President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday criticized comments made by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on the Gyanvapi row, saying that "before VHP was formed, Ayodhya wasn't even on the Sangh's agenda."
In a conversation with ANI virtually, the AIMIM chief said, "Bhagwat's speech on Gyanvapi must not be ignored. Recall the agitation for Babri Masjid that was necessary for historical reasons.
At that time, RSS didn't respect Supreme Court's orders and participated in demolition of masjid prior to the judgement. Does this mean that they will do something similar on Gyanvapi also?" He further questioned the assurances of ensuring peace and harmony in the country given by BJP chief Jagat Prakash Nadda and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
"Who is Mohan or Nadda to give an assurance on these issues? They hold no constitutional posts. Let the Prime Minister's office give a clear message about where it stands on the issue and on the Places of Worship Act, 1991. He has taken an oath on the Constitution. If he stands by it, all these Hindutva upstarts would have to stop," he said.
He said, "Before Vishva Hindu Parishad (an outfit of the RSS) was formed, Ayodhya Temple wasn't even on the Sangh's agenda. It was only in 1989 that BJP's Palanpur resolution stated that Ayodhya became part of the agenda. RSS has perfected political doublespeak. All of the jokers raising Kashi, Mathura, Qutub Minar, etc have a direct link to Sangh." Notably, Vishva Hindu Parishad was formed in 1964 by RSS leaders MS Golwalkar and SS Apte. RSS was formed in September 1925.
Owaisi in a sharp comment said, "It is an old Sangh tactic to disown things when they are unpopular while owning them later on. Anyone remembers Godse and his friend Savarkar?" Owaisi continued, "Even during the Babri Masjid agitation, some people said that they will follow apex court's orders while others said this is a matter of faith and the court cannot decide. You know who are these people." While stating that the Gyanvapi mosque had a history that one could not change, Bhagwat on Thursday said there was no need to look for shivlings in mosques daily and needlessly escalate a controversy.
Speaking in Nagpur during the concluding ceremony of an RSS training programme, Bhagwat said the Sangh was not interested in launching any further agitations after the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
Advocates for the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, the Muslim side in the Gyanvapi mosque dispute continued their arguments on Monday, challenging the maintainability of a plea by five Hindu women seeking permission for daily worship of the Shringar Gauri Sthal in the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex. The court has now been adjourned and the hearing is set to resume on July 4.
The Muslim side has argued that the plea is not maintainable citing 1991 Places of Worship Act. Last week, on May 26, the court had fixed the next date of hearing in the case on May 30 as the Muslim side's arguments on the maintainability of the case remained incomplete on that day.
On May 20, the Supreme Court had transferred the case from a civil judge (senior division) to a district judge, looking at the "complexities" and "sensitivity" of the issue.