Shankaracharya demands government fulfil its promise to build Ram temple – PTI

Swaroopananda Saraswati

The Shankaracharya of Dwarka Math, Sri Swaroopanand Saraswati, said the government should fulfil its promise of constructing a Ram temple at Ayodhya. – PTI

Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati on June 2nd said the government should fulfil its promise of constructing a Ram temple at Ayodhya. “The government should fulfil its promise that hitherto could not be translated into reality,” he told reporters in Vrindavan.

“Since the matter is pending before the apex court, we expect the decision to come shortly and construction of temple should start,” Swaroopanand said.

He said Mughal emperor Babur had never visited Ayodhya and there was never a mosque at the site of Lord Ram.

Targeting the BJP, Swaroopanand said, “There is lot of difference between Ram of the BJP and Ram of seers.”

“The Ram of BJP is an ideal human being, while we worship our Ram,” he added.

Swaroopanand said […] issues like unemployment and development were “sidelined” in the Lok Sabha elections.

“The government should focus on issues like ban on bovine export, withdrawal of Article 370 from Kashmir, making holy rivers pollution free, etc.,” he said. – MoneyControl, 3 June 2019

Sanjay Raut

We will be beaten with shoes if we fail to fulfil Ram temple promise this time: Shiv Sena – ANI

The BJP, in its election manifesto, had stated that it would “explore possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and take necessary steps to expedite construction of Ram temple.”

Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Thursday said that people will ‘beat them with shoes’ if they do not fulfil the promise of Ram Temple construction this time.

“In 2014, we promised construction of the Ram temple but we did not accomplish it. The concluded election was also fought in the name of Lord Ram. Before elections, we went to Ayodhya with party chief Uddhav Thackray ji, we have committed ourselves to the construction of the temple and I feel this time around Ram temple’s construction will start. Because if we don’t, the country will stop trusting us and will beat us with shoes in anger,” he said while speaking to ANI here.

Raut stated that the temple will be built soon as NDA has a majority in the Lok Sabha with 350 seats.

“Now BJP has 303 MPs, Shiv Sena has 18, NDA has more than 350, what more is needed to construct the temple?” he asked.’

On May 27, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had hinted at stepping up efforts for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, saying “Ram’s work has to be done.”

“We have to do Ram’s work and we will get it done. This is our work. Ram lives in us, so this is our work and we will do it ourselves. Even if we outsource it to somebody, we have to keep an eye,” Bhagwat had said while addressing an event in Udaipur in Rajasthan.

RSS, the ideological mentor of BJP, has repeatedly called for the construction of Ram Temple at the disputed land in Ayodhya.

The BJP, in its election manifesto, had stated that it would “explore possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and take necessary steps to expedite construction of Ram temple.”

In March, the court appointed a panel of mediators, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice F. M. I. Kalifulla, and gave it eight weeks to meet all stakeholders and explore the possibility of an amicable settlement to the contentious issue.

The panel submitted the report on May 10 and the SC is expected to take up a decision in this regard. – The New Indian Express, 6 June 2019

Ram-Nam bricks donated by Hindus for a Ram Temple at Ayodhya


Ram Mandir case mediation a sterile exercise, says Subramanian Swamy – Team PGurus

Subramanian Swamy

PGURUSThe Supreme Court is expected to pass an order on mediation if any needed soon and continuation with the same bench or other bench on Subramanian Swamy’s petition for fundamental right to pray. – Team PGurus

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on March 7th said that the demand for mediation in the Ayodhya case is just a sterile exercise and at the most is only limited to the compensation to the parties in the decades-long pending title case and it is up to the Government, who took over the entire land to decide whom to give the land for construction of Ram Mandir. He was talking to media, reiterating his arguments presented before the apex court.

While submitting his detailed written submission, Subramanian Swamy told the Bench that the Central Government has the right to give away land to whosoever it wants after paying compensation to the others. He said the mediation process can’t solve the focal issue and it can only help in deciding compensation packages to the parties in the ongoing title case.  “P.V. Narasimha Rao Government had in 1994 made a commitment to the apex court that if ever any evidence was found that there was a temple, the land will be given for temple construction,” said Swamy.

