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Will settle for nothing but Ram temple, Uma Bharti says ahead of SC’s Ayodhya verdict

Former union minister Uma Bharti insists there is enough evidence to prove that the disputed Babri Masjid site is the real birthplace of Ram.

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New Delhi: With the Supreme Court set to pronounce its Ayodhya verdict, former union minister Uma Bharti has said she will settle for nothing less than a Ram temple at the disputed site. Bharti was one of the chief architects of the controversial Ram Janmabhoomi movement that the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) launched in the 1980s and 1990s.    

In an exclusive interview to ThePrint from Uttarkashi, where she now lives, Bharti said the only solution to the dispute is the construction of a temple where the Babri Masjid once stood. 

“We don’t expect the court to be pro-Hindu or pro-Muslim,” she said. “It has enough proof of Ram Janmabhoomi, which an earlier court (Allahabad High Court) has accepted. Ayodhya is connected to national pride. The only solution is the construction of a Ram mandir.” 

Bharti, long seen as one of the BJP’s most firebrand leaders, also said the Supreme Court has little choice but to rule in favour of the Hindu side. 

“The onus is now on the court to honour the sentiments of Hindus. This is the birthplace of Ram, which is where crores of Hindus worship every day. It is a special place,” she said. “How can the court decide in any other way? There are also enough facts to prove that this is the birthplace of Ram. No other solution is acceptable.”  

Bharti also argued that other religions protect their holy sites.

“We can’t construct a mandir at the Vatican,” she said. “And if anybody says there should be mandir at Mecca, it will not be acceptable to Muslims. So how is it acceptable to have a masjid at the birthplace of Ram?”  


Also read: In Modi-Shah era, the original heroes of Ayodhya have been sent on vanvaas


Politician of the Ram Janmabhoomi era

Bharti rose to prominence during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that culminated in the demolition of the Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992. 

She was among the BJP leaders, along with L.K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, present at the site when a Hindu mob brought down the centuries-old mosque. The Liberhan Commission, formed to probe the sequence of events on the day, had in 2009 indicted her for “inciting a mob to violence”.   

In 2009, when the commission submitted its report, Bharti took moral responsibility but insisted that she had nothing to do with the mosque being brought down. She faces trial on conspiracy charges over the demolition. 

While her hardline Hindutva has mellowed over the years, Bharti’s rhetoric over the temple is yet to soften.

“I am one of the leaders who is proud and unapologetic about my role in the Ram mandir movement,” she told ThePrint. “I took part in the movement with pride and for Ayodhya, I can sacrifice another life as well. I have sacrificed a chief ministerial post and have never been apologetic about my conduct.”

She also said that the temple will be a fitting tribute to those who were part of the movement.  “Ashok Singhalji (former VHP president), Advaniji, Joshiji and so many others sadhus exhausted their lives for the mandir. The time has now come to witness its construction,” she said.  


Also read: Ayodhya to Rafale, the 6 major verdicts CJI Gogoi will have to deliver in less than 10 days 


 

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