|A travesty of justice
It is apparent that when the RSS, the BJPs mentor, decided to move the temple issue further, the Government had to find a way, legal or illegal, to accommodate it. Whether it was the VHP that was more intransigent, or some others, is only a matter of detail. The fact is that the Sangh Parivar feels that, after winning in Gujarat in the wake of the ethnic cleansing there, this is the most opportune time to push the Hindutva agenda. It is unfortunate that the Centre should have requested the Supreme Court to vacate the order banning any kind of religious activity on the 67 acres acquired around the site where the Babri Masjid stood.
What the BJP-led Government in New Delhi forgets is that there is a law prohibiting it from allowing any activity on the land acquired after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. Whether the activity will be confined to one and half acres or spread over the entire land is not relevant. The Acquisition of Certain Areas in Ayodhya Act, 1993, specifically says that any part of the acquired land can neither be transferred nor changed in status. Section 7 (2) has mandated the maintenance of the status quo. Also, the Act has said that the property would be managed by the Central Government or the authorised person. How can the Vajpayee Government now transfer any part of the land to the VHP-controlled Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas or any other entity? It will be a travesty of justice. It will also be a violation of the consensus reached with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents who were assured before they offered support to the BJP that the temple issue would be kept aside.
It is apparent that neither the law nor the consensus has any sanctity for the BJP. Some of the alliance members have told the Vajpayee Government that disturbance of the status quo will not help anyone. Still the Government has gone ahead. Logically, the constituents should have withdrawn their support. But when power is the end, means do not matter. As usual, the NDA convener, the Defence Minister, George Fernandes, once a socialist and secular, is working behind the scenes to keep the NDA flock together. I have no doubt that some parties will resign from the NDA if the status quo is disturbed. It is not difficult to guess why the VHP is keen on getting the acquired land. It is undisputed. It belongs to Hindu owners who can always be pressured in the name of religion or otherwise to hand it over to the VHP. Once the land is in its possession, the VHP will lose no time in building the temple - the walls, the pillars and the doors of which have been carved elsewhere and kept ready. Even if the disputed site is not touched, the temple without the sanctum sanctorum will be ready. It will surround the disputed site. How will any government stop the VHP from extending the temple to the disputed site?
A similar situation arose before the demolition of the Babri Masjid when lakhs of kar sevaks were allowed to assemble at Ayodhya despite the Supreme Courts order not to disturb the status quo. Kalyan Singh of the BJP was the Chief Minister at that time. Now the Chief Minister, Mayawatis support is assured because the BJP gives her a majority in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. When the Centre under a Congress Government could not do anything to stop the demolition, how will it now check the VHP when both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister are willing parties?
The BJP has never hidden its agenda. It is for the people to see through it.
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