Subramanian Swamy’s detailed written submission to the apex court is published below this report. After hearing all parties, Supreme Court said it will pass orders on whether to refer the Ayodhya land dispute case for mediation, underlining that it has no control over what Mughal ruler Babar did and is only concerned with resolving the present situation. The top court said it thinks that primarily the issue is not about 1,500 square feet land, but about religious sentiments. The Court order also said that they will also pass an order whether Subramanian Swamy’s writ petition demanding the fundamental right to pray at Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir will be heard by this bench or other smaller bench. Meanwhile, the apex court had already allotted eight weeks to settle the translation of documents in the main title challenging case.

The five-Judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which reserved verdict on referring the matter for mediation, said that it is conscious of the impact of the issue on “public sentiment” and on “body politic”. “Arguments on the issue of reference to mediation are closed. Arguments concluded. Orders reserved,” said the bench, also comprising Justices S.A. Bobde, D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer.

Hindu bodies like Nirmohi Akhara suggested the names of Justices (retd) Kurian Joseph, A.K. Patnaik and G.S. Singhvi as mediators, while the Hindu Mahasabha faction of Swami Chakrapani proposed the names of former CJIs Justices J.S. Khehar, Dipak Misra and Justice (retd) A.K. Patnaik to the bench.

During the hearing, all Hindu bodies except Nirmohi Akhara opposed the suggestion of the court to refer the issue for mediation, while Muslim bodies supported it.

“You are saying it will be a failure. We are not assuming that somebody will give it up. Primarily, we think this issue is not a property dispute. It is not about the 1500 sq ft but it is about the religious sentiments and faith.

“We are conscious about the gravity of the issue and we are also conscious about its impact on the body politic of the country. We understand how it goes and is looking at minds, hearts, and healing if possible,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the legal heirs of original litigant M. Siddiq, said that outlining of the dispute is not necessary and the court can order mediation by a mediator when parties are unable to settle it. To this, the bench said that there may not be one mediator but a panel of mediators to deal with the issue.

Dhavan said that mediation in the peculiar facts of the case can be ordered in-camera and no parties should be allowed to disclose the proceedings till the final report is filed. The bench agreed with the contention of Dhavan that confidentiality of proceedings should be maintained and said it thinks there has to be a complete ban on media reporting on the developments of the mediation process.

“It is not something like gag order but there should be no reporting. It is easy to attribute something to somebody when the mediation process is on,” the bench said. Two factions of Hindu Mahasabha took opposite stand on the issue of mediation with one body supporting it, and the other opposing it.

Senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for Hindu deity Ram Lalla Virajman said the faith that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya is not negotiable but the question is of Rama Janamsthan (birthplace). “We are even willing to crowd-fund a mosque somewhere else but no negotiations can take place with respect of Lord Rama’s birthplace. Mediation won’t serve any purpose,” he said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, said the court should refer the matter for mediation only when there exists an element of settlement. He said considering the nature of the dispute it will not be prudent and advisable to take this path of mediation.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya is partitioned equally among the three parties—the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The case got momentum after, in mid-2015, Subramanian Swamy entered the case with a petition for seeking basic facilities to the devotees who came to pray at the temporary structure in Ayodhya.  Congress lawyers and Muslim parties’ lawyers were trying to delay the beginning of hearing of the case at each stage.

The Supreme Court is expected to pass an order on mediation if any needed soon and continuation with the same Bench or other Bench on Subramanian Swamy’s petition for fundamental right to pray.

The detailed seven-page written submission to the Supreme Court by Subramanian Swamy on March 6, 2019, is published below. – PGurus, 7 March 2019

Dharma Sansad: RSS-VHP’s sudden retreat on Ram Mandir – Suhas Munshi

Dharma Sansad, Kumbha Mela at Prayagraj, 2019

Suhas MunshiA sadhu at the Agni Akhada jokes that if, like the Ayodhya title dispute, the dispute between Kauravs and Pandavas was also tried in courts, it would have remained pending, centuries later, till today. – Suhas Munshi

On February 1, in the biggest assembly of Hindus across the globe, the Kumbh, chiefs of the largest Hindu organisation, the Sangh, were presiding over the most popular Hindutva issue—Ram Mandir.

