The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra has failed to issue a quick and convincing reply to the allegations of corruption in purchase of land leveled by AAP MP Sanjay Singh and others. In fact, the first reaction by the trust’s general secretary has been an evasive one, claiming it is just another politically motivated attempt to malign those involved in the construction of the Temple. This has created even further doubt among the public about what’s happening. The increase in the stated plot’s price ‘within 15 minutes’ is exactly the kind of allegation that was made against Robert Vadra in his land deals. It becomes doubly imperative, therefore, for the trust to show its hands are clean and there is no group bleeding, for personal profit, the corpus collected from Ram’s devotees. A similar scandal, it may be recalled, had emerged in Uttarakhand regarding National Highway construction. It seems to be an established practice among middle-men and corrupt officials.
Work on construction of the Temple was taken away by the Supreme Court from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and handed over to the present government instituted Trust. In that sense, partial responsibility rests with the Union Government for what is happening in this project of national importance. It is certain that, politically, the BJP will pay a heavy electoral price if proper action is not taken in the matter. It may be recalled that the party was not at all averse to taking credit for the process that eventually led to clearing the way for the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple.
It will not be possible to cover up the matter. In fact, that would have the opposite effect of convincing people about ongoing corruption. An immediate inquiry needs to be instituted by either the Union Government or the Supreme Court. The guilty should be booked and the Trust revamped, if necessary. At the present, the government can distance itself from the Trust’s doings, but if it is seen to be complicit in a cover up, the political damage will be enormous.
The Temple for Maryada Purshottam cannot be built on foundations of corruption, doubt and subterfuge. The mahants and sadhus involved in the movement should not attempt to cover up the matter as an attack against Hindus. Rather, they should be at the forefront of cleansing the process if they truly believe in the cause that inspired the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement.