Published On : Tue, Nov 20th, 2018

Buddha also joins Ram, Babar in Ayodhya dispute

VHP’s ‘Hunkar’ rally, A Buddhist symposium on the dispute being held on Nov 25

Nagpur: The legal battle over the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute got a new angle with a Buddhist petitioner jumping in the ring. Even though several matters connected to Ram Mandir issue have been pending in Supreme Court, the public debate is now the focal point. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad is organising ‘Hunkar’ rallies in Nagpur, Ayodhya, Bengaluru and at other places on November 25 for construction of Ram Mandir. The ‘Hunkar’ rallies have been aimed at exerting pressure on government for Ram Mandir construction. Nagpur is at centre stage of all the activities over the temple issue. Nagpur is citadel of RSS and all eyes will on the November 25 rally.

On the other hand, another programme on November 25 itself has sparked heated discussion. Till now, the focus of debates was centred on Ram Mandir and Babri Masjid at disputed site in Ayodhya. Now, a new angle has been added to the dispute recently. People connected with Buddha religion have claimed that a temple of Bhagwan Buddha existed at the disputed site. Based on this claim, a Nagpurian Bhaiyyaji Kherkar has organised a symposium in the city on the day of ‘Hunkar’ rally. The topic of the symposium is “Ayodhya kiski: Ram ki, Babar ki or Buddha ki.”

According to Kherkar, the survey report of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had pointed out that ruins of Buddhist presence in Ayodhya. A Buddhist petitioner is also involved in the hearing of Ram Mandir issue. A writ petition filed by Vinay Maurya, an Ayodhya resident, was admitted by Supreme Court and tagged along with the 13 other appeals pending against a 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court, Kherkar claimed. He said, in fact, Ayodhya was also known as Saket, which itself is considered to be a great centre of Buddhism. A public debate must be held on this issue hence he has organised the symposium. The meet is likely to be attended by Vinay Mourya, Agra’s Bhante Anand, Dr Bhau Lokhande, Devidas Ghodeswar and others.

The organisation of both the programmes on same day has led to a controversy. Former Corporator Janardan Moon who is running an organisation named ‘RSS’ has raised objections on both the programmes. Moon claimed that these programmes will act as spreading discontent in society. “The VHP programme could lead to confrontational situation between Hindus and Muslims and other hand Kherkar’s programme could lead to followers of Budha joining the movement.

Hence both programmes should not be held,” he stated. Moon has filed a petition in Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court opposing VHP’s rally. On the other hand, a complaint has been lodged with Deekshabhoomi Smarak Trust and Social Welfare Department regarding the other programme. In view of Moon’s objections, Kherkar has changed his programme’s venue but insisted that the event will be held at any cost.