‘No Need to Look for Shivling, Won’t Launch Temple Stir’: Amid Gyanvapi Row, Mohan Bhagwat’s View

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has said the Gyanvapi dispute involves some issues of faith and the court’s decision on it should be accepted by all, but also there was no need to find a ‘Shivling’ in every mosque and start a new dispute every day.

Addressing the concluding ceremony of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s third-year officer training camp in Nagpur on Thursday, he said that the RSS had already made it clear that its participation in the Ayodhya agitation was an exception and it would not undertake such agitations in future.

“Now the issue of Gyanvapi mosque (in Varanasi) is going on. There is history, that we cannot change. That history is not made by us, nor by today’s Hindus or Muslims. It happened at the time when Islam came to India with invaders. During the invasion, temples were destroyed to weaken the fortitude of the people wanting freedom. There are thousands of such temples,” he said.

But the Sangh did not want to say anything on this issue, Bhagwat said, adding, “We had said what we had to say on November 9 that there was Ram Janmabhoomi agitation. We joined in it, though it was against our nature, due to some historical reasons, and due to the situation at that time. We completed that work and now we do not want to pursue any more agitations.”

Everyone involved in the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute should sit together and find a way with mutual consent, the RSS chief added. But as this does not happen every time and people approach courts, the “decision of the court should be accepted by all considering the justice system as sacred and supreme,” Bhagwat said. “It is true that we have special, symbolic faith in such places, but one should not raise a new issue every day. Why escalate disputes? As to Gyanvapi, we have certain faith, some traditions, but why look for a Shiv Ling in every mosque?” the RSS chief said.

He was apparently referring to claims by Hindu petitioners in the Gyanvapi case that a Shiv Ling (a symbol of Hindu deity Shiva) has been found in a pond on its premises. Muslims are not outsiders even though their way of worship came from outside, he said.

“Our tradition is the same and some nationalist Muslims have fought with Hindus in many freedom struggles, and they are ideals for the Muslims of our country,” Bhagwat added.

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