देश को राम मंदिर नहीं, शिक्षा चाहिए

From Rath Yatra to Bhumi Pujan: The Journey of Hindu Rashtra

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The ground breaking ceremony of Ram Temple (and consequently Hindu Rashtra) in Ayodhya was marked with the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The event kick started the building of the long awaited Ram temple, and was echoed with chants of “Jai Shri Ram” by none other than PM himself. Though, many questions were raised on his attending of the event within his professional jurisdiction, but the questions are as ignorant in themselves, as the high aspirations of some of the people of this country.

Many were asking if it is legitimate for the PM of a secular country to attend a religious event within his official status. Even 300 appeals were also sent to the PM office, requesting him not to attend the event. Many have seen this as a declaration of its Hindutva identity by BJP.

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Another point of contention was the date decided for the Bhumi Pujan event. Last year, on August 5, Jammu and Kashmir was ripped of its special status and bifurcated into two union territories. The move was seen as an authoritarian one which was supported by the imposition of a lockdown across the UT, turning down the internet and all communication services, including landlines. The decision has proven to be a failure for the party so far, even if no one talks about it. Now, after exactly one year, another majoritarian move was telecasted live on national television. However, it is ignorant to believe that BJP or its leaders would avoid something like this. 

Ram Mandir and BJP in 1980s

Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) had Ram mandir in its agenda since the very inception of the party in 1980. Since then, it has given the message clear and loud that they intend to make this country India a Hindu Rashtra. There have been appeals in SC to remove the word secular from the constitution. And the party has always worn the Ram mandir as a badge of victory. As a symbol of their Hindu identity.

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In 1980s, BJP slowly came to power making Ram mandir as their agenda, setting for itself a Hindu majoritarian ground. From the iconic Rath Yatra led by LK Advani which left a bloody trail across the North India to the passing of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of 2019. BJP has kept its intentions very clear. The Rath Yatra had ignited communal riots all across the path of the procession from Somnath to Ayodhya. And the CAA led protests left a bloody trail in North-east Delhi, killing many.

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In both cases, the party leadership was a mute spectator. None of them took even a single step to stop the riots. This shows that even though the leadership has changed from LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, but the core remains same. The intention of setting up a Hindu Rashtra is still alive at the core of the party roots. This is the reason that not even a single time, Ram mandir was dropped from the election manifesto. Whether it be 2 seats in 1985 or a 303 in 2019.

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Even the thought of expecting the PM not to attend this event is childish. This is a chance for the party to showcase their badge and add feathers in its saffron cap symbolizing Hindu Rashtra. Though, it also shows that how they are changing the secular structure of this country into a communally bigoted one. Although, it seems difficult for the party to gather more support, as it is already at its peak. Yet, there are chances of UP CM Ajay Bisht to improve his image. And the disputed land being given to the Hindu parties by the SC is in itself a loud statement on the secular fabric of the country. However, what remains to be seen is the left over verdict in the Babri demolition case, which is due yet.

This opinion is written by Rashi Goyal

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