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Ram temple trust turns latest arena of competitive caste quota

Lodh Rajput leaders Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti, OBC faces of Ram temple movement, have questioned why their caste didn't make it to the trust

Editorials

In India

After Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra Trust was formed for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement in the parliament on Wednesday, the mandatory inclusion of a Dalit in the 15-member body has triggered a caste war with governor, veteran BJP leader and representative of Lodh Rajputs Kalyan Singh saying today that the OBCs are devoted to Lord Rama no less than the Scheduled Castes!

Of the 15 members of the Ram temple trust, there will nine 9 permanent and six ex-officio members. Names of the permanent members have been given in the trust deed, in which one Dalit ethnic and eight Brahmin community people have found a place. Singh made the demand for the OBC community also in the capacity of a first-line leader in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that had begun in the late 1980s.

Singh, the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, who had placed his power at stake for the Ram temple and Uma Bharti, the face of the Ayodhya movement too, raised the demand for the inclusion of a member of the OBC community in the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra Trust.

Singh, who had taken the moral responsibility of demolishing the disputed structure in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992, said that the government should include an OBC along with a Dalit in the trust. The case against him for the demolition of the Babri structure is still going on. LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Ritambhara, among others, are co-accused in the same case.

The number of OBCs is the highest among all caste groups in the country; so, at least one OBC should be included in the temple trust, Singh argues. Although he has clearly said that he does not want to be part of the trust, an OBC must be taken.

Former union minister and BJP vice-president Uma Bharti, who among the leaders of the Ram temple movement, said that the Ram temple movement was led by the OBC community, including Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar and herself.

Permanent members of Ram temple trust

  1. The Supreme Court lawyer in the trust, advocated 9 years of Hindu favour in the Ayodhya case of ransom (Brahmin).
  2. Jagatguru Shankaracharya Swami Vasudevanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Brahmin) Shankaracharya of Astrology Chair at Badrinath. However, there was controversy over his becoming Shankaracharya. Shankaracharya Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati of Dwarka bench filed a case in the High Court regarding the title of Shankaracharya of Jyotish Math.
  3. Jagatguru Madhwacharya Swami Vishwa Prasannathirthaji Maharaj (Brahmin) is the 33rd Peetadheeshwara of Pejawar Math located in Udupi, Karnataka. He assumed the position after the death of Peetadheshwar Swami Vishweshtirth of Pejawar Math in December 2019.
  4. Yugapurusha Paramanand Ji Maharaj (Brahmin) Head of Akhand Ashram Haridwar. More than 150 of his books on Vedanta have been published. He addressed the summit of spiritual leaders at the United Nations in the year 2000.
  5. Swami Govind Dev Giri Ji Maharaj (Brahmin) was born in 1950 in Ahmed Nagar, Maharashtra. Ramayana, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata and other mythological texts are preached in the country and abroad. Swami Govind Dev is a disciple of famous spiritual guru Pandurang Shastri Athawale of Maharashtra.
  6. Vimalendra Mohan Pratap Mishra (Brahmin) is a descendant of the Ayodhya royal family. Member of Ramayana Mela Patron Committee and social worker. He has contested Lok Sabha elections on BSP ticket in 2009.
  7. Shri Kameshwar Chaupal (Dalit) has been associated with the Ayodhya movement. As a Karsevak, in 1989, the first brick of the foundation stone was laid in the Ram temple. Being given an active role and being a Dalit in the Ram Mandir movement, he was given this opportunity.
  8. Mahant Dinendra Das (Brahmin) heads the Nirmohi Akhara of Ayodhya.
  9. Dr. Anil Mishra (Brahmin) is Anil Ayodhya’s famous homoeopathy doctor originally from Ambedkarnagar. He is the registrar of the Homeopathy Medicine Board. Mishra played a key role in the Ram Mandir movement in 1992 along with former MP Vinay Katiyar and is also the Provincial Proceedings of the Union of Awadh Province.

Ex-officio members of Ram temple

A representative nominated by the union government, who will be a Hindu and an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer under the central government. This person will not be below the rank of joint secretary to the government of India. He/she will be an ex-officio member.

A representative nominated by the state government, who will be another Hindu and an officer of the IAS under the government of Uttar Pradesh. This person will not be below the rank of secretary to the state government. This will be another ex-officio member.

The district magistrate of Ayodhya is currently Anuj Jha, who will be an ex-officio trustee of Bihar (Brahmin). This position has to go to a Hindu too. If for some reason the current collector is not a Hindu, the additional collector (Hinduism) of Ayodhya will be the ex-officio member.

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