Sunday, June 16, 2024

“BJP can’t claim credit for Ram temple, Rajiv Gandhi’s role should not be forgotten,” says Kamal Nath

In an interview ahead of state polls, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath has said that the BJP can’t claim credit for the Ram temple which is being built in Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, and that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s role should not be forgotten.

“Rajiv Gandhi got the locks (of the temporary Ram temple at the Babri Masjid site) opened. Let us not forget history,” he said in an interview with Indian Express.

In 1986, the Rajiv Gandhi government had allowed the opening of the locks of the Babri Masjid, helping Hindu nationalist who were running an anti-Muslim campaign across India against the historic mosque. Three years later, as BJP stepped up its Ram temple campaign, the Rajiv government had permitted shilanyas at the Babri site.

He went on to say: “The Ram temple (in Ayodhya) does not belong to any one party or person, but to the country and to every citizen. The BJP wants to usurp the Ram temple as its property… They were in government, they built it. They haven’t built it with their own money. It’s the government’s money.”

The de facto Chief Ministerial candidate for Congress, who is also a nine-time Member of Parliament, has already adopted a Hindutva stance on the demolition of the Babri Masjid and construction of Ram temple at Masjid site.

In 2020, a day before the bhoomi pujan for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Kamal Nath had organsised a Hanuman Chalisa at his home, and announced that he would send 11 silver bricks for the structure.

The temple is being built in place of a Mughal-era mosque, which was demolished by a Hindutva mob in 1992, triggering nationwide anti-Muslim violence in which more than 2,000 Muslims were killed.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rose to national prominence on the back of the temple movement launched in the 1980s.

Hindutva groups had claimed that the 16th-century Babri Masjid, named after Mughal emperor Babur (1483-1530), was built at the place where Ram was born in Ayodhya.

In 2019 November, the Supreme Court awarded the mosque site to Hindu petitioners, handing the BJP a victory to drive home its Hindu nationalist agenda.

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