There will be a Ram Temple in Ayodhya , but by constitutional means: VHP chief

Newly-elected Vishwa Hindu Parishad international working president Alok Kumar tells Akhilesh Singh that he is not in favour of any overhaul of the Constitution. Excerpts from an interview:

You and other office-bearers visited Ayodhya recently. How can VHP be so confident about a temple coming up while the case is still pending in court?

Two things are certain, that there will be a grand temple of Lord Ram at his birthplace and it will be achieved through constitutional means. Hearing in the case has begun and we hope it will be completed soon. We hope to win. In case of an adverse judgment, people of India will force the government to bring in a legislation.

Your predecessor accused the government of not acting on its Ram temple promise. Your views?

As long as the case is pending in the Supreme Court, the government has no role.

How will VHP act on the RSS agenda of ‘one well, one temple and one crematorium’ for Hindus and what are your views about the SC order on SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act?

The RSS agenda is an illustration of perfect social harmony. But dining or worshipping together are not sufficient. There has to be education and financial democracy, promising prosperity and dignified life to each individual, mainly SCs/STs. We believe that reservations should continue. The Constitution has served us well and there is no requirement of its overhaul. We strongly believe status quo ante of the SC/ST Act should be restored.

What are your views on the term ‘Hindu terror’?

I have a difficulty with the media and a section of politicians When a hotel was bombed in Mumbai, the entire press said it was jihadi activity. You advised that the perpetrators be punished but one community can’t be blamed. But when some obscure outfit disturbs a couple in a pub, you proclaim it a Hindutva act. When Kalburgi and Pansare were killed, the probe did not prove any RSS/VHP member’s role. However, the unfortunate bracketing has adversely affected our image.

What are your views about Kathua rape and murder?

Rape or any other crime against women and children is bad and should be severely condemned. There is no question of defending the accused. However, there was a demand for a CBI inquiry and it is unfair to interpret the demand as support to the rapists.