Dr Satish Misra

Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday asked his government to bring in a law for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and urged the Supreme Court, where the hearing on the title suits are to resume later this month, to expedite its verdict.

Bhagwat’s demand came during his customary annual address at the organisation’s headquarter in
Nagpur to his followers.

His timing was perfect few weeks before the five assembly elections and couple of months before the general elections.

“The place of Janmbhoomi is yet to be allocated for the construction of the temple although all kinds of evidence have affirmed that there was a temple at that place.

There is an obvious gameplan of a few elements to stall the judgement by presenting various newer interventions in the judicial process.

It is in nobody’s interest to test the patience of society without any reason” Bhagwat said in a seemingly warning tone in the presence of Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and K Alphons, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Nobel laureate Kailash Vidyarthi.

“The construction of the temple is necessary from the self-esteem point of view; it will also pave the way
for an atmosphere of goodwill and oneness in the country.

The matter of national interest is being obstructed by some fundamentalist elements and force that play communal politics for selfish gains. Despite such machinations, the decision regarding ownership of the land should be expedited, and the Government should clear the path for construction of the grand temple through appropriate and requisite law”, the Sangh supremo said.

While Bhagwat stressed upon the need to bring in a law, others in the saffron family have suggested to taking recourse to issuing of an ordinance for facilitating the path of construction of a grand Ram temple at the disputed site.

By repeating its very old argument that Ram temple is an article of faith that cannot be challenged in a court of law, Bhagwat has struck at the very roots of the Constitution of the country. Every community has its faith not only Hindus.

Modern civilisations and contemporary societies are built upon logic, reason and rule of law and not on issues of faith, Bhagwat must know.

Bhagwat’s view that temple construction is necessary for the sake of “self-esteem” is bizarre. It does not stand the test of a microscopic scrutiny.

RSS does not represent all practicing Hindus. While the RSS’s membership is not known as it is purported to be a trade secret, the BJP had polled 31 percent odd votes nationally in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls that was the best it had every polled. By no definition, the BJP has the support of the Hindu community. Then how can he claim to be the representative of all Hindus?

In fact, society has become more polarized and divided ever since the Sangh sponsored VHP-led and BJP supported Ramjanmbhoomi temple issue gained momentum in late 80s and early 90s of the last century. There are more fissures in polity and society than ever before.

A large section of Hindu society rather the silent majority that follows tenets of Sanatan Dharma has felt a terrible let down by the aggressive Ramjanmnhoomi temple movement.There is a strong feeling among Hindus that forces of Hinduatva have forcibly hijacked SantanDharm.

There cannot be any doubt what so ever that Bhagwat chose to return to Hinduatva’s strident path within few weeks of his effort to present Sangh as a changed organisation was the result of his reading of ground realities in which the BJP was not likely to win either coming assembly polls or the general election early next year.

Bhagwat’s claim from the podium of Vigyan Bhavan that the RSS was now inclusive and was ready to accommodate country’s minorities and deprived sections of society was a big sham. His mask has slipped so miserably and so soon. Bhagwat’s show was definitely not a Glasnost but was a diversionary tactics to soften the public attitude before striking a heavy blow on the Constitution of the country.

The Modi government had come to power in 2014 and demanding a law for construction of a Ram temple at the Janmbhoomisthan in October 2018 is obviously aimed at influencing the electoral battle in favour of the BJP. At the same time, it is also an effort to create pressure on the Supreme Court that is beginning to hear title suit case from October 29.

Need to play the Ram temple card arose rather became urgent as abjectly poor performance of the Modi government on economic, employment, social security, communal harmony and social peace fronts began to reflect in popular perception.

People coming to attend rallies and meetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders including BJP chief Amit Shah were seen being getting restless and bored. Growing disillusionment among the non-RSS and non-BJP sections of the electorate emitted panic signals that required urgent attention.

The BJP and the RSS, in their own calculations, had succeeded in isolating liberal, left and centrist ideological stream and had discredited them in popular perception as anti-nationalists. That is why now a decisive push was the need of the hour.

Sharpening of communal and religious polarization was in the Sangh calculations was the only way through which the BJP could return to power in Hindi heartland states and in New Delhi. While mob lynching, love jihad, cow slaughter, urban naxals, helped in creating a suitable environment for creating religious divides,

Bhagwat’s strategy is still to pass the test of time. Whether the electorate approves it or not will be known when ballot boxes are counted first in five assembly elections and then in the Lok Sabha election.

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