One by one, over two dozen seers seated on a stage took over the mic to address a half-empty hall.

In the first hour of the hugely publicised Dharma Sansad on Ram Mandir, there were, in fact, more people seated on stage than in the audience, discounting VHP’s special invitees and volunteers. Could a fatigue over Ram Mandir be the reason?

Only two days earlier, a different conclave on Ram Mandir, “Param Dharm Sansad”, presided over by Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati of Dwarka Peeth ended with Swaroopanand asking all Hindus to gather at the disputed site in Ayodhya on February 21 and lay the foundation stone of the grand Ram temple.

It was a direct challenge to the Sangh’s authority on the Ram Mandir issue.

The Sangh responded, in its two-day event held from January 31, through a show of unity, flexing its entire organisational strength on stage.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, RSS joint secretary Krishna Gopal, VHP chief V.S. Kokje, Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, yoga guru Baba Ramdev, ISKCON Bangalore chief Madhu Pandit Das and BJP leaders, including Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, were at various times present over the course of the event.

Praises were sung for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath and some, like Baba Ramdev, went as far as to ask the sadhus present to mobilise their followers in the upcoming elections.

Also, Bhagwat clarified that the Sangh will wait for the general elections to get over before taking any fresh call on the issue.

Last December, during a huge event on the Mandir held in the capital, RSS vice-chief ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi had said that “those in power” should respect the sentiments of the masses.

Three months ago, in his Vijayadashami address, Bhagwat had said the government should pass a law for construction of the Ram Mandir instead of “testing the patience of society”.

However, when Bhagwat took over the microphone, about an hour into the open event, his second address in as many days, he said, “This is election season. We have to be watchful about the effect the Mandir movement would have on the electoral atmosphere. We will not build Mandir just to please voters.”

The audience, which had so far been blowing conches and chorusing “Jai Shri Ram”, fell silent.

Bhagwat went on to say, “Balasaheb [Deoras] had told us that Ram Mandir won’t be built in one attempt. It would take at least 20-30 years. In three years the Ramjanmabhoomi agitation will complete 30 years. That’s the target we, in the Sangh, have in mind.”

Barely had Bhagwat taken his seat, a woman claiming to be an astrologer took over the microphone and said, “I can see through placement of the planets that Ram Mandir will be built in 2020….”

Chaos spread through the audience. The couple of hundred people present in the audience stormed the front rows where they clashed with VHP volunteers, demanding from the luminaries on the stage a date for shilanyas (stone-laying ceremony) and using strong words against Bhagwat and other Sangh leaders.

Kya muh leke jaayenge waapis? Jaisa sandesh ye log de rahe hain, RSS, VHP aur sadhu santo ki baat se logon ka vishwaas uth jayega (The kind of message they are conveying will rob people of their faith on RSS, VHP and seers),” Sushil Kumar Saraswati, from neighbouring Pratapgarh, was one of those who clashed with the VHP volunteers.

He added, “Bhagwatji ne tareekh ki ghoshna kyun nahi ki? Kyunki wo jaante hain ki ek baar tareekh ki ghoshna kar di to fir hum janta ko control nahi kar payenge (Bhagwat didn’t announce the date because he knows once the announcement is made, it would be difficult to control the masses),” Saraswati said. The 60-year-old man claimed to have been active on the Ram Mandir issue since well before ‘92 December.

Many walked out of the event, while sadhu after sadhu kept asking the audience to vote the BJP to power again to ensure the construction of Ram Mandir. The already thin audience over time dwindled to almost nothing.

Apart from Swaroopanand and the Sangh, there is just one other influential segment present in the Kumbh whose vote on Ram Mandir also matters—the akhadas.

There are said to have been 13 militias of sadhus, or akhadas, centuries ago, roots of which some trace back in mythology to Parshuram and Agastya.

These akhadas were infamous for the brute force with which they suppressed other akhadas and fought outsiders.

Montstuart Elphinstone, a Scottish historian, notes while talking about a 1760 Kumbh in Haridwar, “An affray, or rather a battle, took place between the Nagas of Shiva and those of Vishnu, in which it was stated on the spot that 18,000 persons were left dead on the field”.

