great dilemma

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 Nov 2018 14:21:02

THERE is no doubt whatsoever that the issue of Shri Ram Temple at Ayodhya has pushed the country into a great dilemma the like of which it has not seen in a very long time. The massive response to the Hunkaar or Dharam Sabhas at many places around the country highlights still further the complicated nature of the issue.

The rallies expressed a clear dissatisfaction about the stand taken by the honourable Supreme Court that Shri Ram Temple was not its priority, terming it as an insult to the Hindu sentiment. Speakers at the rallies insisted, there was no dispute about the archaeological evidence that there was a Ram Temple at the very spot where Babri structure once stood, and that the Supreme Court had to decide the title suit about the land, which it should no longer delay.

Another demand that came up at the Hunkaar Sabhas was about declaration of a date for beginning of the construction of Shri Ram Temple at the specific site. But what made things rather unpleasant was the stand of the pro-Temple section that it would appeal to voters not to vote for any party that did not support their demand. This strident electoral touch is actually uncalled for. For, it may evoke an equally strident response from other sections and the complications of the issue would only multiply. And if that happens, the solution to the issue would only go farther away than coming closer. 

The need of the hour, therefore, is to negotiate the path with smartness, patience and accommodation beyond political engagement or electoral design. There is no doubt that the demand for construction of Shri Ram Temple at Ayodhya was alive and being pushed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for all these years in some measure. When Mr. Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister on a solid numerical majority, a strong hope went up in popular mind that the cause of Shri Ram Temple would be handled with a sense of urgency.

And because that has not happened, there is a wave of frustration in some sections of the society. If the Hunkaar Sabhas were a symbol of a strong demand, they also acted as an indication of a sense of frustration of the majority of the Hindu community. A proper solution to the issue, however, would never emerge with such mindsets dominating the discourse.

The very timing of the current demand has raised many eye-brows. Even though the leaders of the Temple movement are insisting that they do not have a political agenda, their assertion that they will appeal people not to vote for a party that does not support the demand gives rise to suspicion about their political intentions. At this stage, when the next general elections are barely six months away, this is absolutely unnecessary.

Such a pushing will embarrass the Modi Government (which the leaders of the Temple movement have supported so far), and also make things difficult for voters for whom Shri Ram Temple is not an uncompromisable need. Another issue is the stridency of the speeches made at Hunkaar Sabhas. Even though patience is running out, there is a need to avoid uncalled for stridency when many non-Hindus, including a few Muslim sections, are willing to support the Temple demand. It is time their support was won over in a patient and apolitical manner.

It is not impossible to imagine the discomfiture of the executive and the judiciary in regard to Shri Ram Temple. But if the honourable Supreme Court could take a stand in the Sabarimala Temple case, then it can certainly quicken the pace of its operations and decide the Ayodhya title dispute that will pave the way for further action about Shri Ram Temple. Let alone what the Temple movement leaders might think, we also feel that the honourable Supreme Court should take up the matter as a matter of national urgency without talking about its priority.