The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Friday, criticised the Supreme Court for delaying the daily hearing on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute cases. It said Hindus were feeling “insulted” that the case wasn’t a priority for the court, and didn’t rule out a repeat of the 1992 Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
The RSS on Friday concluded the three-day conclave of its national executive on the outskirts of Mumbai, where nearly 400 of its top leaders from across the country participated. BJP chief Amit Shah also attended.
RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi said the organisation “will not hesitate to launch an agitation for Ram temple if needed, but since the matter is in the Supreme Court, there are restrictions”.
On October 29, the Supreme Court fixed the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for the first week of January next year before an appropriate Bench, which will decide the schedule of hearing.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said people have understood that the BJP is using the Ram temple issue for 2019 elections, but after the elections, they will forget the Ram temple. BJP Rajya Sabha member and RSS leader Rakesh Sinha on Thursday expressed his intent to move a private members’ Bill on the issue in the winter session of Parliament.
Joshi said RSS was “not putting pressure” on the government as “we respect the law and the Constitution which is why there has been a delay”. He said the Ram temple issue was discussed in the BJP president’s meeting with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat earlier in the day.
The RSS criticism of the Supreme Court comes after Shah had criticised it over the judgement on allowing entry of all women in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. “We respect the Supreme Court and urge it to take into consideration the sentiments of Hindus,” Joshi said.
“The wait for the (Supreme) court’s verdict has been too long. Since the matter was listed on October 29, we felt Hindus would get good news before Diwali. But the Supreme Court deferred the hearing,” Joshi said.
In the SC on Monday, when Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government and deity Ramlala respectively, sought early listing of the appeals in the case, the Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: "We have our own priorities. Whether the matter will be heard in January, February or March, the appropriate Bench will decide."
“It is a matter of pain and anguish that an issue which Hindus consider their faith and sentiment is not in the priority list of the court... Hindus are feeling insulted.” The RSS expected the court to decide on the issue, “taking into consideration the sentiments of the Hindu community,” Joshi said.
The RSS leader also said a legal sanction was required to pave way for construction of the temple.
Asked about the demand of various Sangh Parivar outfits for an ordinance, Joshi said it was the right of those asking for it. “The government should consider this option if all other options run out... it is up to the government,” he said.
“Unless the Supreme Court takes a decision on the title suit, it is difficult for the government to take any decision,” the RSS leader added.
To a question about Congress president Rahul Gandhi questioning the Hindutva of the RSS, Joshi said he should not be taken seriously. On the SC seeking Rafale deal papers, the RSS leader said it is up to the government to take a call.
Speaking on the Sabarimala controversy, Joshi said the RSS supports the demand for restriction on women’s entry into the temple. He said some temples have certain restrictions. “One has to consider traditions of the temple as people’s faith is supreme,” he said.
“Society doesn’t function always on laws but also on beliefs and faith. There should have been discussions with all stakeholders before the Sabarimala verdict,” Joshi said.
The RSS leader also detailed the Sangh’s activities. He said RSS work had grown one and a half times in the past six years. The RSS had “shakhas”, or branches, in 35,500 villages. He said Sangh currently has 55,825 shakhas, with 2,200 added in the last one year. It had increased its cadre strength by 100,000.