Scores of them co-exist now, more or less peacefully, and many of them have placed giant tents in the Kumbh occupying acres and acres of space. Each claims to be more influential, commanding loyalties of more sadhus, than the other.

So, what about Ram Mandir?

“Mandir needs to be built. But we need to look at the law of the land also. After all it’s here that we live. It should be built soon, but peacefully and without any more controversy,” says Gopal Krishn Satyam, a sadhu and kathavachak at the Aadinath Akhada.

“It has already taken so much time. What’s the big deal if it takes some more? Today there is a race to claim credit. Nobody seems serious actually. And the youth anyway is more interested in getting jobs, let’s be clear on that,” Satyam adds before resuming his sermon on stage.

Sadhu of another akhada, Agni Akhada, expresses impatience.

“If they say that a grand Ram Mandir will be built in 2020 then shouldn’t the construction work begin now? Swaroopanandji’s word has to be honoured. He is the Shankaracharya of two peeths. Who in the Hindu Samaj has greater authority on religion than him? By what authority is the VHP holding a Dharma Sansad?” says Mahant Gopal Anand Maharaj of Agni Akhada.

“Today, BJP has called a Dharma Sansad, tomorrow Congress will call one, day after SP and then BSP. This has become a joke for them. Neta logon ko Ram Mandir banane ka theka kisne diya (Who gave the authority to politicians to build Ram temple)?” His colleague Mahant Sachiv Som Swaranand says.

Yet another sadhu at the Agni Akhada jokes that if, like the Ayodhya title dispute, the dispute between Kauravs and Pandavas was also tried in courts, it would have remained pending, centuries later, till today.

A sadhu from the influential Juna Akhada expressed his outfit’s position on Ram Mandir, but on condition of anonymity.

“Right now, all parties are trying to gather votes in the name of Mandir. And they are trying to polarise Hindus and Muslims on the issue, trying to instigate riots between the two communities. The temple should be built but taking on board Muslims as well. They are our brothers. We need to respect their sentiments as well.”

Because of the politicisation of Ram Mandir, he added, his Akhada has stayed away from the Dharma Sansads. “The temple should be built and in accordance with the law of the land.”

The akhadas too, like regional parties, were trying to pull their own weight on the issue.

They are taking their time to consider which view—between that of Swaroopanand and of the Sangh, who, to take the metaphor forward, were behaving antithetically like the two national parties—to align themselves with.

However, the question of Ram Mandir seemed to be confined to just these three power centres.

Keeping in mind that the Kumbh, spread over 800 acres, in which at any instant roam crores of visitors, is right now the centre of attention of billion-plus strong Hindu Samaj, the issue of Ram Mandir was remarkably almost absent from public discourse.

VHP’s marquee, where the two-day event was being held, was nearly as full of ordinary people as any other venue.

At some distance from the VHP event, Rajveer Singh Gaur’s troupe performing a nukkad natak “Safai ka Superman” held scores of people, including sadhus, in rapt attention.

Four-year-old Chandni, walking a tightrope with one foot tied to a plate, had within minutes of starting her performance, begun attracting attention of curious visitors.

Dekhiye, is sawal mein ab gati nahi reh gayi hai. Yeh ek bhavnaatmak dhruvikaran ki koshish hai ye sab samajh chuke hain (no wind remains in Ram Mandir issue anymore. The fact that there is an attempt to polarise people is evident to everyone),” says Surya Narayan, associate professor in the Hindi department at Allahabad University.

“A lot of youth were born after the demolition of Babri Masjid. Someone who was born when the masjid was demolished is 27 today. Some of them have joined MNCs and travelled abroad. Others aspire to do that,” he adds.

“Also those who visit the Magh Mela at the Sangam every year know that the big sadhus talk about Ram Mandir for a month and earn enough to spend the rest of the year comfortably in its name. Kumbh is a mela for most of us. You take a dip, sit through a pravachan, buy a souvenir, look at some spectacle and leave by the next train,” Narayan adds.

Gopal Krishn Satyam of Aadinath Akhada doesn’t dispute the fact that Kumbh is, apart from everything else, a political event.

