This grand saffron show is a culmination of week-long smaller exercises like road shows, human chains and bike rallies across Delhi, organised by the VHP and Sangh affiliates
New Delhi: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has held a massive congregation in Delhi's Ramlila Ground in a massive show of strength to demand Ram Mandir. The VHP is calling it 'Dharma Sabha' where an estimated 1.5 lakh people are expected to come. Though the number has not been confirmed, the city has seen a sea of people congregate at Ramlila ground since 11 am when the yagna started.
The rally is organised with a single goal to pressurise the BJP-led NDA government to bring in an ordinance to ensure early construction of a Ram temple in the disputed site. Both the Sunni Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh and the Hindu saints claim the land to be theirs. Nirmohi Akhara is another claimant of this disputed land that has shaped the country's politics in the 90s. Now the matter is pending in the Supreme Court which has put it on the backburner, saying it will decide in January 2019 as to when to start hearing the matter.
The rally which is undoubtedly a massive show of strength, comes days before the winter session of Parliament is supposed to begin. Being the last Parliament session of this government, this 'Dharma Sabha' has not only put pressure on the Modi government to honour what it endorses in its manifesto, but also a huge pressure on the Congress party that has been on a Hindu image makeover spree ever since the Gujarat Assembly election last year. The party president finally paid heed to the AK Antony Committee report (a committee that was set up after 2014 dribbling), as Rahul was seen visiting no Muslim religious sites during the Gujarat election, followed by the ‘Janeu-Dhari’ announcement from Randeep Surjewala to his 'shiv bhakt' image projection during the Madhya Pradesh election. Any opposition to the demand for an ordinance for Ram Mandir will undo Congress's entire effort so far. On the other hand, any dilly-dallying on part of the BJP runs a risk of losing votes in the upcoming 2019 general elections, where Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of seats.
A poster that was released for this event confirms the attendance of Sadhvi Ritambhara, Swami Avshenanda Giriraj, Swami Hansdevacharya, Swami Gyanand and VHP’s international president BS Kakje. The RSS, the ideological mentor, is also deeply involved with the organisation of this event. It's sahkaryavah (joint secretary) Bhaiyaji Joshi is also attending this massive saffron event in demand of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
This grand saffron show is a culmination of week-long smaller exercises like road shows, human chains and bike rallies across Delhi, organised by the VHP and Sangh affiliates. It has a clear RSS imprint all throughout. VHP’s international president said, "Ye karoro hinduo ki astha Ka vishay hai (This is a matter of faith of crores of Hindus)". He added, "We are demanding what is legitimate and ours".
On Twitter, Union minister Harsh Vardhan was trolled after his "prayers" for an early resolution for Ram Mandir. One prominent VHP face on social media, Abhishek Mishra, questioned him, "It's your government. Who are you praying for?"
With an all-important 2019 general election looming large on the nation, and as exit polls show not a very rosy picture for the Hindi heartland, an ordinance may make life easier for the Bharatiya Janata Party. But will it bite the bullet? Only time will tell.
Read Exclusive COVID-19 Coronavirus News updates, at MyNation.
Last Updated Dec 9, 2018, 2:49 PM IST