RESOLUTION RE. STEPS FOR MAINTAINING STATUS QUO OF RELIGIOUS SHRINES AND PLACES OF WORSHIP AS THEY EXISTED ON 15TH AUGUST, 1947 MR. CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, now, we proceed with the Private Members Business. Before we take up the Resolution of Shri Zainal Abedin for discussion, we have to fix the time for this Resolution.
A time of two hours has been suggested. If that is acceptable to all the hon. Members, then we can proceed further.
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA (South Delhi): Mr. Chairman, Sir, this is not an ordinary matter, its implications are wide spread. Therefore, time limit for discussion on this item should be extended.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Initially two hours can be fixed for the
discussion. Time limit can be further extended, if the hon. Members so desire.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI (Gandhinagar): This is such an issue, that if discussion on it is restricted to two hours.
It would have a wrong message, a wrong signal altogether. It is a matter which has been debated and discussed in the whole country. We have seen Bills being discussed on nonofficial days for months together. Not a single Resolution has ever been completed in one day; never. It is always spilled over to the next day. And today if we want to finish it in two hours, I would object to it. I would say that let every one express his view points; so long as they are relevant to the point, let the debate go on. So, my plea is that there should be no time limit; and those who want to participate in the debate, they can do so.
189 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
MR. CHAIRMAN: If the hon. Members wish to extend the time of the sitting today, they can do so or if they wish they can spill it over to the next Friday. So, out of these two alternatives, whatever hon.
Members want that should be done.
SHRI RAM VILAS PASWAN (Rosera): The rule is that on one Friday we discuss a Resolution and on the next Friday we discuss a Bill.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA (Bankura): There cannot be an unlimited time. It may be extended half-an-hour more. So, we can finish it by 6 P.M.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: Mr. Chairman, Sir, many members of my party have given in writing to me, and I have assured them that each one of them would get a chance to speak on it. There is no problem in it. It has been the practice that no restriction of time is put on discussion on non-official bills and resolutions because two or two and a half hours are not sufficient for them. If time limit is fixed to complete it, it won't be justified.
SHRI INDER JIT (Darjeeling): I think on this highly sensitive issue, we should avoid fixing a time limit.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I believe there is a convention that even if a time limit is fixed, then if the hon. Members so desire, that time limit can be further extended.
SHRI INDER JIT: I do think that an adequate opportunity should be given to all sections of the House to speak on this particular issue.
It is highly sensitive and as the Leader of the Opposition said, I think we should avoid sending out wrong signals.
MR. CHAIRMAN: In that case, I think the sense of the House is that there should be no time limit fixed.
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SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: There should be some time limit fixed.
SEVERAL HON. MEMBERS: No.
SHRI CHANDRA JEET YADAV (Azamgarh): I think what the Leader of the Opposition wanted was that you can fix the time limit for the speeches. Also what he wanted was that there should be a thorough discussion on this. This is a fact that this is a very important issue.
MR. CHAIRMAN: The sense of the House appears to be that there should be no time limit fixed. In that case, I would request the hon.
Members--because the maximum number of hon. Members would like to speak--that some time limit should be fixed on individual members when they are speaking.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: A time limit has to be fixed--three-four hours.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I request Shri Zainal Abedin to move his
SHRI ZAINAL ABEDIN (Jangipur): I beg to move:
"This House urges upon the Government to take early steps to peacefully settle the dispute regarding the shrine at Ayodhya and to enact suitable legislation for preserving and maintaining the status quo of all religious shrines and places of worship as they existed on August 15, 1947."
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA (South Delhi): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am on a point of order. Sir the resolution which is before the House says, "This House urges upon the Government to take early steps to peacefully settle the dispute regarding the shrine at Ayodhya." I have given notice of an amendment. What I have read just now should be substituted by "in
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[Sh. Madan Lal Khurana]
addition to it administrative steps should be taken, including the acquisition of the land of the birth place of Lord Rama to construct a beautiful temple of Lord Rama, a symbol of national culture and dignity, respecting the sentiments of people of India."
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I received a telephone call at home yesterday from your office saying that as the matter is sub judice your amendment cannot be accepted. Mr. Chairman, Sir, my submission is that this resolution is also about the shrine at Ayodhya...
MR. CHAIRMAN: There is no point of order, when your amendment is rejected.
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA: Please listen to me first. My amendment has been rejected on the plea that the matter is sub judice, similarly this resolution also falls under the same category i.e. the matter is sub judice. If my amendment can be rejected on the plea that the issue of construction of temple is sub judice, then the matter regarding the shrine at Ayodhya is also sub judice. Therefore, how can this resolution be moved? As your office is saying that this matter is sub judice. I am of the opinion that no discussion can take place on this issue so long as the matter is sub judice.
SHRI JASWANT SINGH (Chittorgarh): I am on a point of order. The two issues that have arisen on account of an amendment moved by the hon. Shri M. L. Khurana and the Motion that is before the House relate to what is sub judice and about admissibility. We are now considering two separate aspects. Firstly, what is sub judice and relating to that is secondly, the aspect of sub judice. I draw your attention to page 946 of Kaul and Shakdhar's book on Practice and Procedure of Parliament. What is sub
192 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
judice? I would request your consideration and that of the House because we are involved in a substantial issue here.
"It is the absolute privilege of the legislature and members thereof to discuss and deliberate upon all matters pertaining to the governance of the country and its people. Freedom of speech on the floor of the House is the essence of Parliamentary Democracy".
Further, if as the hon. Shri M. L. Khurana has said, if it has been ruled in all wisdom, by the Speaker, that the Motion is not sub judice, and if the Motion is not sub judice, then an amendment to it which relates to it substantially cannot be treated as sub judice either.
Alternatively, if you from the Chair, as now Shri Khurana mentioned that he has given notice of an amendment if that were made as inadmissible, on the ground that it is sub judice, then that the main Motion which is under consideration of the House is also out of order, because it is also sub judice. And here I refer you to page 947 of Kaul and Shakdhar's book.