“Politicisation of Kumbh didn’t start yesterday. The process started in Indira Gandhi’s time. Sadhus, akhadas, everyone else was always inclined one way or another. Some are aligned with the BJP, some with SP, some with Congress, some also with the BSP. It’s a social reality. I don’t see it as a problem,” Satyam says.

“These pilgrims had come from all over India; some of them had been months on the way, plodding patiently along in the heat and dust, worn, poor, hungry, but supported and sustained by an unwavering faith and belief, they were supremely happy and content, now; their full and sufficient reward was at hand; they were going to be cleansed from every vestige of sin and corruption by these holy waters which make utterly pure whatsoever thing they touch, even the dead and rotten.”

Mark Twain was in all probability talking about the Kalpwasis while describing a Kumbh at Prayag that he witnessed in course of his round-the-world lecture tour in 1895-96, which he documented in “Following the Equator”.

Away from the bustle of the akhadas, contortionist sadhus, street performers, missing persons announcements, the humdrum of Ram Mandir, away from all noise, reside the devotees which lend to the Kumbh an air of historic sanctity.

Thousands of them, many who have made it here on foot, have taken a month-long pause from their livelihoods to live here in small tents in a separate corner of the Sangam.

For a month—from Makar Sankranti (January 14) to Kumbh Sankranti (February 13)—the Kalpwasis live a spartan life; cooking their own food on earthen posts and eating once a day, bathing thrice a day, offering aarti twice a day, and spending the rest of their time listening to pravachans.

Magh mein idhar aane ka uddeshya shuddikaran hai. Ek mahine ka tap hai. Is mahine mein hum bairagi hain. Aadhyatm mein hi pura samay lag jaata hai (The purpose behind coming here is purification. This is a month-long penance during which we are free from worldly affairs. We spend our time in spirituality),” says Baijnath Mishr, who has come from Saharsa, Bihar.

This austere month-long pilgrimage has to be done 12 times by devotees to attain moksha (liberation). But the exercise isn’t without worldly benefits of its own.

A study, funded by UK-based Economic & Social Research Council and conducted by experts of five universities, including Allahabad University, has found that the Kalpwasis return home healthier and happier after their stay at the Sangam. A part of the findings was published in the Guardian and in the journal PLoS One.

Baithjath Mishr sits with his other Maithili colleagues who complain about how the government, in the race to please all the big sadhus, has completely blanked them out.

Bade baba log ke liye deluxe toilet Dilli se mangwaye jaa rahe hain. Yogi baba bhi cabinet ke saath meeting karte hain toh special tent mein. Aur hame na paani diya hai na toilet. Bataiye mahilayein kahan jaayengi. (Big sadhus get imported toilets. Yogi (UP CM) also holds his cabinet meeting in special tents but we are not provided with either water or toilets. Where will the women go),” complains Phoolbhadra Jha who has come from Darbangha.

But, we ask them, what about Ram Mandir?

Ye Kumbh dhyaan aur ekatm ka waqt hai. Hum kisi nirmaan ke liye nahi aaye. Bataiye in Ram bhakton mein se kaun kaun apne kul guru ko poojte hain (Kumbh is a time for solitude and meditation. We haven’t come here for any construction work. Tell me of all these “Ram bhakts” here, who still worships his/her local deity?)” says Bhagwan Charan from Janakpur.

“Everything on that side is commercial. Everyone has opened their own shop and are selling spirituality. Some baba had sent his car to us to get to his tent. Some VHP people also asked us. But we are people from Mithila. We are not fools. We know what they’re doing,” another Kalpwasi, Pancham Singh from Purnia, says.

Bholanauth Chander was a Calcutta-born writer, a contemporary of Michael Madhusudhan Dutta and Bhudev Mukhopadhyay. For a travelogue that he was commissioned by the Raj in 1860s, Chander roamed the length and breadth of the country and wrote about his experiences, which were later published in “The Travels of a Hindoo” in 1869.

On the Allahabad Kumbh, he wrote about the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna. “Each at first tries to keep itself distinct, till, happy, to meet after a long parting, they run into each other’s embrace, and losing themselves into one, flow in a common stream.”

