Voices Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 05:30
Anisha Sheth | The News Minute | April 5, 2014 | 4.40 PM IST With the Babri Masjid demolition issue entering mainstream election discussion with release of the Cobrapost sting operation, the latest one to jump into the fray is Sri Rama Sene leader, Pramod Muthalik. Muthalik who is miffed with the BJP and contesting against the party in Bangalore South and Dharwad constituencies, says the Sangh Parivar and the BJP should say that they had in fact, carried out the demolition. However, he denied that it was a pre-planned conspiracy as claimed by Cobrapost. He told The News Minute on Saturday: “The RSS, BJP and VHP should (openly) say that they have done it (Babri masjid demoiliton).” Pramod Muthalik was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishat’s youth wing Bajrang Dal, when he participated in the kar seva that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. While denying allegations that it was a pre-planned conspiracy and that any training had been imparted to the kar sevaks, Muthalik confirmed that he was "one of lakhs of people, who participated in the kar seva." Muthalik said that when the BJP, RSS and the VHP had “carried out a 10-year struggle” for the Ram Mandir with the slogan "mandir wahi banayenge", they should now say “we have done it”. Muthalik seemed to suggest that the demolition was the result of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement: “No… no planning (was involved). It happened of its own accord. For 500 years the sight of the Babri Masjid has been pricking (Hindus), the court had not given an order (on the dispute)… the anger of kar sevaks (spilled over)… it happened on its own (swayam-spoorthi)” In any case, he said that there was a record of the demolition, and the then prime minister P V Narasimha also “cooperated”. Why the fuss, asks Muthalik Muthalik wanted to know why there was such a fuss about the Babri Masjid when the first Home Minister of Independent India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had got a court order to re-build the Somnath Temple in Gujarat. Stating that performing kar seva was “our duty”, he said that in the place of the Somnath Temple in Gujarat, there was a mosque, and in 1952 Vallabhbhai Patel got the government to pass a resolution to built the Somnath Temple after bulldozing the mosque. The then President Rajendra Prasad inaugurated the temple, he said. “Ghazni (who attacked the Somnath temple) was a foreign invader. Babur was also a foreign invader. So why is it a problem for the Muslims here (if the Babri Masjid was demolished?)” Muthalik said. Note:  According to a report published in Frontline magazine, Vallabhbhai Patel had announced on November 12, 1947 in Junagadh that the temple of Somnath would be rebuilt. He had said: "The restoration of the idols would be a point of honour and sentiment with the Hindu public”. However, Patel died in 1950 and the re-constructed temple was inaugurated by the then President Rajendra Prasad. It was not possible for The News Minute to verify whether there was a mosque near or on the site of the historical location of the Somnathh Temple. For a history of the Somanath Temple see Romila Thapar: Somanatha and Mahmud For a history of the Babri Masjid, the demolition and the dispute, see BBC report: Q&A: The Ayodhya dispute

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