"The rule whether a motion relates to a matter which is under adjudication by a court of law should be admitted or discussed in the House has to be interpreted strictly. While on the one hand the Chair is to ensure that no discussion in the House should prejudice the course of justice, the Chair is also to see that the House is not debarred from discussing an urgent matter of public importance on the ground that a similar allied or linked matter is before a court of law."
Sir, these wordings are explicit. I have further submissions to make on this very point because we are considering two separate aspects-- the question of sub judice and the question of admissibility. Now we have, on page 948, a clear specification......... (Interruptions) 193 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Which paragraph are you referring to?
SHRI JASWANT SINGH: I am referring to the third paragraph. It says:
"A Member, during the course of his speech, is required not to refer to any matter of fact on which a judicial decision is pending."
Now, here again we are faced with a similar situation. If you rule his amendment as inadmissible on the ground that it is sub judice, the main motion is also sub judice and hence it is inadmissible. Here again we are covered by the aspect of referring to a matter of fact which is before a court of law. Here, indeed, the crux of a matter of fact is under deliberation of a court of law. In its wisdom the Secretariat has ruled that the hon. Member Shri Madan Lal Khurana's amendment to the motion is inadmissible. Therefore, I submit the main motion is also inadmissible.
I will come to the second aspect later. This is a complex matter.
I started by saying that the right of Parliament, the unfettered privilege of Parliament of freedom of speech cannot be curtailed on grounds of sub judice.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I think the House is aware of that.
SHRI JASWANT SINGH: No Sir, The House is not aware of the
decisions that were taken by a Committee of Presiding. Officers of the various Houses. That Committee of Presiding Officers made various specific recommendations as to how the Presiding Officers ought to apply their mind when it comes to determining whether a case under consideration of the House is sub judice or not sub judice. They laid down the recomendations specifically. They are all here page nos. 949 and 950. I do not want to mention all of them. But I do draw your attention to specifically serial nos. 6 and 8 of them.
194 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
Serial no. 6 says:
"Rule of sub judice applies only in regard to the specific issues before a court. The entire gamut of the matter is not precluded." I think, the amendment moved by the hon. Member cannot be debarred on this ground.
Serial no. 8 says:
"Rule of sub judice has application only during the period when the matter is under active consideration of a court of law or courts martial.
That would mean as under: ........"
"In civil suits--From the time issues are framed till judgement is delivered."
This is so far as sub judice is concerned.
So far as the admissibility is concerned what applies to the motion applies in its entirety to an amendment to the motion. And, therefore, if you admit the motion, you must admit the amendment to the motion. On the other hand if you deny the amendment to the motion, you must in justice deny the motion also because whatever applies to the motion applies to an amendment to that motion.
On page 579, we are considering the question of admissibility. It says:
"In order that the resolution may be admissible it should be clearly and precisely expressed........"
I do not want to read all these aspects because they are there.
On the question of admissibility of amendment I refer to page 585, Here some conditions are given. First condition is that an amendment to be admissible must not be vague or indefinite. I do not think hon. Shri Madan Lal Khurana's amendment is
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[Sh. Jaswant Singh]
either vague or indefinite. The second condition is that it should not be negative in character. His amendment is not negative in character.
Then the third condition is that it should not be unduly long. His amendment is not unduly long, because your Secretariat has said that the only ground on which it has been rendered inadmissible is sub judice. Then the other condition is that it should not seek to widen the scope of the discussion. It does not; in fact, it focuses it. Then the other condition is that if an amendment proposes to raise an altogether new subject beyond the scope of the resolution, it is out of order. It is not an altogether new subject. It is, in fact, within the scope, concentrating the scope. The other condition is that if the substance is the same as the original resolution, then again it is out of order. Here also the subject is not the same subject because it is an amendment focussing the issue. So none of these conditions apply to the amendment that has been moved by the hon. Member, Shri Madan Lal Khurana. Your Secretariat has found the amendment moved as out of order on ground of sub judice. I submit that this is an admissible amendment which must be admitted. If, however, you rule it out on the ground of sub judice, them you must rule out the main motion as out of order.
SHRI SAIFUDDIN CHOUDHURY (Katwa): One point has been raised that the main motion should also be declared as out of order. In the main motion it is said that the dispute regarding the shrine at Ayodhya should be settled peacefully. So peace cannot be sub judice. What should be the right of this House and every Member of this House is to exhort people of our country to settle this dispute peacefully. It means either through negotiation or abiding by the court verdict.
There the problem arises. There is no attempt made to dictate any terms to any court or try to influence any court. It is perfectly in order and it is the need of the hour that we settle the dispute peacefully. So
196 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
it is perfectly in order and we should allow the discussion to take place.
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA. When did I talk of violence? I did not say that violent means would be adopted to construct the temple there.
My submission is that peaceful solution should be found out to construct the temple there. When you rejected my amendment then only I talk of the construction of temple there.
SHRI EBRAHIM SULAIMAN SAIT (Ponnani): Where will the temple be constructed?
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA: At the same place. (Interruptions) The Government of Uttar Pradesh has decided the issue.
SHRI BHOGENDRA JHA (Madhubani): Mr. Khurana can have his say but the objection raised by my friend is misplaced.
SHRI P.M. SAYEED (Lakshadweep): For the benefit of the House I want to read this Resolution. It says:
"This Houses urges upon the Government to take early steps to peacefully settle the dispute regarding the shrine at Ayodhya and to enact suitable legislation for preserving and maintaining the status quo of all religious shrines and places of worship as they existed on August 15, 1947."
Sir, there are two separate views, First part of the Resolution calls for a peaceful settlement and the second part of the Resolution, if you kindly go through it, urges the Government to bring a suitable legislation for all the shrines that existed as on 15 August, 1947. I do not know how it comes.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Hon'ble Members, I think, we have heard everybody's point of view. There are two or three issues.
