The government on Wednesday named nine out of 15 members of the ‘Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra’ trust constituted for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya as mandated by the Supreme Court.
Senior lawyer K Parasaran, who represented the Ram Lalla Virajman in the apex court, has been appointed as the trust’s chairman and his residence has been designated the trust’s office.
Other names on the trust include prominent seers of the country and a member of the Ayodhya royal family.
Apart from these, the district magistrate of Ayodhya will also be a trustee.
Other members will include two prominent people nominated by the board of trustees, one by the Centre and one by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Here’s all you need to know about the members of the trust who have been named so far:
The 92-year-old former attorney general of India is referred to as the ‘pitamah (patriarch)’ of the Indian bar in legal circles. He represented Ram Lalla Virajman, the infant deity, in the title suit.
Since the verdict was in favour of giving the entire disputed plot to Ram Lalla Virajman, Parasaran had the biggest share in this victory.
The former advocate general of Tamil Nadu was awarded he Padma Bhushan in 2003 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2011.
In the Sabarimala case, Parasaran represented the Nair Service Society, arguing in favour of the restriction on entry of women.
Jagatguru Shankracharya Jyothish Peethadheeshwar Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj of Prayagraj
The Shankaracharya of Badrinath-based Jyotish Peeth. However, his elevation as Shankaracharya was mired in controversy.
His claim to the seat was rejected by the Allahabad high court in 2017.
He has been associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement since the beginning. He has said that the temple work will be financed by public money.
Jagatguru Madhavacharya Swami Vishwa Prasannatheerth Ji Maharaj of Pejawar Math, Udupi
He is the the successor to Pejawar Math head Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji who passed away in December last year. He is the 33rd head of the Math. The senior pontiff was a prominent part of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Ram Janambhoomi movement. Among those condoled his passing away was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who tweeted: ‘A powerhouse of service and spirituality, he continuously worked for a more just and compassionate society. Om Shanti.’
Swami Govinddev Giri Ji Maharaj of Pune
A disciple of Pandurang Shastri Athavale of Swadhayaya Pariwar, Govinddev Giri is a scholar of the Ramayana, the Bhagvad Gita and the Mahabharata, among other religious texts.
Yugpurush Paramanand Ji Maharaj of Haridwar
Head of Akhanda ashram in Haridwar, he is the author of over 150 publications on Vedanta.
Paramanand Ji had also addressed a summit of religious leaders at the United Nations in the year 2000.
Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra
The scion of the Ayodhya royal family, he is still popularly known in the temple town as ‘Ayodhya Naresh’, or the ‘king of Ayodhya’.
He fought the 2009 Lok Sabha elections on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket from Faizabad constituency but lost to the Congress candidate.
He never returned to active politics after that.
A Bharatiya Janata Party leader from Patna, he is the only Scheduled Caste member of the trust.
Chaupal laid the first stone of the Ram temple during the 1989 foundation laying ceremony in Ayodhya.
He is, therefore, also known as the ‘first kar sevak‘.
In 1991 he fought the Lok Sabha polls against Ram Vilas Paswan. In 2002 he was elected as a member of the Bihar legislative council. In 2014 he fought the Lok Sabha elections from Supaul against Pappu Yadav’s wife, Ranjeeta Ranjan.
A homoeopathy doctor from Ayodhya, Mishra is a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
He was an aide of Vinay Katiyar during the 1992 kar seva movement.
Mahant Dinendra Das of Nirmohi Akhara
Chief of Ayodhya Baithak of Nirmohi Akhara finds a place on the trust following the SC order which had mandated it even though the Akhara’s claim to the disputed plot was rejected by the apex court. However, the mahant will not have a vote at the trust meetings.