He also makes a note of mythologies around this spot, “The Duria-Ghaut on the Jumna is a sacred spot. They say that Rama, with his wife and brother Luchmun, crossed here at the ghaut, on their way from Ajoodhya to go over to the land of their exile.”

We ask the ochre-robe wearing Bhagwan Charan about it. He adds to the information that when Sita, Ram and Lakshman were passing through Prayag, Ram is said to have remarked to his brother “Koi kaha sake Prayaag prabhaavi (Who can remark about the force of Prayag).” – News18, 6 Februarary 2019

» Suhas Munshi is a journalist who hasn’t been to journalism school. He writes for News18 at the moment, and earlier for other mainstream news media outlets.

Kumbha Mela 2019

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.

Subramanian Swamy: Ram Mandir, not economics, will win us election – The Quint

Dr Subramanian Swamy

We will be routed if we do not build the Ram Temple before elections.” – Dr Subramanian Swamy

Dismissing the Interim Budget 2019 announcements made by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, BJP’s Subramanian Swamy said on Friday, 1 February, that they were “unstructured collection of happy sounding policies.”

Speaking to the BloombergQuint, Swamy said that the proposals are not bound together by objectives, priority and strategy. He, however, said that this Budget is a lot more acceptable than the previous four presented by the Narendra Modi-led government.

On full income tax rebate for those earning up to Rs 5 lakh, Swamy said that the government should have abolished income tax altogether as people are not concerned about the amount of tax one pays.

Moreover, he was not impressed by the Rs 6,000 direct income transfers promised to small farmers. “40 percent of our farmers are tenant farmers and they won’t come in the list. This is all bureaucratic increase,” Swamy said.

He further said that India is heading towards a debt trap in a couple of years because for every rupee that the country earns, it is paying 98 paise as interest on previous loans.

The BJP leader, however, maintained that voters will not be affected by poor economics as the NDA government had been voted in on emotional issues such as building Ram Temple, fighting corruption and teaching Pakistan a lesson.

We will be routed if we do not build the Ram Temple before elections,” Dr Swamy said – The Quint, 2 February 2019



RSS: Supreme Court decision an insult to Hindus – Eeshanpriya M.S.

Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi

Eeshanpriya M.S.Joshi said the RSS was “upset” with the delay in the Supreme Court’s verdict. “We expected a positive development before Diwali, but the court has indefinitely prolonged it,” he said. “If it is not on top of the Supreme Court’s priority list, it is an insult to the Hindu community.” – Eeshanpriya M.S.

The Supreme Court must understand the sentiments of Hindus across India and fast-track its decision on the Ram temple dispute, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi said on Friday.

The RSS, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ideological parent, also threatened a mass agitation like the one that took place in 1992—before the demolition of the Babri Masjid—to ensure the temple is built. It said the BJP government will have to, at some point, consider bringing in an ordinance to resolve the temple dispute.

Shiv Sena, the BJP’s ally at the Centre and in Maharashtra, was quick to respond to RSS’ statement, asking it to topple the Narendra Modi government for failing to construct the temple at Ayodhya. “If you [the RSS] feel the need for an agitation, despite having a strong government in place, why don’t you pull down this government?” Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said.

“A majority government with a particular political ideology is in power,” Thackeray said. “Despite this, if the temple could not be built, the government has no reason to be in power.”

The Sena has been consistently taking on the BJP for not fulfilling its poll promise of constructing the temple. The party has been demanding that the Centre brings in an ordinance, instead of waiting for the Supreme Court’s verdict. Thackeray, in an attempt to put pressure on the BJP, is also going to visit Ayodhya on November 25.

“The issue of the Ram temple was sidetracked after this government came to power. It was only after the Sena took up the issue again and insisted on the construction of the temple did the RSS feel the need for an agitation ,” Thackeray said on Friday.

Earlier in the day, the RSS general secretary Joshi however, said he welcomed Thackeray’s Ayodhya visit. “We believe all those who speak in favour of the Ram Mandir stand united with us,” he said.

Joshi said the RSS was “upset” with the delay in the Supreme Court’s verdict. “We expected a positive development before Diwali, but the court has indefinitely prolonged it,” he said. “The faith of crores of Hindus is linked to the issue. If it is not on top of the Supreme Court’s priority list, it is an insult to the Hindu community.”