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SHRI RAM NAGINA MISHRA (Padrauna): Mr. Chairman, Sir, with regard to the amendment brought forward by Shri Khurana the Ministry has intimated that the matter is sub judice and as such it cannot be admitted. Secondly, the Resolution which is on the same subject is also sub judice. The subject is the same. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Shri Jaswant Singh has already made every thing clear before the House. Please take your seat.
SHRI RAM NAGINA MISHRA: Mr. Chairman, Sir, according to the Resolution moved by our hon. friend, status quo should be maintained in respect of all places of worship as they existed on August 15, 1947. I would like to submit, in this connection, that Puja is being performed in Ayodhya since 1949 and in Somnath temple after 1947.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I am on my legs. I will request hon. Members to sit down.
SHRI RAM NAGINA MISHRA: Mr. Chairman, Sir, please let me
[MR. SPEAKER in the Chair]
SHRI RAM NAGINA MISHRA: Mr. Speaker, Sir, my point of order is that the Ayodhya dispute is sub judice. (Interruptions), Both the things cannot go along simultaneously. (Interruptions)
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA (South Delhi): Mr. Speaker, Sir, in
accordance with the court orders, puja is being performed there since 1950.
198 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
They want to stop the puja of the idols, which is being performed since 1950. (Interruptions)
Therefore, I want to say that an idol has already been installed there on the orders of the Faizabad Sessions Court in 1950 and puja is being performed there since then. They want to remove the idols through this Resolution. It is not proper. (Interruptions)
SHRI TARIT BARAN TOPDAR (Barrackpore): Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is Parliament, not a 'dharamshala' (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: All of you, please take your seats.
MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seats.........
MR. SPEAKER: I will handle the issue. Please sit down......
MR. SPEAKER: One minute please. I will hear if the Members have to say something, and I will take a decision. Please do not get excited. Yes, Advaniji.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Resolution was
circulated three to four days ago. This Resolution is not acceptable to me as well as to my party. I did not have any objection to its admissibility. But this question arose, when one of my hon. friends gave a notice for amendment on this very subject and it was rejected on the ground that the matter was sub judice. He was informed that his amendment on the subject cannot be admitted. Shri Jaswant Singh has said this very thing that either the sub judice rule should apply in both the cases or it should not be made applicable at all. No one from our side has raised any such objection that there should be no discussion on the Resolution and ever demanded that it
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[Sh. Lal K. Advani]
should be declared out of order. With regard to the amendment, our point was that if the sub judice rule is to apply, then it cannot apply only to the amendment, it has to apply to the Resolution also and, therefore, you have to take a decision, give a ruling which applies to both.
MR. SPEAKER: Now you please take your seats. I will allow all of you one by one to express your views on this point. Yes, Lodhaji.
SHRI GUMAN MAL LODHA (Poli): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had brought a Resolution on the same subject during one of the sessions of the Ninth Lok Sabha. The ruling given by your predecessor on it was that no dispute in regard to 'Ram Janmabhoomi' could be brought in the House in the form of a Resolution, because this matter is sub judice. I was informed by the Ministry of Home Affairs that since the matter is sub judice, it cannot be taken up in the Parliament. This is on record.
You can call for the records from the Secretary-General and see the decision of your predecessor. One resolution on the subject is disputed and other is not and on one case it is disallowed, but admitted on the second occasion. There cannot be two types of justice.
I would like to submit that according to the rules of this House, matters which are sub judice are not generally discussed in the House.
The Treasury Benches will also agree with this view. A number of cases are pending in the court, out of which 11 cases have been consolidated and are under consideration of a special bench of the Allahabad High Court. The question under their consideration is the dispute about "Babri Masjid' and 'Ram Janmabhoomi'. I would like to submit that according to the rules of this House, in both the cases, matters, which are sub judice, cannot be discussed here. Secondly, you have already given a ruling on my resolution on the same subject and on a Private Members' Bill. As such, unless you are compel-
200 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
led to give another ruling after reconsidering the issue, it will be appropriate and in confirmity with the dignity and decorum of the office of speaker to revive the earlier ruling. I challenge the admissibility of this Resolution. As has already been said by our hon.
leader, he did not think so. I beg your pardon Sir and with due respect I would like to submit that according to my humble view it is not admissible.
MR. SPEAKER: I will allow Members to express their views on this point. The short point is whether this matter can be taken up or not.
MR. SPEAKER: I have called Shri Ahamed.
SHRI ANIL BASU (Arambagh): What is going on here? The matter should be taken up for discussion. (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Let me hear. Then I will decide.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: Sir, the matter is sub judice, but there is a basic difference......(Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Mr. Acharia, well, if all of you want to transact the business according to your wish, it will be very difficult. So, let us come to a conclusion; allow me to decide about that.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: We want that the discussion should start immediately. (Interruptions)
SHRI SAIFUDDIN CHOUDHURY: There is some confusion in the minds of some hon. members. You will listen to the hon. members to decide about the admissibility of what? Admissibility of the amendment or motion which has already been admitted? (Interruptions)
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MR. SPEAKER: After hearing you I will say what I have to say. Let me hear them. If you have to say anything I will hear you also. When I am asking him to say something, why are you getting up? I will allow you to speak also.
SHRI E. AHAMED (Manjeri): The Resolution given notice of by my learned friend, Shri Zainal Abedin has already been admitted by the Speaker. May I just bring to your kind notice Rules 173 and 174 regarding the Resolutions? As per the rule, the Resolution was not contrary to anything either in law or on facts. My learned friend Shri Jaswant Singh has made a case that if the Resolution is admissible, the amendment should also be admissible. If the Resolution is a matter pending before a court of law and is sub judice, the amendment should also be considered as sub judice. If the amendment is sub judice, the Resolution will also be sub judice. The Resolution need not necessarily be sub judice, because the wording of the Resolution is very clear. The wording of the Resolution does not affect enything pending before the court of law and we are not going into the merits of the case. What he has given notice of is that the matter should be settled peacefully. When a case is pending before the court, any citizen of this country can say, the matter is to be settled peacefully. But, at the very same time, the amendment given notice of by my learned friend, Shri Khurana relates to a particular matter relating to the construction of a temple. (Interruptions)
SHRI E. AHAMED: When that matter is pending before the court, it is the duty of every citizen of a civilized society to wait for the verdict of the court. But at the same time my learned friend has given notice of an amendment which is for the construction of temple. This is not only interfering with the matter pending before the court, but is also barred under these Rules of Procedure. The rule is absolutely clear.
