VHP occupied for 3 yrs, prime focus not on ‘liberating’ Kashi & Mathura

New Delhi, Sep 29 : Come October 15 when the All India Akhara Parishad, an apex body, will meet in Uttar Pradesh’s Vrindavan – the birthplace of Lord Krishna, it is very likely to rekindle the demand of removing mosques that Mathura’s Krishna Janmabhoomi and Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple share boundaries with. However, the VHP, which took the lead in the Babri removal agitations, seems to be preoccupied with the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and wants it’s “focus to remain on Ayodhya, at least for the next 3 years.”

“We have thought that we need to fulfil this one job (operationalizing Ram Mandir) first. It is our first and prime responsibility. After that we will think about other issues,” VHP’s International Working President told IANS when asked what will be the VHP’s stand amid a rising clarion call by the Akhara Parishad to champion the “cause” of Kashi and Mathura. Coming from its top leadership, the assertion is indicative that the VHP has its hands full at the moment.

Kumar told IANS that the VHP will be occupied with the construction of the Ram Temple for the next 3 years. “I think constructing the temple on Ram Janmabhoomi is a big task. We will travel to 4 lakh villages for this purpose, celebrate Ramotsav, seek contributions by going to 11 crore Hindu households. We have a dream ahead of us of making Lord Ram ‘virajman’ in the new temple and do his ‘darshan’ within the next 3 years,” said Kumar while highlighting how the VHP has too much on its plate for now.

This comes amid the Akhara Parishad going gung ho over the issues of Kashi and Mathura which they will seek to raise in their October meeting. Sources say the choice of venue as Vrindavan is also significant. A source told IANS that key functionaries of the Akhara will “take a tour” and do “stocktaking” of Krishna Janmabhoomi during their stay in the temple town.

This also comes amid a civil suit being recently filed in a Mathura court seeking the removal of the Shahi Idgah mosque from the 13.37-acre plot, which the petitioners claim belongs to Shri Krishna Virajman.

This upping the ante by the Akhara Parishad comes after its huddle in Prayagraj earlier this month where it passed a formal resolution to launch a campaign to ‘free’ the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi and the Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura.

Hence, the VHP boss refusing to be drawn into the discourse looks extremely significant. However, the VHP has been careful not to object to the call by the Akhara Parishad, a very influential body. It seemingly excused itself by suggesting it has a “prime focus” to concentrate on and that is not “freeing” Kashi or Mathura, as of now.

In the tumultuous years of the late 80s and 90s when the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was peaking and the Babri structure was brought down, a slogan resonated across Uttar Pradesh that almost all the VHP’s kar sevaks used to routinely raise, “Yeh to kewal jhanki hai, Kashi, Mathura baaki hai” (This is just a trailer, Varanasi and Mathura are still left). But nearly two and a half decades later, the VHP seems only half as excited, at least for now.

–IANS

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