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.