Yogi Adityanath’s task: A suitable mosque site

The verdict, in favour of building a Ram temple, strengthens the political position of Adityanath ahead of the 2022 state elections, especially as no report of violence was reported across UP on Saturday when this paper went to print. He and his g...

Big question is whether the 5 acres will be outside or inside 14 Kosi area of Ayodhya town.
LUCKNOW: Promptly finding a “suitable prominent place” of five acres in Ayodhya for Muslims to construct a mosque, according to the Supreme Court judgment, and ensuring peace in UP by staying away from publicly celebrating the verdict are the priority tasks for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The verdict, in favour of building a Ram temple by handing over 2.77 acres of acquired land to a trust, strengthens the political position of Adityanath ahead of the 2022 state elections, especially as no report of violence was reported across UP on Saturday when this paper went to print. He and his guru, Mahant Avaidyanath, have been champions of the Ram temple movement. The latter was present when the locks at the disputed structure were opened in 1986. He also made Gorakhnath Math — which is now headed by Adityanath — and the Gorakhnath Temple the centre of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

“When the judgment has now finally come years later, Adityanath is the CM.

This relationship of the Ayodhya movement with the Gorakhnath temple says a lot,” a senior functionary close to the CM told ET, indicating to the political import.

This would mean the UP government would clear all formalities on priority to allow the proposed trust to start the construction of the Ram temple at the earliest.

“I am confident that a grand Lord Ram Temple will come up in Ayodhya which will be a ‘National Temple’ of our country,” the CM said in a statement.


A tricky part to follow would be the SC direction that either the Centre give the Sunni Waqf Board five acres of “suitable land” — out of the 67 acres of acquired land under the Ayodhya Act, 1993 — or the state give the land “at a suitable prominent place” in Ayodhya for a mosque. The court has asked the Centre and the UP government to act in consultation for the allotment.

Giving land “at a suitable prominent place” in Ayodhya seems more realistic, else a mosque might be constructed in the vicinity of the Ram temple. The onus would be on Adityanath to find land for the mosque — whether it will be outside or inside the “14 Kosi” area (which is an area comprising Ayodhya town where several Hindu festivals are celebrated in a big way) is now a big question.

A source said the BJP’s belief has been that the mosque should come up outside the 14 Kosi area to ensure there is no scope of conflict between the communities.

Besides, the district of Faizabad, where the city of Ayodhya is located, has also been renamed as the district of Ayodhya. So the five acres for the mosque can be given anywhere in the district, maybe even near the Faizabad highway which would qualify as a “suitable prominent place” due to good road access and prominent visibility a mosque would get in that place, other sources said. But a call will need to be taken in consultation with the Centre.

The UP Sunni Central Waqf Board had accepted the SC verdict and said it would respect the apex court’s direction that it be given five acres to build a mosque.

A priority for the CM, however, would be to ensure that peace is maintained and there are no celebrations by the BJP or its cadres in UP. With the Eid-E-Milad festival on Sunday, the government wants no victory processions as these could lead to problems in the state. “We are happy in our hearts,” a senior UP BJP leader said.

“There is no need to exhibit it.”

In a blog on Saturday, the CM said he was pained that Ayodhya had been treated as an “untouchable” by his predecessors and he decided to change this. “Political parties made Ayodhya hyper-sensitive through a conspiracy as per their agenda of appeasement politics, while the issue was always one of faith.”
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