202 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
Rule 173(v) says:
"It shall not relate to any matter which is under adjudication by a court of law having jurisdiction in any part of India." Here the resolution is within the scope of this rule. That is why this has been admitted Resolution has already mentioned that status quo should be maintained. Therefore, the Resolution given notice of by my learned friend, Shri Zainul Abedin is within the scope of the admissibility under the rule and it has already been admitted, and I urge upon the Chair that the matter should be taken up for discussion.
But at the very same time, once a matter has already been ordered by the Speaker as not admissible as it is pending for decision of the court of law, it shall not be taken up and I hope the hon. Member will also abide by the Ruling given by the Speaker.
SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA: Sir, I heard what Jaswant Singhji has said about the Resolution and about the amendment. There is a basic difference between the Resolution and the Amendment. The Resolution is quite clear and it is in order. 'Peaceful settlement of the dispute' is mentioned here, whereas what I have understood from the amendment read by Khuranaji is that he wants to acquire the land for the construction of the Ram Temple. (Interruptions). In order to construct the Ram Temple, that land should be acquired. That is there, I think, in the amendment. (Interruptions). That has been referred to the court and the court is examining that aspect of the dispute. So, that amendment is sub judice. That is why that amendment was rejected. And here the peaceful settlement of the dispute has been asked for. So, there is a basic difference between the Resolution and the amendment.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: Not so far as it is sub judice--there is no difference between the two.
203 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA: As far as 'sub judice' is concerned, there is a basic difference.
Then there is another point also.
SHRI JASWANT SINGH: I want to clarify. If, in fact, the amendment is substantially the same as the motion itself, then it becomes inadmissible. The point is that that is precisely why it is admissible. (Interruptions).
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE (Dum Dum): I have great respect for Jaswant Singh Ji. But he can point it out to us and we can learn from him that......
MR. SPEAKER: Not like this.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: If a Resolution is not sub judice, amendment can be sub judice, (Interruptions)
SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA: There is also another point in the
Resolution. The maintenance of status quo that is another point in the Resolution. So, the Resolution is not sub judice, the contents of the Resolution are not sub judice. It is very much clear and it is very much in order. That is why it has been admitted, and I request the hon. Speaker the Chairman has already asked Shri Zainul Abedin to move the Resolution. So, the discussion should start immediately.
SHRI JASWANT SINGH: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may not repeat all that I have submitted to the House when the Chair was occupied by Col. Ram Singh. I would submit two additional points for your consideration.
Firstly, as has been pointed out by the leader of my party, the whole substance of the law is that the executive should not interfere with the functioning of the law of the land when it comes to the question of Courts of Law being seized of an issue; equally the executive should not interfere, the legislature, despite the freedom that it has of discussing anything that it wishes to, in the absolute privilege that it has to do so, must also by implica-
204 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
tion not interfere with the functioning of Courts of Law. That is the substance of what I submitted earlier by quoting Kaul and Shakdhar.
The second aspect was of admissibility. My submission was that if the motion is admissible this amendment to the motion is also admissible. (Interruptions) I do not think that is the point under discussion now. The question is of the admissibility of an amendment moved and as was pointed out by the leader of my party, we are not averse to the motion being discussed, but if the motion is discussed then the amendment must also be discussed. That is the substance of it. Then, in the Hindi List of Business, the wording of the Resolution say:
"The Ayodhya Shrine"
There is a mention of the shrine at Ayodhya in it. If there is any such mention, I may submit that we have no objection to it. A discussion is to be held on it. We want to have a discussion on it. If you are going to hold a discussion on the Resolution, a discussion on the amendment should also be held, because mention of Ayodhya shrine is there in both of them.
MR. SPEAKER: On one point, will you enlighten me? Supposing a decision has been taken in the Secretariat of the Legislature, can we discuss that decision on the floor of the House?
SHRI JASWANT SINGH: I would leave it to the leader of my party to reply.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, it is somewhat different from the point that Mr. Guman Mal Lodha has raised because I was not at all aware that the Secretariat had on an earlier occasion disallowed his resolution or motion on the ground that this matter of Ayodhya
205 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
is sub judice. I was not aware of it. (Interruptions) My understanding of sub judice is that it is not a blanket authority whereunder any matter which is before a Court of Law can be shut out from discussion.
It has never been interpreted that way and therefore all the interpretation including that of this committee of Presiding Officers had tried to narrow it down very much. Therefore, it was surprising for me to find that this particular amendment was rejected and this amendment differs from the view point expressed by the mover, no doubt. But that mover also wants the executive to intervene. There is a matter before the Court of Law pertaining to the Ayodhya shrine.
(Interruptions) Let me complete. Now, this resolution and this mover wants the executive to proceed to settle the matter peacefully as if the Court is not settling it. (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Please allow him to make his submission.
SHRI LAL L.K. ADVANI. I feel that we have every authority to tell the executive to proceed in this matter even though it is before the Court of Law. I would not regard the sub judice rule as coming in the way of discussing this resolution. But if this particular amendment has been ruled out specifically on that ground, we ask you to review your decision. We ask you to either review it and admit his amendment or if this ground has to be applied, it must be applied to the Resolution also. (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Please sit down. If you want to make your
submissions, I am prepared to hear. But supposing all of you speak at one time, it becomes difficult because I have to understand it if I have to say something.
SHRI JASWANT SINGH: In view of the fact that your question is addressed to me, if I recollect the question, you said: Can we in this House review what the Secretariat has done.
