BJP’s national vice-president and founder-president of Bajrang Dal, the powerful youth wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Vinay Katiyar is known for his unflinching commitment to building a Ram temple at the disputed land in Ayodhya.
Katiyar, in an exclusive chat with zeenews.com’s Swati Chaturvedi on her programme Kahiye Janab, speaks of the recent Ayodhya verdict. Here are the excerpts:
Swati: The much expected Ayodhya verdict is out. You remained calm after the verdict even though BJP leaders were shaky in their remarks.
Katiyar: I am very happy that all three judges accepted the land as the birthplace of Lord Ram. It is a different thing that they are looking forward to divide the land. It seems that both the parties are satisfied with the judgement.
Swati: Why didn’t you try to solve the dispute through talks? That’s why the court had to give this verdict to maintain communal harmony.
Katiyar: Talks have been going on for a long time, but due to certain reasons I am unwilling to divulge the details. I can say that the verdict came as shock, but also gave happiness to both parties. The Ramjanmabhoomi has been divided into three parts. So, it’s a shock for me. But, at the same time, it has been accepted as Lord Ram’s birth land. That’s good news. I want a huge temple to be built at this place. Lord Ram didn’t stay in a small place. Vinay Katiyar doesn’t know diplomacy. What I have to say, I always say it clearly.
Swati: Now the court has settled the issue after 60 years of litigation. But why aren’t you still showing any spirit of brotherhood or making efforts for reconciliation?
Katiyar: In 1905, during the British rule, the Faizabad district court gave a judgement, saying the issue was between two religions and should be resolved through talks.
Swati: If you aware that the issue would be solved either by a court order or through talks, then why did you bring in new issues into this dispute?
Katiyar: I am always open to talks. But there are some people who don’t want talks to take place. Like Congress doesn’t want any talks. Digvijay Singh gave a provocative statement. He wants to become Arjun Singh. Narasimha Rao arranged everything to solve this issue, but Arjun Singh created obstacles.
Swati: You are talking about politics. In Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati is on one side, and on other side, it’s Congress. Where do you people stand?
Katiyar: In 1983, I was not linked to the BJP as an MP or with any other post. It’s not necessary that we should be in power to remember Lord Ram. I have never forgotten Lord Ram. We maintained that no mosque can be built at any place forcefully, as ‘namaz’ from that place would not be accepted. Today, court has described the same thing.
Swati: The verdict says land should be divided into three parts. The other party will move the Supreme Court. Why don’t you people take an initiative to build both a temple and a mosque on the land?
Katiyar: Earlier, Jinnah demanded that the country be divided into two parts. So that people of different religions can pray at different places peacefully. I am neither an envoy of Jinnah nor is he my role model. It’s Ramjanmabhoomi.
Swati: India is a democratic country where we have rule of law. Once you had demolished the mosque there. But, according to the court, no temple was demolished in Ayodhya.
Katiyar: If somebody asks Dr. Manmohan Singh to build a mosque in front of Sheeshganj Gurudwara, will he accept it? Similarly, will the Christians accept any temple or mosque near a church? Even the Americans are not giving their nod to build a mosque at ground zero.
Swati: In the US, every religion has the right to build a place of worship. There is no constitutional barrier for building the ground zero mosque. It’s about their feelings towards it.
Katiyar: I also want a mosque to be built in the US. Similarly, it’s our feeling that Lord Rama’s temple should be built in Ayodhya. That’s why I am saying that we have three months time now. People will go for an appeal to the Supreme Court. We should resolve the issue through peaceful talks. In Ayodhya, there is always a calm environment.
But, Mulayam Singh should apologize for bloodshed he created in Ayodhya with his forces. They wanted to fail our Ramjanmabhoomi movement to divert people’s attention. Now, Manmohan Singh’s government along with Sonia Gandhi is doing the same thing by bringing up the Kashmir issue, Commonwealth Games and Naxalite problems.
Swati: If the case goes to Supreme Court, then it will take around next 20-30 years for a verdict. BJP, being the largest opposition party, has not even been called in court’s committee meeting. So, where do you want to take BJP today?
Katiyar: As the initiator of the 1983 Ramjanmabhoomi movement, I would like to congratulate Mahan Sant Ashok Singhal and Acharya Giriraj Kishore for their full support in making it successful and its results are now visible. I am not saying it as an MP of the BJP.
Swati: BJP used this issue many times and played with people’s feelings.
Katiyar: I don’t want to say anything on this matter. During Atalji’s and Advaniji’s tenure, they both tried to solve this issue. Due to some reasons, it didn’t work. Now, I am happy that the court has accepted the land as Lord Rama’s birth place. But if the issue were resolved through talks, we could have maintained much better relations between different faiths.
Adapted by Preeti Panwar