Will BJP go ahead with building of Ram Temple

By Lalith Sethi. Dated: 12/13/2018 11:24:46 PM

Did the Sangh Parivar know in advance that the BJP would be sitting on dump heaps as the voters in three heartland States had decided to punish them? Is 'Modiji' still riding a high horse after an rout, not on local issues, but nationwide: crass neglect of farmers, youth and 95 per cent or more of Indians? Be it farmers, rising prices, suicides and utter discontent, nay anger, against the rulers at the Centre as well as 20 odd BJP-ruled States.
Was the RSS so annoyed over their failure to overlook the people's woes or to build the Ram Temple in Ayodhya at the designated place? Did the people feel cheated and deceived over the election manifesto pledges of minimum government, maximum governance? Could they no longer accept that the present government has reneged on nearly all issues, even as they came to power and to rule India?
But has the temple become a non-issue after mass suffering in an allegedly shining India and total boycott of "Sab ka saath, sab ka vikaas" when it appears to be "Sab ka virodh, sab ka vinaash" ~ join hands for the well-being of one and all or oppose all and dump them.
Yet, it's not for the RSS to make promises, but to enforce them.
That is what the RSS is reiterating and telling the BJP as well as the Prime Minister that they had better mend their ways on the assurances to the people of India on their economic and social health and educational security", besides the Ram Temple issue; otherwise, dust heap or polling booth dumps are their chosen place. May 26 next year is not far away, just about six months left. A 201-foot tall statue of Lord Rama, including a 51-foot high pedestal, may be the tallest of statues, but it boils down to a gimmick in the face of general distress.
What the RSS wants is the Temple and people's welfare in reality and not in false words, besides doing something concrete about the present makeshift place of worship in Ayodhya.
It is now reasonably, if not positively clear, that elections in the States electing new legislatures showed to the Nagpur leadership that the BJP had lost face and the ground everywhere. Their assessment was that the Modi Sarkar was contesting the polls on local issues, which are not and cannot be independent of the national concerns.
Did the RSS decide not to waste energy or tire out millions of cadres in a bad scenario, where its surrogate BJP in the political minefield was truly a lost case; it thought that the Dilli Sarkar at the Centre had to be dumped in the trash cans.
A rally around Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi on Sunday, December 9, organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad , the main frontal organization of the Sangh Parivar, was addressed by the key general secretary of the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh, Bhayyaji Joshi. He spoke in no uncertain terms: "We are not begging for the Ram Temple. It is our right. A Times of India lead story started with the words: "The Modi Government's elbow room on the Temple issue seems to have been reduced sharply".
It is clear that the RSS and its supportive groups are not impressed by the gimmicks such as changing names of towns and roads with Mughal or Muslim connotations, nor apparently are they taken in by the cow vigilantes' antics. If anything, these antics are now regarded as diversionary tactics from the Ram Temple and other promises made by the BJP. Even the plans to build a Ramayana Museum in Ayodhya and develop the banks or ghats on the Saryu river, popularly called the Sarju in local parlance, have failed to please the RSS boss, Pandit Mohanrao Bhagwat, and high priests of Nagpur headquarters of the Saffron Brigade. The angry words Yogi Adityanath has been using since the election campaigning started in 2014 and his coming to power in Uttar Pradesh less than a year ago have sent a message to the Parivar that he has brought a bad name to the Hindutva Brigade which is now building up an image away from a band of zealots.
Bhayyaji Joshi said: "It is not only our wish, but also the responsibility of the government and Parliament. We wish the dignity of the judicial system and courts to be upheld. The courts and the government should respect the sentiments on a long time pledge of the ruling party that the temple will be built at the designated place ('Mandir vahin banayen ge').
Privately Bhayyaji might have talked to the Prime Minister Narendrabhai , and his alter ego, Amit Shah, who has been harping on Ms. Mamta Banerjee's alleged dictatorial ways in West Bengal. What about free cooking gas cylinders only for women, who were too poor to buy a refill even at Rs.400? But most people pay Rs.1,000 for a cylinder and the registered holders pay as much as Rs.800, with a 7-rupee discount as crude prices fell. But the rupee had hit the bottom at Rs.71-72 for an American dollar.
Where does the BJP go from here as the temple issue and people's woes are brought to the fore by RSS?
*(Lalit Sethi is a Journalist of long standing and a commentator on Political and Social Issues.)
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