206 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
MR. SPEAKER: It is not that. So many notices are given to the Secretariat and decisions about their admissibility are taken in the Secretariat. Supposing we are going to compare the decision given in one notice with the decision in another notice and try to decide whether the decision given in one notice is correct or not, or decision given in one notice is of the same kind of decision as given in the other or not, this becomes a matter of going into the details, going into the fact. In that case, each word, comma and full stop we have to consider. Is it possible for us to go into all these details and come to a conclusion whether a decision taken in two cases is correct or not on the floor of the House? That is why, I was trying to understand what is the practice, according to you -whether the decision taken in the Secretariat or by the Speaker can be challenged here? If you have a grievance. valid grievance, certainly it should be rectified. But can we go into all those things as we go in the court of law?
SHRI JASWANT SINGH: The fact remains that you have now brought in two separate aspects. Hon. Justice G. M. Lodha's previous motion on the same subject has been ruled out on certain ground. And the amendment on the present motion has been ruled out on certain other ground. I am not going into the grounds why it has been ruled out.
I would submit without going into the motion of Hon. Justice G.
M. Lodha, though it belonged to the previous Lok Sabha, it becomes the property of Parliament. Today see for yourself the amendment moved by Shri Madan Lal Khurana to the motion. If the motion is admitted, then I submit in all humility that the Speaker who has an unfettered right and as repository of the privileges of all of us, has the right to certainly apply his mind and to consider that a decision taken by the Secretariat in his name can indeed be reconsidered on the floor of the House.
207 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
MR. SPEAKER: Or, in the Chamber, because on the floor of the House, the time is very limited and it is very diffcult to go into all these details.
SHRI JASWANT SINGH: It is possible that an error of judgement has been made by the Secretariat and the Speaker can rectify it.
MR. SPEAKER: He is on a point of law, on a point of rule. Now I have called his name.
THE MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (SHRI ARJUN SINGH): I wish to draw your attention to the fact that the hon. Leader of the Opposition has said that if the amendment has been ruled out as being not in order because the matter being sub judice, then the resolution also has to be looked at from the same angle or vice versa.
I think, for this, we will have to fall back only on the wording of the Resolution. I can certainly, in normal circumstances, agree that this cannot happen like this. But kindly look at the wording of the Resolution. This Resolution is more or less of a declaratory nature. It requests this Lok Sabha to suggest that the dispute concerning this matter is settled peacefully. This is one part.
The second part deals with the legislation which we have already announced in the President's Address.
Now so far as the first part is concerned, I think, in the background of what has gone on in this country in the last two years, we cannot shut our eyes entirely to what has happened in the country and, if this Parliament, in its wisdom wants to say that this dispute should be settled peacefully, I do not think this intention can become sub judice. But the moment you go into the issues which, by clear definition or in fact, are before a certain court, then you will have to consider that is sub judice.
208 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
Here the intention of this Parliament is to see that this dispute should be settled peacefully. I see no reason why anyone should have objection to that. Rather, within this cover of Parliament's wish, every one should strive the hardest that is possible and, in this no party can be an exception that this dispute be settled peacefully.
SHRI RAM VILAS PASWAN (Rosera): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I completely agree with Shri Arjun Singh and there is nothing in this Resolution, on which people belonging to any party can have differences, because all the parties have been repeatedly saying that there can be only two solutions to the problem. One is to solve the problem peacefully through negotiations and the other is the acceptance of the court's verdict, without any reservations, by all the concerned parties.
Although many people do not have any objection regarding the acceptance of the court's decision, there is not a single person, who has reservations about arriving at a peaceful settlement through negotiations.
So far as the issue raised by Shri Madan Lal Khurana is concerned, the acquisition of land, the construction of the temple etc, is an altogether different matter. You please allow a discussion on that part of the resolution which urges upon the Government to enact suitable legislation for preserving and maintaining the status quo of all religious shrines and places of worship, as they existed on August 15, 1947. No one has any objection to it.
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA: Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I gave a notice for Amendment, I was under the impression that the resolution is on the cards, but the previous night the Lok Sabha Secretariat informed me that it cannot be admitted as it is a matter concerning the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, which is sub judice. Only then I understood the whole thing.
209 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to put it simply, if my notice for amendment is not valid because the matter raised is sub-judice, then it automatically means that even this resolution is not valid. Therefore, either you admit my notice or you reject the resolution moved by Shri Zainal Abedin.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as far as I know, a 'dispute' takes place between two parties, but in this resolution, there are terms like the 'Shrine at Ayodhya'. There is no mention of any mosque. Only the 'Shrine at Ayodhya' is mentioned. What I want to say is that the dispute is regarding the temple and the mosque, then why is it that only one term 'Shrine' is mentioned? The term 'Mosque' too should have been mentioned along with it. Just mentioning about the 'Shrine' won't suffice.
Now, as Shri Ram Vilas Paswan has said to acquire the land, I would like to make it clear that I had mentioned it keeping in mind, the ordinance issued by the Government headed by the then Prime Minister Shri V.P. Singh. Now, if this resolution is accepted, it would be a blatant interference in the affair of judiciary because the temple was already there and the idol was installed there after 1950 with the consent of the sessions court. Moreover, if the resolution is moved, it would tantamount to contempt of the Faizabad Sessions Court.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that this resolution, if accepted, will have far reaching repercussions. The temple has been there since 1950 and it would have far reaching consequences.
Therefore, I would like to submit that this is a very sensitive resolution and before taking a decision on it on the floor of the House itself, the Government should call a meeting of all opposition leaders, because the people are not going to tolerate the removal of an idol which was installed long back in 1950.
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SHRI NANI BHATTACHARYA (Berhampore): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am on a point of order. My point is that the Resolution has already been moved in the House. You have already rightly allowed it. It has already been moved by the Member concerned. This is my first point. My second point is that we know nothing about the amendments which were rejected by the Office. Nor, do we know the merits or demerits of the amendments.
