The Supreme Court yesterday adjourned the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute hearing to January 2019. All hopes were pinned on the present hearing as the bench was supposed to hear a batch of pleas challenging the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 verdict on the Ayodhya Janambhoomi dispute. With the Supreme Court having adjourned the matter to January, political clamour for an ordinance in order to build the Ram temple at the disputed site is now growing. The delay in the present hearing has come as a disappointment and demands for an ordinance are now being made from different quarters.
In the recent past, BJP leaders have dropped strong hints as far as the Ayodhya Ram Janambhoomi dispute is concerned. BJP leader Uma Bharti has called for building the temple as soon as possible. Even Uttar Pradesh chief minister had hinted that construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya would begin soon. There are obviously two alternatives to this. Either the government waits for a Supreme Court verdict on the issue or in the alternative brings about an ordinance to build the temple. BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Subramanian Swamy had suggested the ordinance route in March itself. He had told that his government can enact an ordinance ‘of ownership,’ of a 2.77-acre plot of land in Ayodhya, i.e., the disputed tract of land. He also said that the government can “thus pass a law to hand over the land to an eminent body of religious leaders, especially those versed in Agama Sastra, with a direction to build (a) Ram temple.”
RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat had also pressed strongly for the enactment of a law to build the Ram Temple at Ayodhya, during his Dussehra speech. He also said, “People are questioning why the temple is not being built despite their chosen government in power.” He also opined that the Ram Temple should have been built by now, but the political parties were doing politics over it. Bhagwat thus strongly pressed the demand for an ordinance to finally build the Ram temple at Ayodhya.
Now, since the hearing of the Ram Janambhoomi dispute has been adjourned to January 2019, several others have joined the chorus for the government to bring an ordinance that would pave the way for the construction of Ram Mandir at the disputed site. BJP leader Sanjeev Baliyan said, “I am surprised at the priorities of the court. I am of the view that the Ram Temple should be constructed. The government should explore all possibilities.” Alok Kumar, working president VHP, was vocal in his demand for an ordinance. He is of a view that Hindus cannot wait eternally for the court’s judgment on the Ayodhya land dispute case and asked the government to bring a law for building a Ram temple. Union minister Giriraj Singh said, “The Congress has decided to make it a Hindu-Muslim issue. Shri Ram is the cornerstone of faith of the Hindus. Hindus are running out of patience. I fear what will happen if Hindus lose out of patience.” Even though he did not directly voice the demand for an ordinance, he did indicate a feeling of disappointment and the growing opinion that Ram temple should be constructed at the disputed site at the earliest.
The Ayodhya dispute is a long standing dispute. It first came up before a Court in 1885 when the Faizabad district court rejected the plea of a Hindu priest to build a canopy on the Ramchabutra (a raised platform) outside the mosque. For 133 years, this dispute has not seen a final resolution. Now, it is up to the government to bring an ordinance and settle the issue for once and for all. It seems that the ordinance route is the only quick and expeditious option available as of now to fulfill the long standing demand of Ram temple in Ayodhya. Interestingly, even the Shia Waqf Board chairman, Waseem Rizwi has stated that he had sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to request him to take the ordinance route for the construction of Ram temple. This shows a growing clamour and demand for the construction of Ram Mandir through the ordinance route. It is now up to the Modi government to fulfill this demand.