Rajiv Gandhi had promised support for Ram Mandir in Ayodhya: Subramanian Swamy
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy says the issue surrounding the construction of Ram Temple should not be seen as a political stunt.
New Delhi: The hue and cry over a seminar on the construction of the controversial Ram Temple in Ayodhya grew louder on Saturday, with protesters shouting slogans outside the Delhi University's Arts Faculty.
Amid protests outside the Delhi University, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy went ahead with the seminar where he asserted that nothing will be done forcibly or against the law.
"Construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is 'mandatory' for revival of our culture. We have started and we will not give up until it is made but nothing will be done forcibly and against the law. We have full faith that we will win in the court," he said in his inaugural address at the two-day seminar.
Claiming that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had promised him of support for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Swamy appealed to Congress to come forward and support the cause.
"Rajiv Gandhi had personally told me that Ram Mandir will be built and whenever he will get an opportunity he will also help and the first help he did was that despite party opposition, he started the television serial on Ramayana which created a new excitement in public," he said.
"He had said they will permit the foundation laying, too. He had also said in his campaign for 1989 elections that there should be Ram Rajya in the country. I hope Congress will also come forward and support as this is not just our demand but that of the country," he added.
"In our country , over 40,000 temples have been demolished, we never say that all those should be reconstructed...but there cannot be a compromise on three of them -- Ram Janmabhoomi temple, Krishna temple in Mathura and Kashivishwanath, if Ram Temple is constructed there will be easy way for others, discussions can be done but not compromise," he said.
"Ram Mandir is an aim for us. And when the Muslims leaders had committed that if it is proved that there was temple earlier, they will let us reconstruct it there, not fulfilling that commitment can be contempt of court," he added.
He also said that the issue surrounding the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya should not be seen as a political stunt.
"Suppose we don't do it this year, the next year is the election and then we have to do it the following year which is 2018. Then you will say it is for the Lok Sabha elections. Every year there is an election. So, we can't stop our activities just because there is going to be an election," Swamy told ANI.
"The public is quite sensible. They will know that it is an election stunt or not. The whole country wants, 99 percent of the Hindus today want the Mandir to be built and most of the Christians and the Muslims are not opposed to it because we are not against to build the Masjid across the Saryu river in Ayodhya," he added.
The two-day seminar titled "Shri Ram Janma Bhoomi Temple: Emerging Scenario" is being organised at DU's Arts Faculty by Arundhati Vashishtha Anusandhan Peeth (AVAP), a research organisation founded by late VHP leader Ashok Singhal.
There was strong opposition from the student groups to DU's decision for allowing such a seminar alleging it would "communalise" the campus and push "saffron agenda".
Meanwhile, the students' wing of Congress party, National Students Union of India (NSUI), All India Students' Association (AISA) and the Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) protested outside the venue of the seminar, saying the event aimed at polarising.
The Delhi Police detained a number of protesters in a bid to control the situation.
The seminar will see historians, archaeologists and law experts discussing various topics including "Lord Ram's character and values, and their impact on Indian culture", "History of the Ram temple and related archaeological findings", "Legal issues around Ram temple" and "Experience and future of Ram temple".