Now this matter is being raised. What is this? We do not know about it... (Interruptions) According to procedure this Resolution has already been moved by the Member concerned. Now, we are discussing it.
That is all. This is my view. (Interruptions)
SHRI EBRAHIM SULAIMAN SAIT: Sir, this matter has to be considered in a very sober manner. This House is seized of this Resolution. This Resolution was approved by the Secretariat, was given permission to by yourself and the Chairman permitted Shri Zainal Abedin to move the Resolution. In fact, the Resolution has already been moved. But this amendment was sought to be moved after the Resolution was moved...
(Interruptions) This amendment has been rejected. So, this amendment cannot be discussed. Therefore, it cannot be considered also. They should understand the basic difference between an amendment and the main Resolution. They just say that they want a peaceful settlement.
Now the question of disputed land has been raised, which is in the court of law. Two basic issues are raised which are quite different.
So, this amendment cannot be discussed. Therefore, this Resolution should be discussed immediately now. (Interruptions)
SHRI SHARAD DIGHE (Bombay North Central): Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is the point of practice and procedure that is involved in this matter. An amendment was sent by a Member and that has been rejected 211 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
[Sh. Sharad Dighe]
The consequence is that it has not been circulated to us at all. Not a single Member knows what is the amendment. The point whether the amendment which was rejected was proper or not, if that is allowed to be discussed in the House, it will lay down many bad practices. Many Members sent so many amendments to so many Resolutions and Bills and they are rejected. If a Member discusses this point every time why that is rejected, it will be a waste of time of this House and it will set a bad precedent. Therefore, in such circumstances, the member affected ought to have seen you and discussed with you why that has been rejected. He should have asked you to review the matter by trying to convince the hon. Speaker. That has not been done. And for the last one hour time of the House has been taken away regarding whether this amendment was properly rejected or not.
Then as far as the merits are concerned, the Resolution is properly in order because what is sub-judice has to be seen. What is sub-judice is, whether that property is for that Mandir or Masjid, to whom does it belong to, whether we should be allowed to enter there and do pooja or not. These matters are sub-judice. Now the Resolution suggests only the Government to take steps to settle the dispute or to bring legislation in this House. That is not settling the dispute in one way or the other, whereas, the amendment seeks, if I may say so, to decide the dispute in one way, namely, to acquire the land, build the Mandir and that way demolish the mosque and that will decide the dispute in spite of the fact that it has been left to the judiciary.
Therefore, that is absolutely out of order and sub-judice. But as far as Resolution is concerned, it is not sub-judice and moreover, this practice of considering the objection to the rejection of the amendment ought not to be allowed in the House at all.
212 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
MR. SPEAKER: Now I am giving my dicision.
SHRI RAM KAPSE (Thane): Please allow me.
SHRI RAM KAPSE: I have been trying for an hour. The Speaker has every authority to review the decision in the House also.
MR. SPEAKER: I will give you time to speak.
SHRI RAM KAPSE: Actually, there are two parts of the Resolution.
We do not disagree with the first part. There is another part of the Resolution that there should be a legislation maintaining the status quo as it existed on 15th August, 1947, which goes at the root about the dispute site. This opens up and issue which is before the court.
If the amendment is sub-judice then this date, the 15th August, 1947 will not lead to any settlement of the dispute but will create many problems. That is contradictory: that is sub-judice. (Interruptions).
My request to you would be to please review the decision.
MR. SPEAKER: Can I do that?
SHRI RAM KAPSE: Yes, you as a Speaker has the right.
SHRI DEVENDRA PRASAD YADAV: Mr. Speaker, Sir, my point o order is that there cannot be a discussion on the merits and demerits of a Private Members' Resolution that has been listed in the List of Business which has been accepted by you. A new precedent is being set.
You should allow a discussion only on a Resolution listed in the List of Business. So far as the question of the amendment is concerned, 213 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
it is not there before the hon. Members. (Interrptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Well, I would like to compliment the Members for taking so much interest in the interpretation of the Rules of Procedure. Now, if you are very particular about the interpretation of the Rules of Procedure, it will help all of us because we would be exact and correct. For this you should all be complimented.
The short point before us is that there is a Resolution which is circulated. The words of the Resolution are known to the Members. But the words in the amendment given are not known to the Members and yet we are discussing it. Again the question is that there are so many amendments given and the decisions are taken in the office. Supposing we discuss the decisions given on the amendments given in the office, then the entire time will be consumed by us on discussing whether the order of not admitting is correct or not. In a court of law at the time of admission itself there are arguments on both sides. But that kind of procedure is not available here because we are transacting a lot of business. That is why the convention, the procedure followed by us is that any decision taken by the Secretariat is not discussed on the floor of the House. That decision is discussed in the Chamber itself so that you have the time and you have the patience also. Only one or two Members will be sitting there discussig each word, every comma and full-stop and then one can come to the correct conclusion.
In this case it has become very clear. Both the things are before me. This file had not come to me, it need not come to me because the decision is taken at the Secretariat level and yet the Speaker is responsible for that; I am not denying it. But having not read all those things, having not assessed the meaning of each word used in the Resolution and in the amendment, suposing if I want to
214 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
pronounce on the admissibility of the amendment on the basis of whether it is subjudice or not, well I would have to apply my mind. I am paying attention to what the hon. Members are saying, at the same time reading it, at the same time reading the law and coming to the decision. Such a decision is likely to be wrong also. To be correct, I think the procedure laid down and followed generally is that whenever any Member has any objection to the admissibility or non-admissibility of a notice or an amendment or anything which is given to the Secretariat, it is not generally discussed on the floor of the House; it is discussed in the Chamber and there we take decisions patiently.
I would like to request you; I have tried to see and I have tried to assess the wording of both these things and then I find that different interpretations can be given on these things.Moreover it is not disclosing any secret to you. But the file says so many other things also-the scope of the amendment and other things. It is not only on that amendment being subjudice or not, it is a question of the scope of the amendment. If it is beyond the scope of the Resolution, it has to be seen whether it is admis sible or not. But while communicating probably only one thing has been communicated; but in the file there are so many other things also. So this is a kind of matter which if we discuss it on the floor of the House complications arise.
