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Paramhans's successor leaves the temple to Ram

Sharat Pradhan in Ayodhya | August 02, 2003 15:50 IST

Mahant Nrityagopal Das, who was on Friday appointed chief of the Ramjanmbhoomi  Nyas, favours a negotiated settlement of the Ayodhya mandir-masjid tangle.

Speaking to shortly after assuming the new responsibility, the Mahant said: "I believe the Ram temple issue can be resolved only through negotiations, which would eventually lead to a national consensus."

His predecessor, Ramchandradas Paramahans, who passed away on Thursday too was a votary of negotiated settlement.

But, Mahant Nrityagopal Das, 65, is seen as a sharp contrast to his 92-year-old predecessor.

Those who have seen him handling the affairs of the 'Mani Ram ki Chavni', a leading Ayodhya monastery, for the past four decades rate him as an embodiment of sobriety.

"I would like to involve all sections of society, more particularly Muslims, in the negotiations and I am sure they have not shut the doors for talks," he said.

Unlike his predecessor, Mahant Nrityagopal Das is also willing to compromise on Mathura and Kashi.

"If Muslims display compassion and come forward to assist us to start the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, I would be willing to negotiate with them on the question of Kashi and Mathura in a very congenial atmosphere," he said.

"I  have deep regard for the judiciary, but when 52 years of court battle has failed to throw up any solution, how can I believe that the next half a century will bring a judicial answer to the tangle," he said.

He also does not think much of the promises made by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy Lal Kishenchand Advani at the funeral of Paramhans on Friday.

"Frankly, I have no expectations from the prime minister or the deputy prime minister because they have their own constraints...they are in no position to bring in a legislation. I surely have a lot of expectations and hopes from the God...he will eventually shower his blessings to ensure the construction of the temple," he said.

The Mahant, however, ruled out any violent agitation for achieving the Ram temple goal. "That would violate Lord Rama's maryada code," he said.

Born in Mathura, the Mahant came to Ayodhya in 1953. He was only 15 then.

He was sent to the Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Varanasi for higher education by his guru. "I was back in Ayodhya after three years. When I  was 25, a tragedy befell our 'chavni' with the death of our guru, who had nominated me as his successor.  I assumed my responsibility and have been carrying out my duties for the past 40 years," he said.
pointed out.

Like Paramhans, his successor too has been associated with the Ram temple movement all along. He believes that his faith in Ram will ultimately see him fulfilling the mission of building the Ram temple.

"I have a sublime faith in Ram and I am sure he will ensure that a grand temple will see the light of the day at own birthplace," the Mahant said.


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