In what could be a surprising move for many, a Muslim group called Muslim Karsevak Sangh (MKS) is extending its support for the constriction of Ram Temple at the centuries-old disputed site at Ayodhya.
MKS has been constituted under the patronage of Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organisation. MRM preaches the Sangh’s ideology among the Muslims.
MKS, a one year old organisation, has been formed to mobilise Muslims in favour of the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Azam Khan (not the Samajwadi Party leader you think) is the national president of the organisation.
“Don’t confuse me with another Azam Khan who talks about breaking up the country into pieces. I am here for uniting the country,” said the MKS president.
Khan believes that the disputed structure at Ayodhya was once the site of Ram Temple. “The government can pass a resolution for the construction of the temple. It is a good thing that the Supreme Court has decided to step aside in this matter. Supreme Court cannot decide the fate of a God like Ram”, he said.
On 20 April, Azam Khan along with his group of “kar sevaks” reached at the disputed site in Ayodhya to have a darshan of Ram Lala. They brought a truck load of bricks for the constriction of Ram Temple. They were stopped by the security forces at the entry point of the disputed site.
UP: Muslim Karsewak Manch members arrive in Ayodhya with a truck full of bricks as part of their campaign to build Ram Temple pic.twitter.com/jgjxK4DrT6
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 21, 2017
Emphasising that Lord Ram was from the community of warriors, Khan said, “I am a Pathan. Our ancestors were Kshatriyas. Lord Ram was also a Kshatriya.”
Vociferously backing for the construction of Ram Temple, the MKS president said, “The Muslims must support the demand for construction of grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya to eradicate the feeling of hatred and spread the message of love, harmony and unity.”
“Ram Temple is crucial for a healthy nation building. Construction of Ram Temple is essential for the development of the nation,” Azam Khan said.
The organisation has put up huge billboards in Faizabad and Lucknow backing the construction of Ram Temple.
“Desh ke Musalmaanon ka yahi hai maan, Shri Ram Mandir ka ho wahin Nirman (Muslims of India want Ram Temple be built there),” reads one of the hoardings.
Azam Khan-led organisation has also conducted a signature campaign among Muslims for the construction of Ram Temple.
Muslim Karsevak Sangh is not the only organisation trying to mobilise Muslims for the construction of Ram Temple. Muslim Mahila Foundation (MMF), an organisation of Muslim women, is also trying to create a similar environment on the Ram Temple issue. MMF president Nazneen Ansari, who is credited for translating Hindu texts such as Hanuman Chalisa and Ramcharitmanas into Urdu, said, “There can be no two opinions on the fact that Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram. Hence a Ram Temple should be built in Ayodhya without any further confusion and controversy.”
On the Ram Temple-Babri dispute, Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) advocated an out-of-court settlement.
“Various Muslim organisations are confusing the Muslims. They are trying to make them brush aside the historical facts. MRM will try bring both the parties under one roof,” said Girish Juyal, Convener of MRM.
The Supreme Court, on 21 March, said that the parties involved in Ayodhya tangle must find a solution to the dispute, sort out the issues amicably as it involves sentiments and religion.
A Supreme Court Bench comprising of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said while hearing a petition filed by senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, “These are issues of religion and sentiments. These are issues where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute”. Chief Justice JS Khehar further said that if the disputing parties agree, he could assign a judge or he himself could mediate.
Following the Supreme Court’s observation on Ayodhya issue, a meeting was organised in Lucknow on 23 March under the banner of Muslim Karsevak Sangh to garner the support of Muslims for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
In a related development, the Supreme Court, on 19 April, restored conspiracy charges against veteran BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Union Minister Uma Bharti and Rajastan Governor Kalyan Singh in the Babri demolition case. On 6 December, 1992, the disputed structure in Ayodhya was pulled down by kar sevaks.
Undoubtedly the Ram mandir-Babri masjid issue is the longest pending case in Indian judiciary. The dispute dates back to the Colonial British era of early 1900s. In independent India, a law suit on the dispute was first filed in 1951.
Historically, the razing of the Ram temple — built in the honour of Lord Ram on Ramkot hill, which happens to be the Janmasthan (birthplace) of the revered Hindu deity — dates back to 1528. Mir Baqi, a general in the army of invader Babar demolished the temple on his order and erected a “mosque” on its ruins. The “mosque” came to be known as “Babri Masjid”. The so-called mosque was originally called Masjid-e-Janmasthan, thus establishing the fact that it was built over the birth place of Lord Ram.
Political writer, policy observer.