MR. SPEAKER: Now I would request you; we are interested in
discussing the things and we are not interested in settling out anything here. We are interested in doing things in a correct manner also.
Now may I request that let us proceed with the discussion on the Resolution? As far as the decision on the amendment is concerned, I will apply my mind in my office.
215 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
MR. SPEAKER: Now the mover may continue with his speech.
*ZAINAL ABEDIN: Mr. Chairman, Sir, the country is passing through a terribly difficult time. The economic crisis is assuming an alarming turn. The country is over burdened with foreign debt. The number of closed and sick industries has been increasing with an alarming proportion. Today lives of millions of poor and the middle class people are topsy turvy due to price rise of staggering dimension. The foreign exchange reserve is warning. The deficit in the balance of payment in foreign trade has been gradually increasing. One can hear the laments of millions of unemployed in every household. On the whole the economic crisis has turned the whole country in a very pathetic situation.
Side by side the ugly face of secession issue in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab has posed as a great danger for unity of the country. In this political and economic crisis, the people expect that all responsible political parites will face the challenge uncompromisingly. But it is a matter of regret that the recent communal situation in the country has reached such a stage that a healthy and conscious mind, the mind of every patriot feels concerned for this pathetic turn of events. In the near past the mutual distrust, the mutual hatred and animosity between the two main communities Hindu and Muslim, have been responsible for many communal riots, which have cost so many lives in the country. The resources of the country have also suffered terribly for this communal outburst.
There is polarisation of people on the basis of religion. It is but natural that everybody is concerned about this problem. Since our attention is focussed on this single problem of multitude dimension, the economic problem related to daily needs and
216 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
livelihood of the people are sidelined. Similarly the political problems related to the unity and integrity of the country are becoming less important.
But the question is who are the people killed in the communal riots? What are their identities? They may be Hiindus or they may be Muslims, their foremost identity is, that they are Indians. And the resources we have lost, are the resources of India.
The intrusion of religion into politics iis not new in Indian politics. Communal riot is also not new. But prior to eighties riots were the outcome of some stray incidents. Since the beginning decade of 80 there has been an organised planned attempt to poison the relation of these communities. This was not seen during post independence period. Today the communal problem has assumed a national character. It was not so before. Here it is a matter of apprehension.
The centre-point is the communal question today is of the birth place of Ram and Babri Masjid. The whole country has been engulfed by this religious sentripetal question. We are losing the sense of propriety, values and logicality. If communal situation is allowed to continue like this for the sake of temple and mosque, then I have apprehension that ultimately we well lose our identity as Indian.
Instead we will be branded as Hindu or Muslm, Sikh or Christian only.
16.44 hrs. [SHRI SHARAD DIGHE in the Chair]
But how this situation was created? Who is responsible for this?
This situation is the outcome of using religion for politics. This has been the outcome of making religion as a commodity in the market of politics. There is a vicious move ot pull the chariot of politics by the horse of religion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- *Traslation of the speech originally delivered in Bengali.
217 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
It is a matter of regret that B.J.P. has considered to make the question of temple and mosque their central issue in election. By keeping this central issue in the forefront B.J.P. and its allied organisations have raised the religious sentiment of one particular community to such a height that it has created an atmosphere of panic and fear in the mind of another community resulting in the weakening of very basis of secularism. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Do not obstruct him. Let him speak.
*SHRI ZAINAL ABEDIN: The other so-called secular parties are also following the policy of compromise with the fundamentalists to serve their petty political self interest. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: You may not like what he speaks but you will have to hear him.
of, is utterly helpless because they have failed in their role to protect secularism.
As a worker of the Leftist politics, I am proud to declare that we are the only party who are against any kind of fundamentalism-- whether it is of the majority or the minority. We have been fighting uncompromisingly inside as well as outside Parliament against this menace.
We the Leftists have always taken a firm stance for secularism.
We have never been infatuated by political selfish end.
After the recently held elections of Parliament and some of State Assem-
---------------------------------------------------------------------- *Translation of the speech originally delivered in Bangali.
218 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
blies, the danger signal to secularism and national unity has increased to a large extent. Because the BJP slogan of destroying or shifting Babri Masjid and constructing the temple of Ram has raised the religious sentiment of the people to a new dimension.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Please resume your seats.
SHRI BHAGWAN SHANKAR RAWAT (Agra): Mr. Chairman. Sir, we should talk about peaceful solution to the problem but he is making provocative utterance. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Whatever he is speaking, he is speaking on the Resolution. He has got the freedom of speech. You can put forward your point when you speak.
SHRI GUMAN MAL LODHA (Pali): Mr. Chairman, Sir, the contents of the Resolution that has been moved here crosses all limits.........
religious sentiments of the people has contributed much for their victory in the election. They are the second largest party in Lok Sabha and in Uttar Pradesh--the State which includes Ayodhya--the place of Babri Masjid, they have formed their government. It is a matter of apprehension that after the Council of Ministers was formed all ministers went to the disputed site and they took the pledge to construct the Temple at the controversial spot, thus defying all kinds of norms and practice. The purpose is to stimulate the religious sentiments of the majority
219 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
[Sh. Zainal Abedin]
community greatly and to create the sense of fear and panic among the minorities. In one side. there are efforts to create we have the authoritarian attitude of the majority nourished by the cooperation of the Government, while in the other, there is the feeling of helplessness and inferiority complex of the minority. This kind of situation can never be good for the country.
So this is my humble submission to my BJP friends, that you have succeeded immensely by the tactics of utilising the religious sentiments of the people. But do not follow that tactics any more. I do not know whether you will be benefited by this strategy. But undoubtedly it will be harmful and dangerous for the country. Because as the emotion of the majority is associated with the temple of Ram, so is the emotion of minority is associated with the 400 years old Babri Masjid. Equal importance and honour should be paid to the religious feelings af both the communities.
