RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat: No more andolan…why look for Shivling in every mosque?

In first remarks on the row over the Gyanvapi mosque, now at the centre of court room battles in Varanasi, RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat Thursday questioned the need to “look for a Shivling in every mosque (har masjid me Shivling kyun dekhna)” and said the RSS was not in favour of launching any other movement (andolan) on these issues.

Addressing the concluding session of the RSS officer training camp in Nagpur, Bhagwat said the Gyanvapi dispute involves some issues of faith and the court’s decision on it should be accepted by all.

“The Gyanvapi issue is on. Gyanvapi has a history which we cannot change now. We did not create that history. Not today’s Hindus, not Muslims. It happened then. Islam came here with the invaders. In these attacks, temples were destroyed to subdue the morale of those seeking freedom for this country. There are thousands of such temples. Issues of temples, which hold special significance in the hearts of Hindus, are now being raised,” he said.


Signal to the Parivar

By underlining courts rather than movement, RSS chief sends a signal to the Parivar. He distinguishes between Gyan-vapi and other sites.

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“Hindus are not opposed to Muslims. The ancestors of Muslims were Hindus. Many feel that what was done (the demolition of temples) was done to break the morale of Hindus. A section of Hindus now feel that these temples need to be reconstructed,” he said.

“Roz ek mamla nikalne naya, ye bhi nahi karna chahiye… Hum ko jhagda kyun badana? Gyanvapi ke baare main hamari shraddha parampara se chalti aayee hai. Hum karte aa rahe hai woh theek hai. Par har masjid main Shivling kyu dekhna? Woh bhi ek puja hai. Theek hai bahar se aayi hai. Lekin jinhone apnaya hai woh Musalman woh bahar se sambandh nahi rakhte, ye unko bhi samajhna chahiye. Yadyapi puja unki udhar ki hai usme woh rahna chahte hai toh achhi baat hai. Hamare yahan kisi puja ka virodh nahi (One should not raise a new issue every day. Why escalate fights? On Gyanvapi, our faith has been there for generations. What we are doing is fine. But why look for a Shivling in every mosque? What happens in mosques is also a form of prayer. Okay, it has come from outside. But Muslims who have accepted it are not outsiders, they need to understand this. Even if their prayer is from outside (this country), and they wish to continue with it, we are fine with it. We are not opposed to any form of worship),” he said.

He said the RSS was not in favour of launching any movement on the Gyanvapi issue — after the November 9, 2019 judgment of the Supreme Court on Ayodhya, Bhagwat suggested that the Sangh would keep away from Mathura and Kashi and focus on “character building (vyakti nirman)”

“Hum ko jo kuch kehna tha November 9 ko kah diya. Ek Ram Janmabhoomi andolan tha jis me hum apni prakruti ke virodh kisi aitihasik karan se us samay ki paristhiti main shamil huay. Humne us kaam ko poora kiya. Ab hume koi andolan nahi karna hai (Whatever I had to say on this issue I said it on November 9. We participated in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement contrary to our nature, due to historical reasons and the needs of the time. We completed that task. We do not want to launch any other movement),” he said.

The Gyanvapi issue, he said, needs to be sorted out amicably between the two sides and if the two sides decide to go to court, they need to respect the court’s verdict.

“People need to sit together and reach a consensus on a way out. But this does not happen every time. If they go to court, then whatever verdict the court gives should be accepted by all. The Constitution and the judicial system are sacred, supreme and the decision should be accepted by all. Nobody should question the verdict,” he said.

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