New Delhi: Hours after the Supreme Court paved the way for Ram temple in Ayodhya in a historic decision Saturday, senior BJP leader and one of the key architects of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement L.K. Advani said he “stands vindicated”.
The statement, in which Advani noted his “own humble contribution to the mass movement” towards the temple, comes decades after the BJP leader chose to become the face of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement as his party moved to a more hardline Hindutva stance.
At the peak of his career in the late 1980s, he led the controversial ‘Rath Yatra’ from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. The procession never reached Ayodhya, but Advani’s name got inseparably tied to the Ram temple issue.
Now with the Supreme Court’s decision ending the decades-long dispute, Advani has released a statement on the issue.
Read his full statement here:
I join all my countrymen in wholeheartedly welcoming the historic judgement delivered by the five-member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court today in the Ayodhya matter.
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 Ramjanmabhhomi in Ayodhya.
This is a moment of fulfilment for me because God Almighty had given me an opportunity to make my own humble contribution to the mass movement, the biggest since India’s Freedom Movement, aimed at the outcome which the Supreme Court’s verdict today has made possible.
I have always stressed that Ram and Ramayana occupy an esteemed place in India’s cultural and civilizational heritage and Ramjanmabhoomi holds a special and sacred place in the hearts of crores of our countrymen in India and abroad. Therefore, it is gratifying that their belief and sentiments have been respected.
I also welcome the apex court’s decision that five acres of land be given at a prominent place for the building of a mosque in Ayodhya.
Today’s judgement is the culmination of a long and contentious process that played itself out in various forums – both judicial and non-judicial – in the past many decades. 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. Towards this end, I appeal to all sections of our diverse society to work together to strengthen India’s national unity and integrity.
In the course of the Ramjanmabhoomi Movement, I had often stated that the true purpose of constructing a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is to construct a magnificent Rashtra Mandir – building India as a strong, prosperous, peaceful and harmonious nation with justice for all and exclusion of none. Let us rededicate ourselves to that noble mission today.