Paramhans Das Maharaj, the mahant of Tapaswiji ki Chhawani in Ayodhya, has said that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat should head the trust to be set up for the construction of Ram Mandir.
“The RSS chief should be made the ex-offico head of the trust so that he automatically takes that post. Sangh Parivar should be given the responsibility of Ram temple’s construction,” the mahant told reporters at Sita Samahit Sthal in Bhadohi on Monday.
In a historic judgement on November 9, the Supreme Court of India had handed over the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya to Hindu parties, allowing the construction of a Ram Mandir at the place believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. In its order, the apex court had ordered the central government to form a trust to construct and maintain the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
Paramhansji Maharaj has been a vocal critic of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Nritya Gopal Das and its member Ram Vilas Vedanti, alleging that both have a very narrow mindset. “Be it the issue of rashtra nirman or temple construction, what the RSS has done from village level to the cities, no one else can do,” he said. He also added that the prime minister, the home minister and the defence minister, all have their origins in the Sangh.
“When the Supreme Court asked for setting up a trust for temple construction, mahant of Ram Mandir Nyas, Nritya Gopal Das said that his Nyas would construct it and this showed his lure for the post. Similarly, Ram Vilas Vedanti opposed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath saying that ‘Nath Sampraday’ cannot construct the temple,” he said criticising the Nyas office bearers.
Ever since the Supreme Court order, a cold war has been brewing among prominent Hindu seers over leading the trust to be set up as per court direction.
An audio clip had emerged a few days ago containing alleged conversation between Ram Vilas Vedanti and Paramhans Das, where Vedanti was heard urging Paramhans Das to propose his name for the chairman of the trust. He was also heard opposing Yogi Adityanath’s name for post because he belonged to a different sect of saints, saying that a person from Gorakhnath sect can’t become chairman of a temple of Ramanandi sect. In the audio clip, both Vedanti and Paramhans Das were heard making objectionable comments about Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.
On the other hand, Nritya Gopal Das has said that there no need for a separate trust for the Ram Mandir as the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas already exists. “The trust (Ram Janambhoomi Nyas) already exists. We can give a shape to it and new members can be added as per need,” he had said after the Supreme Court order. Adityanath is the head priest of the Gorakhnath Temple of the Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur and belongs to the Nath sect of the saints. The Nyas is an organisation run up by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Several other Hindu saints have opposed the views of Das, saying the Supreme Court order clearly talks about setting up a new trust. Chief of Digambar Akhara Mahant Suresh Das said that it is the responsibility of the central government to set up the trust and not of the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas. But Nyas representatives should be included in the trust. Nirmohi Akhara chief Mahant Dinendra Das said the trust must be formed as per the directions of the court but expressed reservations over Akhara members joining it. “Nirmohi Akhara is also a trust so the members will decide on whether or not to join the government trust,” he said.
VHP’s Triloki Nath Pandey, who represented the deity in the court, said, that the trust must be formed by the government and must have the members from the government. He also demanded that Mahant Nritya Gopal Das should be appointed as the president of the trust. Pandey also said that the temple should be built according to the model prepared by VHP and the stones prepared by the organisation should be used in its construction.