Which trust will build the temple? In Ayodhya, war of words breaks out

Maulshree Seth
A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, in a unanimous 5-0 verdict Saturday on the Ayodhya title suit, rejected the Nirmohi Akhara’s claim to shebait rights of serving the deity and managing its property.

Two days after the Supreme Court ruled that the entire Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site be transferred to a trust constituted by the Centre for the construction of a Ram temple, elation has given way to a war of words in Ayodhya on the nature of the proposed trust and its composition.

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, a leading light of the Ayodhya temple movement in the 1990s and president of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, told The Indian Express Monday that there is no need to form a new trust because the Nyas is a trust constituted for construction of the Ram temple and others like the Nirmohi Akhara can join it to complete the task.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcFvKTHx4MA

But Mahant Dinendra Das of Nirmohi Akhara does not agree. “We have been fighting against them i.e. Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. How can one can expect us to become a member of their trust? They can surrender their trust and become part of the trust with us. We are Nirmohi and cannot be a part of them. It is for the Government to find a solution and bring everyone together,” he said.

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A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, in a unanimous 5-0 verdict Saturday on the Ayodhya title suit, rejected the Nirmohi Akhara’s claim to shebait rights of serving the deity and managing its property. But the Bench, taking note of “the historical presence of Nirmohi Akhara at the disputed site and their role” directed the Centre that it should, while framing a scheme to form a trust, assign “an appropriate role in the management” to the Akhara.

Mahant Suresh Das of Digambar Akhara confirmed he would be meeting the Chief Minister.

The Digambar Akhara — one of the dominant Akharas in Ayodhya, it used to be headed by Paramhans Ramchandra Das, also the Nyas president, till he passed away in 2003 — said their chief Mahant Suresh Das would be meeting UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday to discuss the issue. It maintained that no existing trust should be told to construct the Ram temple.

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In its order, the Bench said: “The Central Government shall, within a period of three months from the date of this judgment, formulate a scheme pursuant to the powers vested in it under Sections 6 and 7 of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act 1993. The scheme shall envisage the setting up of a trust with a Board of Trustees or any other appropriate body under Section 6. The scheme to be framed by the Central Government shall make necessary provisions in regard to the functioning of the trust or body including on matters relating to the management of the trust, the powers of the trustees including the construction of a temple and all necessary, incidental and supplemental matters.”

Nyas chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das questioned the need for a new trust: “Kis liye banayenge, kaun banayega aur kaun usmein rahega? Kya jaroorat hai? (Why should it be formed? Who will form it? Who will be its members? What is the need?).”

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Mahant Suresh Das of Digambar Akhara confirmed he would be meeting the Chief Minister. “Ab CM se charcha kar ke batayenge (Will speak once I have discussed with the CM),” he said. “It is a beautiful judgment. It is necessary to form a new trust, like the Somnath temple trust, because it is not the work of the government to construct a temple,” he said.