The RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat has said that the verdict of the Supreme Court in the landmark Ayodhya case highlights “truth and justice and should not be seen as anybody’s victory or defeat.” He also urged that everybody should now forget the dispute that spanned decades and collectively work towards the building of the Ram temple. When asked whether the Hindutva organisation would now take up Mathura and Varanasi, he said that the work of the RSS was character building and not political agitation. Several right wing organisations have come together in the past to reach out to other prominent Hindu sites of worship such as Mathura and Varanasi where they have objected to the existence of mosques along with temples.
The abolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 shook the nation with a storm of communal tension and apprehensions about the possible damage to the secular fabric of the nation became rampant. What is interesting to observe then, is the fact that even after the historic demolition of the Babri Masjid by a group of right-wing groups, the participants did not seem to be comforted by the mere achievement. Instead, the asserted that it was now equally important for them to conquer newer destinations such as Varanasi and Mathura. However, in his most recent statement Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh Chief Mohan Bhagwat said that they would not be involved in any kind of call for the construction of temples in place of mosques at Varanasi or Mathura.
He also said that the job of the Sangh was not to be involved in agitations but to emphasise on character building.
He issued the statement shortly after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in the politically sensitive legal wrangle that had been prevailing in the courts for many decades. The right-wing groups that had been involved in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 had warned that the Ayodhya demolition was only a beginning and that they would now proceed on to Mathura and Kashi to build temples in place of mosques. The slogan that they energetically cried out was ‘Yeh Sirf Jhanki Hai, Kashi, Mathura Baki Hai’(This is just the trailer, Kashi and Mathura are still to come).
It will remain interesting to witness how things proceed in the nation after the Supreme Court’s landmark Ayodhya judgement. Sensitive places in Varanasi such as the Vishwanath temple which share a boundary with the Gyanvapi mosque or the Shahi Idgah in Mathura wick is located close to the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple complex will be critical sites in the coming months.
The top court has also asked the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government to find a “prominent” five-acre plot in Ayodhya for a mosque. While the order of the Supreme Court is “enforceable” throughout the nation, it cannot become a precedent for other sites like Varanasi or Mathura. The court also announced that the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 was illegal and condemnable. It has also said that it is necessary to provide restitution to the Muslim community for the unlawful destruction of their place of worship.