If Hindus want a Ram temple, let them have it, says Abdullah


Calls Pakistan a rogue state that is dependent on its army

Srinagar: National Conference leader Dr. Farooq Abdullah, during a discussion after the launch of Congress leader Manish Tewari’s book “Fables of Fractured Times” Monday, questioned the need of a temple being built in Ayodhya for Lord Ram ‘belongs to the world and is omnipresent’, according to a PTI report.

Ayodhya, a temple town in Uttar Pradesh, is on edge as the pitch is raised for the construction of the temple.

His question was immediately countered by JD(U) leader Pavan Verma who asked “why not” to which Abdullah replied that he had no objection.

“If Hindus want a temple let there be a temple. The question is not whether a temple should be built. The question is how it will be built – by use of force or violence or by mutual agreement or court orders?” Abdullah said.

He then inquired if the public was ready to accept a Supreme Court of India verdict in the matter.

The apex court had last month said that an “appropriate bench” would decide in the first week of January next year on the schedule of hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

The disputed land’s issues revolve around access to a site traditionally regarded among Hindus to be the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama, the history and location of the Babri Mosque at the site, and whether a previous Hindu temple was demolished or modified to create the mosque.

The Babri Mosque was destroyed during a political rally which turned into a riot on 6 December 1992. A subsequent land title case was lodged in the Allahabad High Court, the verdict of which was pronounced on 30 September 2010, in which the disputed land was divided into three parts.

ALSO READ: Muslim body AIMMM writes to President of India, seeks urgent intervention in Ayodhya situation

“You want to put the Supreme Court in cold water,” the NC leader alleged and asked if they were living in a democracy. “Why not build a temple at Sitamarhi in Bihar for Goddess Sita?”

“All Muslims have said they will abide by what the court says,” he said, to which Verma replied, “Now we are in agreement.”

Asserting that Governors should not be puppets in the hands of the government of India, Abdullah said, “They should be men of integrity who uphold the Constitution.”

His comments come after regional mainstream parties staked a claim to form the government at the State level, which subsequently led the region’s Governor Satya Pal Malik to dissolve the assembly minutes later.

Mehbooba Mufti, President of the Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had tweeted that she had been trying to send the letter to the Governor, staking claim to form the government, and added that the office was not receiving the Fax.

Following the dissolution, Omar questioned the timing. “JKNC has been pressing for assembly dissolution for 5 months now. It can’t be a coincidence that within minutes of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba letter staking claim the order to dissolve the assembly suddenly appears,” he wrote on Twitter.

As Malik dissolved the assembly, Madhav, who is his party’s points man for the state, alleged that “fresh instructions” were given to the two regional parties from across the border to come together and form a government.

In a presser too, Omar dared Ram Madhav to prove his allegations.

“It’s unfortunate that a senior BJP leader has said we have got instructions from Pakistan. I challenge Ram Madhav sahib & his associates to prove this with evidence. You are disrespecting sacrifices of my colleagues who refused to dance at Pakistan’s instructions and died,” he had said.

Madhav had later retracted his statement, saying that if there was ‘genuine love’ between PDP and NC, they should contest the next elections together.

Following the dissolution, PDP had hinted that the party would not move the Court in this regard, saying that there was no option after dissolution of assembly except preparing for new elections.

Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone had challenged both mainstream parties to go to court since it would be ‘a blessing in disguise’ for his party.

However, on Monday, former Chief Minister and President Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti said she will go to “people’s court” against Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the state Assembly instead of allowing her to prove majority in the Assembly.

Farooq Abdullah, during the discussion, said, “Our Governor does not even have a fax machine. How could they have sent us a communication? Would God have descended from heaven to tell us.”

ALSO READ: ‘Fax off’ Moment in Kashmir Politics: Much Ado About Nothing

Asserting that nobody can divide India as long as the people remain united, he said India would be able to prevent any future terrorist attacks as long as “our own house remains united”.

He claimed that ‘it was because of the people of Kashmir that terrorists are being killed and Pakistan will not be successful in separating Kashmir from India’.

“Our successes are not because of intelligence but because common people are fed up with terrorists and they are giving exact information,” Abdullah said.

“Pakistan is a rogue State. It is dependent on its army. But if we are united, nobody is so powerful to divide this country,” he said.

“Ram does not need my vote nor does Allah need our vote. The elections are not being fought on developmental issues,” he said.

“Do not mistrust Indian Muslims. We are a part of this land. We have never taken directions from Pakistan. We decided not to participate in the elections because they (BJP) were playing with Article 370 and 35A,” he said.

Earlier, Senior PDP leader Altaf Bukhari had said that the senior leaders of the National Conference, PDP and the Congress have agreed to make an alliance in order to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bukhari, according to reports, was emerging as the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance, however he said that right now he dosen’t know anything beyond the fact that an alliance has been agreed upon to protect the special status of the state.

He also informed that an official announcement regarding the alliance will be made in one or two days.

Earlier, Senior Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had confirmed that talks between the three parties are already going on.

While speaking to Free Press Kashmir, J&K Pradesh Congress Committee president G.A. Mir had said that he had no information about the meeting, however, he is not against the idea, “given the way communal forces have/ are planning to execute venomous ideas in the state.”

“If, on a national level, like minded people are putting forward their ideas, making it a role model and turning it into one single voice to fight against communal forces, won’t be wrong,” said Mir adding, “The naked-dance BJP has been performing and plans on doing here are evident by the way situation has turned tense here for last 4 years.”

The development happened a day after PDP heavy weight Muzaffar Hussain Baig said that he was ready to join a ‘third front’ if it emerges in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the BJP has said that the three have come together on directions of Pakistan.

In a hurriedly called press conference in Jammu at the BJP headquarters, in reaction to the alliance, BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said, “These parties are coming together to form government on directions of Pakistan just to keep BJP away.”

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