was restored, he said in a communication: “Unless one separates the history and politics of the issue, obfuscation will persist. The historical question is whether a temple in honour of Shri Ram was deliberately destroyed to make way for the Babri structure. If the answer to this question is a no, then the question of whether a temple should be built at the place simply does not arise.”

To deal with the historical question, in December 1990, the Chandra Shekar government organised meetings between the VHP and the All India Babri Masijd Action Committee (AIBMAC). Both sides were to furnish evidence by December 22 and based on these, each side was to submit rejoinders by January 6, 1991. The meetings remained inconclusive, after the committee experts failed to turn up.

Mr. Chowgule said the Ram Janmabhoomi site should have been transferred to Hindus. The AIBMAC had said that if proof of the destruction of a temple was produced, it would have no objection to such a transfer. When the proof was given, it refused to honour its word, and neither the government nor the media insisted it did so.

The solution would have been on the lines of the Somnath temple.

Mr. Chowgule said that in A.D. 1528, Babur destroyed a temple in memory of Lord Ram to build the Babri structure. The purpose was not religious but political. The question now was whether Hindus were right in forcibly reclaiming the site. Hindus made efforts to negotiate its peaceful return, but they were frustrated. The P.V. Narasimha Rao government sought the Supreme Court’s intervention. The government undertook in an affidavit that if this question was answered in the affirmative, it would act in a manner that would respect Hindu sentiment. The Supreme Court then asked the Allahabad High Court to take up the matter. The High Court accepted the primary point that Hindus had made, but “confused the issue” by stating that the land be divided into three parts — two to the two primary Hindu litigants and one to the Muslim side.

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