Grateful to countrymen for showing maturity on Ayodhya verdict: Modi

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In the latest edition of the monthly radio programme Mann ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (November 24) said the patience, restraint and maturity displayed by the people after the apex court delivered its verdict in the Ayodhya case proves that there is nothing bigger than national interest for Indians.

He also said that the country has moved ahead on a new path, with a new resolve. “The resolve full of new hopes and aspirations. It is my hope and wish that New India imbibes this feeling and forges ahead in a spirit of peace, unity and goodwill,” he said.

Settling a fractious issue that goes back more than a century, the Supreme Court in a historic verdict on November 9 backed the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and ruled that an alternative five-acre plot must be found for a mosque in the holy town.

In his last Mann ki Baat address on Diwali, Modi had referred to the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment on the Ayodhya issue. He had recalled how the government, civil society and people had maintained peace and harmony back then. “This time too, when the Supreme Court pronounced its judgment on November 9, 130 crore Indians once again proved, that for them, national interest is supreme. The values of peace, unity and goodwill are paramount in our country,” he said.

He said the Supreme Court’s verdict was “embraced with open arms”. “They accepted the verdict with ease and with peace. I am particularly grateful to them for the patience, restraint and maturity shown by them,” he said.

Interacting with a group of National Cadet Corps cadets in his “Mann ki Baat” radio programme, he said, “I never had the desire to enter politics, but since I am part of it now I give my best on how to work for the people.” Modi also said that as an NCC cadet in his school days, he never got punished.

The prime minister was of the view that while on the one hand, a protracted legal battle has ended, on the other, the respect for the judiciary has grown in the country. “In the truest sense, this verdict has also proved to be a milestone for the judiciary in our country,” he said. Hours after the verdict was delivered, the prime minister had addressed the nation to thank people for the maturity shown by them.

(With inputs from agencies)