Monday, July 29, 2013

Temple and Mosque

I have noted the seemingly parallel situation between India's Ram Temple in Ayodhya and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, previously.

My attention has been drawn to this RotterNet entry which sent me here, to the Navbharat Times, where I read this:

पूर्ण बहुमत मिला तो बनेगा भव्य राम मंदिर: BJP नेता

लखनऊ।। भले ही बीजेपी अध्यक्ष राजनाथ सिंह सहित कई केंद्रीय नेता यह कह रहे हैं कि राम मंदिर उनके चुनावी अजेंडे में नहीं है, लेकिन पार्टी के यूपी के अध्यक्ष का कहना है कि पूर्ण बहुमत मिलने पर हम संविधान संशोधन कर अयोध्या में भव्य राम मंदिर बनाएंगे। यूपी बीजेपी के अध्यक्ष लक्ष्मीकांत वाजपेयी ने कहा कि यदि 2014 के आम चुनाव में पार्टी को पूर्ण बहुमत मिला, तो जिस तरह डॉ. राजेंद्र प्रसाद के समय में संविधान में संशोधन कर सोमनाथ मंदिर का निर्माण कराया गया था, उसी तरह बीजेपी भी राम मंदिर बनवाएगी। वाजपेयी ने साफ तौर पर कहा कि गठबंधन धर्म की मजबूरियों और पूर्ण बहुमत न मिलने की वजह से ही आज तक राम मंदिर नहीं बन पाया। वाजपेयी ने ये बातें एक न्यूज एजेंसी को दिए इंटरव्यू के दौरान कहीं।

It reports this:

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s aide and party’s Uttar Pradesh in-charge Amit Shah led the entire top state leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to Ayodhya on Saturday to kick up a political storm and in the process bare its blueprint for 2014 in which, “Ram and his makeshift temple” are again expected to make an impression in the saffron scheme of things.

The BJP leaders are actually taking the storm that Shah’s Ayodhya visit has kicked up as a ‘ good omen’. For the party’s best years in Uttar Pradesh (UP) – 1991 to 1998 – were those it spent chanting Ram, whipping up a religious frenzy that catapulted it to power both in UP as well as at the centre. “We feel that Ayodhya temple issue could again provide much needed oxygen, breathing life into our ‘Congress-mukt-Bharat’ campaign with the Rajnath-led and Modi-inspired BJP expected to hardsell the twin and contrasting models of Hindutva and development before the electorate,” a BJP source said.

A party leader said, that the “Ayodhya visit by Shah was also aimed at uniting the VHP and other constituents of the Sangh Parivar that had been blaming the BJP of shunning its core issues. Shah’s temple commitment message was as much aimed at attracting the party’s core voters as indeed the saffron brigade.” That clearly explains why the BJP thought of holding its party meeting at Ayodhya’s Karsewakpuram – where the saffron rabble-rousers affirm their temple commitment annually on December 6 -- the demolition day – for the first time in nearly a decade. (The makeshift Ram temple was built after Hindu activists razed the 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya in December 1992. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has vowed to construct a grand Ram temple at the site.)

And this provides some explanation:

Gujarat chief minister and BJP's campaign committee chairperson Narendra Modi's attempt to revive hardline Hindutva in UP for gains in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls is a double-edged sword...For this, Sangh Parivar is moving in a planned manner to create a Hindutva wave - On June 9, Modi is elevated. On June 12, VHP announces statewide campaign in August for Ram temple. On June 18, RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh; Nathuram Godse, a former RSS member, assassinated Mahatma Gandhi] chief Mohan Bhagwat says in Meerut that Hindutva is the only solution for India. On June 28, a VHP leader arrested for Mathura blasts. On July 6, Modi's right hand man Amit Shah visits Ayodhya, vows to build Ram temple. And, on July 16, RSS chief formally approves Ram temple as an election issue.

Petitions are also being filed claiming the right of Hindus on 'disputed places' where mosques were constructed during medieval period...The attempt is to create a situation similar to 90s when the BJP rose due to Ram Temple movement led by Lal Krisna Advani and charisma of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. However, after demolition of Babri mosque, the hardline appeal declined and caste factor has been dominating since then. However, hundreds died in communal violence across country in 90s.

...A section of people also think that the Ram Temple issue will have little impact today as young voters (18-25 years), who are 40% of the electorate, were either not born or were below five years of age when Babri mosque was demolished in 1992. However, hate messages in social media show a different picture...

This additional elections commentary also noted the Ram Temple issue:

...Shah created a flutter in some quarters when he resurrected the dormant Ram Temple issue on a visit to Ayodhya in the first week of July.

Another critical view.

India indeed.


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