Veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, who has been a prominent face of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement spearheaded by the right-wing groups, on Saturday (November 9) hailed the Supreme Court’s judgement in favour of the construction of a Ram temple in the disputed site in Ayodhya, saying that it was a “moment of fulfilment” for him.
Advani, who had turned demands for a Ram temple into a mass movement, said that the verdict vindicated his stand and that he feels deeply blessed that the judgement paves the way for the construction of the temple.
“I stand vindicated, and feel deeply blessed, that the Supreme Court has given its unanimous verdict paving the way for the construction of a magnificent temple for Lord Ram at Ram Janmabhhomi in Ayodhya,” he said in a statement, while “wholeheartedly” welcoming the judgement.
Advani further said that “God Almighty” had given him an opportunity to make his own humble contribution to the mass movement and stressed that time has come to leave all contention and acrimony behind and embrace communal concord and peace. The 92-year-old BJP leader also termed the agitation for Ram temple as the biggest since India’s freedom movement.
Also stressing that Ram and Ramayana occupy an esteemed place in India’s cultural and civilisational heritage and Ram Janmabhoomi (birthplace) holds a special and sacred place in the hearts of crores of countrymen, he said it is gratifying that their belief and sentiments have been respected.
Underlining that the judgement is the culmination of a long and contentious process over the last many decades, Advani, who has been the BJP’s longest serving president, said, “Now that the prolonged Mandir-Masjid dispute in Ayodhya has come to an end, the time has come to leave all contention and acrimony behind and embrace communal concord and peace.”
Advani also appealed to all sections of India’s diverse society to work together to strengthen the country’s national unity and integrity. He also welcomed the apex court’s decision that five acres of land be given at a prominent place for building a mosque in Ayodhya.
Struggling to find a space in the country’s politics dominated by secular parties, the BJP under LK Advani hitched its bandwagon to the temple cause in its Palampur resolution in 1989, giving a defining Hindutva edge to its politics which until then had lacked a popular cause celebre. The issue combined with its alliance with anti-Congress parties in 1989 won the BJP 85 seats in Lok Sabha elections against mere two in 1984.
Advani launched his famous ‘Rath Yatra’ from Somnath temple in Gujarat, drawing people in their thousands as his chariot rolled through the country’s heartland rallying support for building Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
(With inputs from agencies)