There cannot be any objection to the construction of the temple.
But why it has to be built in the same place by shifting or destroying the mosque? It is perhaps due to the claim of BJP and its allies. The reason perhaps is that Shri Ram was born in that very place and there was a temple which was destroyed by Babar and a mosque was constructed. (Interruptions)
But this theory of destruction of temple and construction of mosque has not been proved yet. Some of the historians have supported the opinion while there are some noted historians who have opposed the idea. The findings of Archeological survey are also contradictory and different. B.J.P. and their allied organisations are not even prepared to go by the verdict of the Court. Because they
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 220 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
feel this to be a matter of faith.(Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: If there are any objectionable words in his speech, I shall go through the record and remove those words. Please sit down.
MR. CHAIRMAN: You have taken more than half an hour. You please conclude.
any law. If the sheer faith and feelings are given more recognition than Constitution and Law, then secularism is lost into oblivion. And for those who do not follow this particular faith and feeling their constitutional rights become meaningless. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Let him complete his speech.
SHRI PIUS TIRKEY (Alipurduar): I am on a point of order. Shri Advani is the leader of the opposition. He should direct his party colleagues to restrain themselves and at least allow other hon.
members to speak. If it is not done, no one would be able to express his or her opinion. Therefore. I request him to tell his party colleagues that all the hon. members have got the right to express their viewpoint and they should not be interrupted.
MR. CHAIRMAN: There is no point of order.
policy of the country, BJP is claiming to be the most secular party.
221 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
Theirs is a positive secularism and while others are pseudosecular.
MR. CHAIRMAN: You please complete your speech otherwise I will call the next speaker.
segregation of politics from religion. Religion is a personal matter and politics cannot be mixed with religion. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: I would request the Hon'ble Member to complete the speech within five minutes. And, I request other Hon. Members not to disturb the speaker please. All of you will get your turns.
were inseparable. The State was run by the direction of the Church. By disobeying the Church one was branded as traitors.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: I would request the Members of my party to allow the hon. Member to complete his speech but I would like to request the House through you that on this issue we want a peaceful solution to the problem but at the same time the words like traitors...(Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Please listen. If he has used any unparliamentary expressions. I will expunge them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 222 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
have to face deterrant punishment for defying the Church. But ultimately they had won. The State and the Church are completely separated now.
But it is a matter of regret that there is an attempt m our country to revive that medieval trend. The administration of the country is being driven to the court-yard of temple and mosque. So when an important political activity like electioneering starts, we find the so-called secular leaders also gather either in the temple or in mosque. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: I have given him five minutes. Those five minutes have already been over. You have taken a lot of time. Let us allow others also to speak.
system is still powerful in our country and the disturbance of the fundamentalists is endangering the country for this strong social base of feudalism. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Now I request you to resume your seat. Let all those who want to support you also speak.
secularism? To them Hindutva and Indianness are synonymous. They feel until you embrace Hindutva, you cannot be an Indian. If you embrace Hindutva, that will be the most positive secularism.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Now I request you to resume your seat. Let all those who want to support you also speak.
223 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
carbon-copy of the majority. But they are forgetting the fact that India is a multi-lingual country. (Interruption)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Please sit down. That is enough. I have given you a lot of time.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE (Dum Dum): He has not been given sufficient time because he is the mover of the Resolution.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I have been ringing the bell for the last ten minutes.
diversity is the speciality of India. People belonging to different linguistic group, to different religion are Indian preserving their separate entity of language, culture and religion. So any attempt to deprive them of their separate identity is harmful for the unity of the country.
BJP claims that the people have voted them in power so as to construct the temple of Ayodhya. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: I can give you one minute more.
the verdict of the majority reflected in election. But the question is whether the problem of temple and mosque is the problem of U.P. only, or is it a national problem? It is BJP who has declared in their ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 224 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
election manifesto--For BJP it is purely a national issue. So the problem should be solved on national level. But BJP was not voted into power on national level? (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Please conclude. Please sit down.
benches. If by chance after election in Punjab, the Sikh fundamentalists, come to power and claim the same logicality which the BJP are claiming ..(Interruptions)
MR CHAIRMAN: Do not record hereafter.
right to fight the sikh fundamentalist? Again if the Muslim militants in Jammu and Kashmir somehow come to power after the election is held and claim that the peoples' verdict is in their favour reflecting their wish that the people of Kashmir should go out of India as the militants are demanding now, what role the BJP will play then?
The Congress (I) has declared in its election manifesto that they would try to solve the dispute of mosque and temple through negotiated settlement and they would arrange to preserve and maintain the status quo of all other shrines and places of worship as they existed on August 15, 1947. The same view is expressed in the manifesto of the National Front ...(Interruptions)...
225 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Don't record anything further.
of this and it is reflected in our manifesto also. So it is clear that all the major parties in Parliament except BJP are of the same opinion in this regard. I am happy to say that the President has also expressed the same view in his Address. If this trend of demolishing mosque and temple goes on, our secular set up will be destroyed. So I appeal to all parties of this august House to adopt my resolution unanimously to fulfil the commitment we had made to the people. This will help us to pay absolute attention to the economic prices as well as the political menace the country is confronted with. With these words I conclude.
MR CHAIRMAN: Motion moved:
"This House urges upon the Government to take early steps to peacefully settle the dispute regarding the shrine at Ayodhya and to enact suitable legislation for preserving and maintaining the status quo of all religious shrines and places of worship as they existed on August 15, 1947.
Now I will call upon one hon. Member from BJP to speak.
Shri Shreesh Chandra Dikshit.
SHRI SHREESH CHANDRA DIKSHIT (Varanasi): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I fully agree on one point with the Member who was speaking prior to me when he says that it is a national problem. People's sentiments are also linked with this problem apart from various aspects including the legal aspects. Therefore, it would be better if we apprise ourselves a little of the facts of the issue since we find that the people, who speak on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue,