Home > News > PTI
Sadhus to 'gherao' Parliament on Monday
February 23, 2003 21:23 IST
A day after announcing an agitation in support of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, the VHP backed dharam sansad (religious meet) asserted it was not in the politics of making the BJP win elections even as some sadhus were seen carrying the Holy Quran in one hand and a trident in the other.
Stung by media reports that it had climbed down under pressure from the RSS and the government, VHP leaders on Sunday lashed out at the BJP and did not spare even Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for 'enjoying the fruits of the sacrifices made by thousands of Ram bhakts (devotees)'.
Announcing a plan to gherao Parliament on Monday, which they termed as the beginning of the 'last battle' or 'Mahabharat' for the establishment of a Hindu rashtra, VHP secretary general Pravin Togadia on the second and concluding day of the meeting in Delhi ruled out any negotiations on the Ram temple issue saying it would be akin to compromising on Sita's abduction or the disrobing of Draupadi.
While pronouncing that 'neither words, nor tears, bullets or armies can stop us', Togadia asked the sadhus not to violate law and order, including raising hands against security personnel, and strictly abide by instructions of the police.
Urging political parties, including the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the BSP, not to allow Ayodhya to become a poll issue, he said Monday's agitation was aimed at addressing parties to build a consensus on handing over the 'undisputed' land to Hindu society through an executive order and passing a central legislation declaring the entire complex, including the makeshift temple, as Ram Janambhoomi.
"Muslims too should come forward. If the movement spreads to all the villages, then people will lay claim to all mosques built after demolishing temples," Togadia said.
Reminding the Congress that it was one of its ministers in UP, Dau Dayal Khanna, who took up the cause of Ram Janambhoomi, which was carried forward by the VHP, Togadia said, "We do not want to do the politics of making the BJP win or the Congress lose. We just want to build the temple."
He appealed to the Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP and all other parties to come together to build a grand temple at Ayodhya.
"There is no patent for the BJP to swim in river Saryu (in Ayodhya). Whoever supports the temple cause would win by two-thirds majority," he said adding the VHP's mass awareness programme from March five to 24 would be the 'last chance' for both Muslims and political parties to make their future.
"Otherwise, they would be permanent losers," he said.
Togadia expressed confidence that the issue would be sorted out before its March 27 agitation in Delhi.
Former RSS chief Rajendra Singh alias Rajju Bhaiya and its joint general secretary Madan Das Devi were also present at the meeting briefly in the morning.
Interestingly, a translated version of the Holy Quran was distributed on the concluding day of the dharam sansad.
VHP mandarins worked overnight on the book - The Meaning of the Glorious Quran - An explanatory translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickhall.
The book contains paragraphs which were marked with a pen to highlight the portions in the text, which the VHP considers as 'preaching hatred against other communities'.
Both RSS and VHP leaders have been urging Muslims to delete portions from their scripture which 'preach hatred
Asked why the entire book was distributed, a VHP functionary said, "When we used to distribute selected portions, we were accused of misinterpretation and misquoting. So we decided to distribute the entire scripture while highlighting the objectionable portions."
Some sadhus were seen carrying the Holy Quran in one hand and the holy trident on the other.