Sri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya; Lessons from the Somnath Reconstruction
Organiser   01-Nov-2018
Reconstruction of Sri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is entangled in the delaying procedures of the law. Why can the Government of India not repeat what it did in the case of Somnath temple and allot the land in Sri Ramjanmabhoomi through parliamentary intervention?
 
When will the makeshift SriRamlala temple will be reconstructed in the magnificience of the proposed temple 
 
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Joint General Secretary Manmohan Vaidya has said that the Government should enact a law and construct the Ram temple in the same way Sardar Patel got Somnath temple rebuilt. “Ram temple is a matter of national pride and glory. Just like Sardar Patel got Somnath temple rebuilt, the Government should acquire the land and hand over it for Ram temple construction. Govt should make law for that,” the RSS Sah Sarkaryavah said.
 
 
Proposed architecture of Sri Ram Mandir at Sri Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya 
 
Reiterating the history of the reconstruction of Somnath provides a way ahead to the reconstruction of Sri Ram Mandir. There is an important lead in the case of Somnath- ‘the Shrine Eternal’, which must be kept in mind by the Hindu Samaj.
 
The ‘self-esteem’ of the Hindu and Swadesi samaj has been relying heavily on the people’s participation, and least statist intervention. The on-going suits in the case of Sri Ram Mandir have made the State a crucial actor in this whole issue. The appeal and suggestion which has come up now rightly suggest that the Government should make a law, hand over the land, and then Hindu Samaj can get the temple reconstructed now!
 
Destruction through Ages
Both Somnath and Sri Ramjanmabhoomi saw the popping-up of a mosque in their place, on their ruins. Brute desecration of Sanatani deities was witnessed throughout the Islamic era and imposition of Islamic symbols of dominance and violence at their place.
 
 
Nehru accused K.M. Munshi of engaging in Hindu revivalism through the Somnath Temple project 
 
After the Nawab of Junagarh had fled to Pakistan on 26th October 1947, the Indian army moved into Junagarh on 9th November 1947. How the accession happened, Nehru and Patel’s role in the process is the subject of a different article. But after the famed uprising, Sardar Patel arrived in Junagarh on 13th November 1947 to a massive reception from the people of the state and had vowed to rebuild the dilapidated Somnath Temple that was attacked 17 times in its existence, most brutally by Islamic invaders. When Sardar Patel returned to Delhi, the decision to rebuild the Somnath temple was passed in a cabinet meeting, and the decision was made for the state to dole the expenses.
 
 
Jay Somnath 
 
A trust was formed in January 1949, with the following objectives: (a) Rebuilding and maintenance of the Somnath temple, (b) Renovation of Dehotsarga – where Krishna parted with his body, and (c)General improvement of the neighbourhood to maintain sanctity. In addition to the above, as in the tradition of great temples being centres of learning, Acharya K M Munshi suggested that an All-India Sanskrit University and a goshala be constituted under the trust and make Somnath a cultural center, which was accepted. By end of 1949, about 25 lakh rupees had been collected for the temple restoration work. The Government of India and the Government of Saurashtra approved the rebuilding on 15 March 1950.
Both Somnath and Sri Ramjanmabhoomi saw the popping-up of a mosque in their place, on their ruins. Brute desecration of Sanatani deities was witnessed throughout the Islamic era and imposition of Islamic symbols of dominance and violence at their place  The foundation stone for the rebuilding of the temple was laid on 8 May 1950 by His Highness Jam Saheb. A silver Nandi was consecrated to mark this. The temple in ruins was pulled down on 19 October 1950.
 
However, after the sad demise of Sardar in 1950, the heavy task rested with KM Munshi alone. Munshi was the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Trust formed for this purpose. Seeing Munshi’s hard work and efforts to reconstruct Somnath, Jawaharlal Nehru called. Munshi, who was Food and Agriculture Minister in the Cabinet and said to him: “I do not like your trying to restore Somnath. It is Hindu revivalism.”
 
Why Not Ram Mandir?
In the spirit of Somnath, the Government should work-out a quick route to the reconstruction of Sri Ram Mandir at Sri Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya. The power of reconstruction has to win again! In 1994, during the Congress rule, the solicitor general had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court, stating that the government would side with the sentiments of the Hindu community if evidence were found of a razed temple, where the mosque was built.
 
Dr Manmohan Vaidya has said, "Now, we have the evidence...Also, this issue has long been pending in the court without a decision. The issue is now only that of acquiring the land and handing it over for the construction of the temple.”The issue was no more limited to Hindus and Muslims or a temple or a mosque, but about the restoration of the pride of the country. "The government should now fulfil the promise made in 1994," he added.