Mohan Bhagwat, the Chief (Sarsanghchalak) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) spoke about the Gyanvapi dispute and the ongoing litigation for reclamation of Temples allegedly converted to Mosques, while speaking at a function at Nagpur on Thursday evening.

The full text of the relevant part of his speech about the issue, which was in Hindi, is as follows:-

"Now there is this issue about Gyanvapi. There are such issues. We have a history that cannot be changed. The history was not made by us. Neither those who call themselves Hindus today nor today's Muslims made it. It happened then. Islam came from abroad through invaders. During that invasion, to deplete the morale of those who wanted freedom of India, Temples (holy places) were destroyed. There are thousands.

There are some, with respect to which the Hindu society has special focus and reverence and issues arise with respect to those. Now, what is to be thought about it? Hindus don't think against Muslims. The ancestors of today's Muslims were Hindus. To keep all those people denied of their freedom forever, to suppress their confidence, this was done. Hence, Hindus feel that there has to be restoration.

We don't say anything. We have said on November, 9 that we participated in the Ram Janmabhumi agitation against our nature, due to some historic reasons and the then existing circumstances. We fulfilled that mission. Now we don't want to do any agitation etc.

But, if there are issues in the mind, something may come up. It is not against anyone and it should not be considered to be so. Neither Muslims nor Hindus should do that. A way forward should be found by discussion and consensus. But that may not happen every time. Hence people approach Courts. Once you go to Court, you should accept whatever decision the Court takes. Our constitutional and judicial system should be considered holy and its decision should be accepted. You should not put question marks over its decisions.

This is with respect to some places that have symbolic value and special reverence. But to come out with a new issue every day is not right. Why do we want to escalate tension? Alright, with respect to Gyanvapi, we have reverence, there is a tradition. But why look for a Shivling in every Mosque? That is also a method of worship (pooja). Even though it has come from abroad, the Muslims who have adopted it have no foreign connection. They also should understand this. Even if their method of worship is foreign and they want to continue with it, it is a good thing. There is no opposition here to any method of worship. All are recognised here and we have reverence towards all of them."

Mohan Bhagwat went on to speak about the need for unity and respect and a cordial relationship between both the communities.

The RSS had spearheaded the agitation and litigation in the Ayodhya dispute, that culminated with the Judgment of the Supreme Court. Hence, the stand of the RSS, which has not spoken about the ongoing litigations with respect to the Krishna Janmabhoomi dispute, the Gyanvapi dispute or the Qutb Minar dispute, becomes relevant.

[Please refer to the full speech here. Verdictum does not assume any responsibility or liability for any error in the English translation of the speech.]