The chisels for Ram have been replaced by guns to protect the mahants.
On the eve of the 12th anniversary of the razing of the Babri Masjid, fear hangs over this temple town. But the insecurity is not over another violent agitation for a Ram temple but the bloody succession battles among priests and heads of trusts that have claimed several lives.
Several hundred trust heads have either acquired arms or have applied for gun licences. Of the 100 applicants whose cases are before the Faizabad district administration, 60 are mahants, police confirmed.
It seems that several priests and administrators have already been killed, The Telegraph thinks that the deflation of the Ayodhya issue is responsible for the priests turning against each other, as old rivalries resurface. The priests themselves have the perfect answer for everything:
Gyan Das was flanked by armed men even in his office near Hanumangarhi. He argued that the trusts and akharas had been created to protect the Hindu religion. So they should be armed. What if the arms are used to settle scores with rivals of the community? “That is there,” he said, “but God will save them.”
The only thing missing is a visit from Charlton Heston of the NRA, after all he did play Moses.