“It is to be noted that Swamy had, in August this year, urged PM Narendra Modi to initiate steps to rebuild the Ram temple in Ayodhya by 2016 and ‘fulfill the party’s commitment to the electorate.'” – Harish V. Nair
The political, socio-religious and legal controversies surrounding the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid may be lingering on for 23 years after the demolition of the mosque by Hindutva forces.
But even as petitions filed by Hindu and Muslim organisations—which challenged the Allahabad High Court’s verdict of dividing the disputed site into three parts—are pending, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to provide basic facilities to pilgrims thronging the makeshift sanctum sanctorum of an idol of Ram Lalla installed at the disputed spot in 1992.
“Why some facilities cannot be given? Is there any problem? Just do something if possible till some final order is passed,” a bench of Justices Anil R. Dave and Kurian Joseph told the Uttar Pradesh government on a petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
Quoting a reply he has received after filing a Right To Information (RTI) application, Swamy said the Uttar Pradesh government quietly earned a whopping Rs 300 crore from pilgrims in the last 23 years.
Swamy wanted the court to issue a directive to the state government to explain what they had done with the money so far.
“Every day thousands of devotees visit the place for darshan and pooja of the Ram Lalla, but the government has not provided basic minimum facilities like drinking water or toilets to them…. The RTI reply says the government has so far earned approximate Rs 300 crore from entry tickets. Where has this money gone? What has been done with it?” asked Swamy.
Swamy wanted the apex court to issue a directive to the state government to explain what they had done with the money so far.
In his application, he had sought an order from the apex court to “ameliorate millions of Hindus who make the pilgrimage to the site of the Ram Janmabhoomi at Ayodhya, to have a darshan and perform puja”.
Swamy said the status quo order passed by the SC in 1996 was limited to prohibit building of any structure at the disputed site, but there was no bar in constructions to facilitate amenities for pilgrims visiting the place.
Justice Dave assured Swamy said he would hear the petition along with the petitions pending in the court filed in August 2011 by Ram Janmabhoomi Samiti and Sunni Waqf Board, challenging the Allahabad HC verdict of a three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-+Babri Masjid site.
The high court had directed that the controversial land of 2.77 acres at the site be divided equally among Hindus, Muslims and Nirmohi Akhara—the parties to the suit.
A Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionary has sought the RTI information about arrangements at the Ram Janmbhoomi Complex from the receiver of Ram Janmbhoomi and Divisional Commissioner of Faizabad.
It is to be noted that Swamy had, in August this year, urged PM Narendra Modi to initiate steps to rebuild the Ram temple in Ayodhya by 2016 and “fulfill the party’s commitment to the electorate.” – Mail Online, 7 August 2015