Union Minister Mahesh Sharma Visits Ayodhya, Says "Not BJP's Political Agenda"October 19, 2016 10:38
Union Minister Mahesh Sharma visited Ayodhya to inspect the proposed site for setting up a Ramayana museum. There he said that "despite the announcement of "Ramayana museum" being planned for the communally-sensitive town of Ayodhya is not the political agenda and fortunate are those who get a chance to do "Ram ka kaam" (serve Ram). If anyone gets a chance to work for Bhagwan Ram he is most fortunate... it will be good fortune if Bhagwan Ram gives us a chance to do 'Ram ka kaam' and this responsibility has been given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the people of the country."
Referring to the ideals propagated in Ramayana, Sharma said that "in certain areas the hands of the Centre were tied.All proposals for development which have to be passed by the Centre have to come from states... sometimes our hands are also tied... this problem will also be taken care of soon. Mann ban chuka hai, mahaul ban chuka hai, the beginning has been made and we have got the directives from Ram Lala," he said, adding, "We are the Lord's children and so have to do his work of spreading education."
Sharma, Union Tourism Minister, said "Ayodhya's development will get a big push from the Rs 150 crore allotted for developing a museum, which is to be located 15 km from the site where the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, triggering deadly communal riots across the country. Right-wing organizations like the Vishwa Hindu Prashad say a temple must be built where the mosque once stood because that is the exact spot where Lord Ram was born."
He said that "while campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed on the development and economic growth, and his government has avoided giving hardliners within the party license to talk of constructing a new temple.The sprawling Ramayana museum, which will present the life of the deity as portrayed in sage Valmiki's epic, will be spread across 25 acres."
Sharma said "I expected the museum to bring in a rush of tourists because it will be linked to other places on the "Ram circuit" - sites of great significance in the Ramayana, including some in Nepal and Sri Lanka."
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had said "the disputed site should be split equally between Muslims, Hindus and the large and wealthy Nirmohi Akhara sect. The verdict has been challenged in the Supreme Court by Hindu and Muslim organizations. BJP has been accused by its political opponents of attempting a "dangerous strategy to communalise voters" and risk the fragile peace in Ayodhya."
Sharma, however, said, "the Akhilesh Yadav government has announced its own plans to develop what it described as an international theme park in Ayodhya."
"Why should the same charge not be leveled against them?" the minister asked.
Previously even BSP chief Mayawati has also accused BJP of announcing the project purely only for political gain in the forthcoming UP polls.
"Any such project should have started much before if they had the right intentions," Mayawati said, adding that the announcements were driven by BJP and SP's "religion-based politics".
She said, "the proposed projects must not be allowed to affect the disputed site in Ayodhya as the issue was pending before the court."
Senior Congress leader RPN Singh has said "the development came as no surprise. Every five years we see the same drama unfolding. Whenever there are polls in the state, they talk of Ram, Ram temple, Ram Sangrahalaya. They repeatedly raise these issues."
Union minister Uma Bharti asked BJP's opponents to stop from doing political overtures. "Ram is a subject of faith for millions...opposition should be equally respectful to the revered deity," she said.
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BY M. DIVYA SRI