Dharma Sansad: RSS-VHP back off Ram temple date, face sadhus’ ire – Namita Bajpai

Ramdev & Mohan Bhagwat

Namita BajpaiThe RSS reposed faith in Modi government and decided to drop the demand of immediate commence of temple construction till the formation of the new government at Centre after the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. – Namita Bajpai

Day two of Dharma Sansad convened by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad at Kumbh on February 1st was lost in the furore and ruckus created by agitated sadhus demanding date for temple construction in Ayodhya.

Contrarily, the saints and seers, led by the RSS, reposed faith in Modi government and decided to drop the demand of immediate commence of temple construction till the formation of the new government at Centre after the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

However, ruckus ensued after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s address in the last session of the Dharm Sansad as a section of protesting sadhus were demanding early construction of Ram Temple. At the onset, Mahamnadelshwar Akhileshwaranand read out a proposal which had no mention the temple issue. The Mahamandelshwar said that to avoid politicisation of the issue, no new announcement would be made from the platform of Dharma Sansad.

He even urged the saints and sadhus to keep patience for some more time so that the next government could pave the way for a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya. “Focus your spiritual power and inner strength to realise this dream of ages which is now only a matter of few months. Let’s not indulge in anything unconstitutional as the fight is in the decisive phase now,” said the Mahamandelshwar putting the proposal for second day proceedings forward.

Addressing the delegates in the concluding session of the conclave, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat assured the sadhus that the temple will be built but after 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “Otherwise the opposition will accuse us of constructing the Ram temple for electoral gains,” said the RSS chief adding: “I want to assure all of you that the construction will begin in the very first session of assuming power.” This led to the din and sloganeering in the conclave. People started shouting—Mandir banao ya vapas jao (build the temple or go back)—much to the shock of the RSS chief who might have faced such a public protest for the first time in a meeting.

Earlier, assertive Bhagwat said that the majority Hindu community would settle for nothing less than a grand temple at the birthplace of Lord Rama in Ayodhya. “Yeh humari maang hai aur rahegi. Ab sarkar dekh le kaise karegi (This is our demand and ti will remain so. Now it is up to the government to do it),” he said.

He cautioned the saints and the people claiming that despite all the political upheavals in the country, this issue would be addressed in next 3-4 months. “We will not be climbing down even an inch from our position on the temple issue,” Bhagwat maintained.

The RSS chief referred to the High Court decision of September 30, 2010 saying that even the court was convinced of the presence of the temple at the disputed site. “We had promised the government to keep quiet for three years after which we started raking up the issue.” However, he took a jibe at judiciary saying for the Supreme Court of India it was not a priority issue.

“Let the government work in this direction. If the government will facilitate the temple, we will get the blessings of Lord Rama. We have to maintain the momentum and the spirit for the temple,” he stated.

In an attempt to seek support for the BJP government, as soon as the RSS renewed the call to elect a government capable of facilitating the temple, the sadhus became agitated and started shouting slogans—tareek batao, tareek batao (tell us the date)—-and accusing the RSS chief of using the platform to bolster BJP’s political fortune.

But the RSS chief continued with his pro-government narrative saying that it was a dispensation which framed the law to offer citizenship to the Hindus abandoned in other countries. “We will not create problems for the government of the day, rather we have to support it,” he said hoping that the temple would come up with positive thinking as the time and space for the victory of Santana Dharma was there. – The New Indian Express, 1 February 2019

» Namita Bajpai  reports for The New Indian Express in Lucknow.

2 Responses

  1. Mohan Bhagwat & Narendra Modi

    Modi, Bhagwat now on same Ayodhya page – The New Indian Express – 4 February 2019

    Amid all the brouhaha over the Interim Budget, what got drowned out was PM Narendra Modi’s success in convincing the Sangh Parivar not to raise the temperature of the Ayodhya Ram temple issue beyond manageable limits. The tone was set by a top saint at the VHP’s just-concluded Dharam Sansad at the Kumbh, urging the gathering not to do anything unconstitutional as the fight for the temple was in its decisive phase.

    In the end, contrary to the VHP’s own rhetoric in the past few months, no date was set to begin temple construction. What emerged was a united Parivar agreeing prudence lay in waiting for the outcome of the much delayed title suit in the apex court before exploring legislative options. Gone was the dissonance that had emerged the day TV channels aired Modi’s interview where he ruled out overstepping the judicial process, as RSS deputy general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale underlined that the construction must begin within the current tenure of the NDA government itself.

    The change in line was articulated by no less a person than RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, sending a message to the hotheads to hold their peace. Though a section of the crowd at the Dharam Sansad created a ruckus, indicating the perils of stoking people’s expectations in a mass movement, it is not difficult for a cadre-based outfit to manage the situation. Another group of saints led by Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati tried to stir the pot in the week leading to the Sansad, ostensibly on behalf of the Congress, with which his affinities lie, saying he would lay the foundation stone of the temple on February 21. That could be another reason why the Parivar softened its tone, as it would not want the movement hijacked by paratroopers like him.

    But the biggest success for Modi came from Bhagwat’s assertion that the construction would begin shortly after the BJP gets a fresh mandate at the Centre, assuming the SC verdict would be delivered by then. It implied the Sangh would fully support his re-election bid.


  2. Swaroopananda Sharakaracharya

    A Dharm Sansad headed by Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopananda has said they will lay the foundation stone of the Ram Mandir on February 21. – Seema Gupta – Daily-O – 31 January 2019

    In a big announcement, a ‘Dharm Sansad’ — a religious gathering of Hindu sadhus — being held in Prayagraj has ‘declared a date’ for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

    The Dharm Sansad, headed by Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopananad, on January 30 said they would lay the foundation stone of the Ram Mandir on February 21.

    The announcement is potentially explosive — or is it? Should the grand declaration be taken with a pinch of salt?

    Here are four factors to keep in mind:

    1). Sadhus not united: The announcement has been made only by one sect of sadhus. Other sects and organisations, most notably, the Vishva Hindu Parishad, have not yet declared support to it. In fact, the VHP is set to hold its own Dharm Sansad in Prayagraj from January 31.

    2). VHP, Swaroopanand don’t see eye to eye: The alleged fight between Swaroopanand and the VHP goes back to year 1993, when reportedly four Shankaracharyas passed a resolution stating that the VHP didn’t have religious authority to construct the Ram temple. Twenty six years later, ties have apparently not improved. Without the VHP’s support, it is hard to believe that February 21 would prove to be the Big Day. Rather, it may just turn out to be pressure tactics by the sadhus.

    3). VHP, RSS in a spot: With this step by the sadhus, the VHP-RSS will face heat for talking big on the temple but not announcing a definite date.

    In fact, PM Modi has said the BJP government would wait for the SC verdict before acting on the issue. Now, facing the likely loss of Hindu votes, especially in Uttar Pradesh, the Centre has petitioned the Supreme Court to release superfluous land acquired under the Acquisition of Certain Areas of Ayodhya Act, 1993, near the disputed site. However, the step is being seen as little more than a face-saver.

    4). Big challenge for UP administration: Whether or not the foundation stone for the temple is actually laid on February 21, the announcement is fraught with the possibilities of law and order disturbances. No matter what his own ideological leanings are, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will have to make sure the sadhus’ actions don’t lead to flare-ups. His government should be prepared for all eventualities.


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