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Q: Is the Ram Mandir affair a political ploy or a need of the people?

A: In India, Ram and his temples are certainly very dear to Hindus. They have intense devotion to Ram, as is evident from Tulsi Ramayana.

So, in itself, there should be no difficulty for the Hind-us to put up a Ram Mandir anywhere in India.

In India we have to respect all religions, which are deeply rooted in people’s hearts. However, the proposal of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has become a central subject of public debate. For the last so many years, Ram-Janama Bhumi-Babri Mosque issue has been a point of intense discussion.

This structure has been in existence for the last 400 years. There is a demand that Ram Mandir should stand only at that particular site. It is claimed and believed that Ram was born at that very spot. The sentiments of the Muslims are deeply connected with the Babri-Masjid. Both the Hindus and the Muslim communities are devout in their faith. Therefore, this whole issue has been a major controversy in India.

Human life, particularly social, political and cultural, is always full of complexities. It is therefore very difficult to put it in black and white.

So, it is not easy to determine whether it is a political ploy or a need of the people. The need of the people is that both the faith and the sentiments of the two communities, namely, the Hindus and the Muslims, should be respected.

Because India belongs to people of all religions, the faith and the sentiments of people of all religions should be unfailingly respected.

We must learn to solve our problems through love and dialogue, not through conflict and fights.

As Indians, we should live in peace, in love and in harmony.

Bp Thomas Dabre
Poona

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