Since 1990, for the first time in three decades, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has stopped stone carving work for the construction of a Ram Temple in anticipation of the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case.
According to a report in News 18, the VHP has asked all the artisans involved in the stone-carving work to stop for the time being. VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma has stated that all the proposed programmes regarding different activities of the VHP have been cancelled keeping in view the upcoming Ayodhya verdict.
He said the decision to stop the carving has been taken by the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, a Hindu cultural organization that has been at the forefront of the movement demanding the construction of a ‘grand temple’ dedicated to Lord Ram at the Ram Janmabhoomi site.
“The Nyas has decided to stop all work at the workshop. It has decided to wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict. Thereafter, it will take a decision on resuming the work. The Ram Janambhoomi Nyas will now be decided when carving work will re-start,” Sharma said.
The stone carving work near the Ram Janmabhoomi site has been continuing non-stop since 1990. Most of the artisans and workers are from Gujarat and now they have been asked to return home till further decision.
The Supreme Court is expected to announce its verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid demolition case before November 17, the day of retirement of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi who heads the five-judge bench that heard arguments in the case.
The carving of stones for the construction of a Ram Temple was started by the VHP at the Ram Mandir Nirmaan Karyashala at Ayodhya in 1990 when Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. The carving work by artisans had been carried out uninterrupted since then.
The carving had reportedly continued even when VHP and RSS were banned for 6 months after Babri demolition in 1992.
The Nyas workshop at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya has reportedly been attracting a large number of visitors as the verdict day comes nearer.
According to the VHP, nearly 1.25 lakh cubic feet of stone has already been carved. As per the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, the entire temple will be made of red stone and will have no ironwork.
Ahead of the judgement on the Ram mandir, the VHP has appealed to its cadres to remain calm and refrain from provocative remarks. In a letter to its workers, VHP central vice-president Champat Rai said, “The verdict should not be a matter of Hindus and Muslims. It is about accepting the truth. So, do not create a celebratory frenzy in society and nobody should be taunted.”
The Uttar Pradesh administration has been on high-alert and forces have been deployed for ensuring public safety during the days after the verdict. Cyber cells have been activated to prevent the sharing of communally sensitive messages on social media over the issue.
PM Modi too had instructed his ministers earlier to refrain from unnecessary commentary over the issue. The MHA has also sent a general advisory to all states and UTs to stay alert.