Mathura, 2016.08.26 (VT): Mahant Shri Nritya Gopal Dasji Maharaj of Ayodhya, who is both the president of the Ram Janam Bhoomi Nyas and the Shri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Nyas in Mathura, was present to oversee Janmashtami celebrations in Mathura yesterday.
He gave a wide-ranging press conference in which he spoke to journalists about the Ram temple saga and the current controversy about PM Modi’s criticism of people who deceptively claim to be protecting the cow.
Asked about Modi’s comments on the cow protection “racket”, Mahantaji said that, “Yes, the VHP was unhappy with his remarks, but in fact he said nothing wrong. He was not talking about cow protection itself, but about those who were taking advantage of Hindu sentiment for their own profit. There are people in Braj also who are talking of serving the Mother Cow, but really are only serving themselves.
“The PM was taking aim at those who are making a business out of cow protection, not the genuine selfless servants of the Mother Cow,” he said. “Those who are sincere will get all support from the PM and the BJP. The situation of the cow in Braj is also not ideal, and that is in great part because of the profiteers who are taking advantage of Hindu affection for the cow.”
India’s Holy Rivers
Asked about the condition of India’s holiest rivers, the Mahanta said, “The Ganga and Yamuna are not just central to Indian culture, they are the country’s lifeline. The rivers themselves are not contaminated, but the draining of sewage into the rivers is polluting them. If that is stopped, then the rivers will return to their natural pure state. I am quite pleased with the Namami Gange initiative and if everything goes according to plan, we should have a pollution-free Ganga and Yamuna in two years. Then it will be necessary for us to turn to social issues.”
“Religious leaders have to take their responsibility for the general welfare of society and awaken people to the need for character development.”
The BJP and the Ram Birthplace temple issue
With regard to the temple at Ram’s birthplace, he said, “We are very hopeful that the Court will settle the matter soon. As soon as permission comes, we are confident of the support of the Government, and that it will not be long before we have a beautiful temple worthy of our faith in Sita-Ram.”
“There is no question of the BJP distancing itself from the Ram temple issue,” he insisted. “The BJP took shape purely on the basis of the Ram Janam Bhoomi. By Lord Ramchandra’s blessings it won the election and formed the government in Delhi. If the BJP ever drops the Ram birthplace temple from its agenda, it will cease to exist.
“This is not something that is limited to the BJP and its leaders. All Hindus have a deep desire to see the Ram temple built. The BJP is getting votes because it promised to build the temple. They don’t have to talk about it all the time. But you should know that the Muslims are no longer making any objections. Now they also want to put an end to this ongoing trouble spot. There is no point in trying to make a political football out of it.”
“I have hopes that the BJP wave will continue in the next election. Hindu society is coalescing. The SP and BSP are badly losing popularity. So I am hopeful that the BJP will form the next UP government.”