Hours before the very first meeting of the Ram Janmabhoomi trust in Delhi, a controversy has erupted. The Hindu Mahasabha has alleged that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP have "occupied" the trust through the present government. Former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nripendra Mishra has been appointed chief of temple construction committee while Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was named Chairman of Ram Mandir Trust at the first meeting of Ram Janmabhoomi Tritha Kshetra Trust held here on Wednesday.
Rai, the international Vice President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has been appointed the General Secretary while Govind Dev Giri Ji Maharaj the Treasurer.
It was decided in the meeting that a joint account would be opened at a State Bank of India branch in Ayodhya. A total of nine resolutions were passed in the meeting, and another meeting would be held again after 15 days in Ayodhya. The construction committee will decide when the construction will begin.
Chartered accountancy firm, V. Sankar Aiyar & Co in Ranjit Nagar here, was entrusted with the responsibilty of deciding on the mode of donation.
New Chairman of the trust, Nritya Gopal Das said Ram Temple model would be the same as decided by the VHP “but a discussion would take place on making it higher and wider”.
Among those also present in the meeting that lasted about three hours were Mahant Dinendra Das, Joint Secretary, Home, Gyanesh Kumar, Anil Kumar Mishra, Vasudevanand Saraswati, Uttar Pradesh’s Additional Principal Secretary Avneesh Awasthi, Parmanand Ji Maharaj, Ayodhya district officer Anuj Jha, Kameshwar Chaupal, Balendra Mohan Singh Mohan Mishra of the Ayodhya royal family.
The Mahant of the Nirvani Ani of Vaishnava Vairagi Akharas, Dharmadas of Hanumangarhi in Ayodhya, also reached the spot during the trust meeting. However, he was not part of the meeting and was seated in another room outside. Mahant Dharmadas had been demanding since long to join the trust.
According to sources, he has also spoken of approaching the court in case he is not included in the trust and not given the right to worship Ram Lalla.
Hours before the very first meeting of the Ram Janmabhoomi trust in Delhi, a controversy has erupted. The Hindu Mahasabha has alleged that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP have “occupied” the trust through the present government.
Calling the present formation of the trust as “unfair”, Hindu Mahasabha Chief Swami Chakrapani said he is “hurt”.
“From 1949 we have been fighting for this cause. We were a party to the case. Other Hindu organisations too worked for it. But when the Supreme Court gave its verdict and tasked the government to form a trust, the VHP and Sangh occupied it. This is unfortunate,” he alleged.
He added, “The government didn’t feel the necessity to call all the stakeholders and thank them for the role they played or ask for their suggestions.”
The three trustees from Ayodhya — Mahant Dinendra Das, Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra and Anil Mishra arrived in Delhi on Wednesday ahead of the meet, while Shankaracharya Vasudevanand Maharaj reached here on Tuesday evening. He held consultations with Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and Suresh Das of Digambar Akhara separately in Ayodhya before leaving for Delhi.
Another member of the trust is Kameshwar Chaupal. Chaupal is a senior Bihar BJP leader, who has twice been a member of the Legislative Council in the state and stood on a BJP ticket in the 2014 General Election from Supaul Lok Sabha constituency. This is primarily the reason many eyebrows are being raised after his inclusion in the trust.
Earlier, Ayodhya seers were agitated over the exclusion of Nritya Gopal Das from the trust after which Union Home Minister Amit Shah stepped in to pacify the sants.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 5 had announced the formation of the 15-member trust in Parliament. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust has seven members, five nominated members and three trustees. The trust was formed as per the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case in November last year.
Now, with the Hindu Mahasabha’s pointed allegation of an “occupation” by the VHP-RSS and feeling “hurt” at other saffron organisations being ignored, the first meeting of the trust seems to be with its share of controversy
Two IAS officers have been invited to join the first meeting of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust.
The officers are additional chief secretary (home) Avanish Awasthi and district magistrate of Ayodhya, Anuj Jha.
According to sources, the two officers will be ex-officio members in the trust and will facilitate temple construction, overseeing the law and order situation in the process.
The trust, in its first meeting, is expected to finalize the modalities of temple construction and also sources of funding for the same.
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the newly-appointed Chairman of the Ram Mandir Trust, said the new model of the Ram Mandir will remain the same as proposed by the VHP, but some changes will be made to make it even higher and bigger.
As per the proposed model of Gujarat architect Chandrakant Sompura, the Ram Mandir, to be built on 2.75 lakh cubic metre area, will be two-storeyed. With a length of 270 metres, a width of 140 feet and height will be 128 feet, the temple with 330 beams and 212 pillars on both the floors will have five doors.
The temple will be divided in five parts – Garbhgriha, Kauli, Rang Mandap, Nritya Mandap and Singh Dwar.
The main gate will be made of white Makrana marble. A 16.3 feet tall cell will be constructed above the Garbhgriha on which a 65.3 feet tall tower will be constructed.
The stones being carved from the last 25 years will be used in the construction of the temple along with Shri Ram stones with artwork.
However, the date of commencement of construction is yet to be announced but it is expected that the date will be decided when the Ram Mandir Trust officials will meet again in Ayodhya after 15 days.
Nritya Gopal Das also said that a committee has been constituted under Nripendra Mishra, former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to oversee the construction work.
On the commencement of the construction of the temple, Das said it will be decided in the next meeting at Ayodhya, but clarified that it will not start on Ram Navami, as speculated.
The Ram Lalla statue at the makeshift Ram Janmabhoomi temple will be shifted to another site near Manas Bhawan, when the construction of the Ram temple begins.
The head priest of the temple, Acharya Satyendra Das said on Wednesday that the existing temple site will have to be vacated to facilitate construction of the new temple.
“A makeshift temple will be built near Manas Bhawan where the deity will be placed until the grand temple is constructed. The site is about 150 metres away from the existing site,” he said.
According to the priest, the sanctum sanctorum of the new temple will be built at the site where the deity is presently placed.
After the deity is shifted to the new temple, all rituals of worship will continue uninterrupted.
Meanwhile, sources said that a group of engineers and architects had visited the temple site to assess the landfill required for the temple construction to begin.
During the hearings in the court on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title case, Ram Lalla was recognised as a living entity. (IANS)