Joshi said the BJP, too, was “serious” about the Ram temple issue. On the RSS beginning an agitation, Joshi said there were restrictions on such activities as the case was pending in court.

100-metre Ram Statue in Uttar Pradesh

Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey said, “Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has prepared a plan for Ayodhya. He will give good news to the people regarding temple on Diwali. Yogi will disclose his plan during visit to the temple town during the Deepotsav celebrations (November 6).”

Yogi is also likely to announce the construction of the grand statue of Ram. The state government plans to build the 100-metre tall statue at a cost of Rs 330 crore. It will be installed on a 36-metre high pedestal near the bank of the river, a senior BJP leader said.

After the Supreme Court on October 29 declined to allow the UP government’s plea for an early hearing in the matter, the chief minister had said, “If justice is given in time, it is appreciated as fair but when delayed it is equivalent to injustice.” – Hindustan Times, 3 November 2018

»  Eeshanpriya M.S. is a senior journalist with the Hindustan Times in Mumbai.

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray


Only a temple should come up at the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya – Aravindan Neelakandan

Babri Masjid Demolition

Aravindan NeelakandanAyodhya is associated with Ram in the Indian psyche from time immemorial. Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs all venerate Ram. … A Ram temple in Ayodhya is the most natural thing to happen. – Aravindan Neelakandan

On 6 December 1992, the hundreds of thousands of kar sevaks assembled at the small town of Ayodhya decided to shape the fate of the Ram Janmabhoomi by themselves. They tore down the erected barriers, threw away the resisting cadre of the organisations that had brought them there, and went to the three domes that shielded the infant Ram idols.

Soon, the three domes fell, and Indian history was changed forever.

There was outrage that the kar sevaks had betrayed the apex court itself in their action. The Kalyan Singh government was sacked. The media and dominant sections of the academia went on hyperdrive against Hindus across India, reinforcing in the minds of ordinary Muslims that their right to exist in this land was being threatened by the forces of Hindutva.

But, unlike the manufactured outrage of the secularists, on 6 December 1992, the kar sevaks had all the reasons to be angry. They had been let down by everyone, or so they thought. One should remember that the Ayodhya movement was perhaps the largest people’s movement in India, which has been rivaled only by the movements launched by the Mahatma during India’s independence struggle.

On 30 October and 2 November of 1990, the Mulayam Singh government, which personified all that was wrong with Nehruvian pseudo-secularism, had opened fire on unarmed kar sevaks and had them massacred. Then, the unkindest of all cuts was made by the Supreme Court itself, when it assured in its 15 November 1991 order that the disposal in the Kalyan Singh government’s Land Acquisition Act would be given “sometime in December of this year”, i.e., 1991. However, even as one year passed, that did not happen. No wonder the kar sevaks felt rage.

Historians, archaeologists, and epigraphists have repeatedly said that the Babri structure stood over a demolished temple. The leftist cabal in the academia and media had been bamboozling the Indian public in general and Muslims in particular with their lies and propaganda. Archeologist Dr K. K. Muhammad, in his interview with this author last December, pointed out the destructive role played by leftist historians in the Ayodhya controversy by way of suppressing facts. He explained:

When excavation was undertaken at Ayodhya by Dr B. B. Lal, I was the only Muslim archaeologist in the team. At that time, these controversies were not there. When the controversy came up, the JNU historians suppressed some of our crucial discoveries. … The left historians and a section of the media played with facts, suppressing them and spreading the false notion that there was nothing under the Babri. Had they acknowledged the truth then, a lot of unpleasant events would not have happened. In fact, I know that many Muslim groups were willing to accept the truth, honour the sentiments of the fraternal Hindu community and work out a compromise. But the left historians and a section of the media thwarted it.

Actually, given the scale of this human tragedy that unfolded because of false left-wing propaganda, it would not be wrong to ask for Nuremberg-like trials against those historians who used their position of power to thwart communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims.

There are, in fact, many mosques in Ayodhya. On the day of the demolition of the domes, there were more than a lakh kar sevaks in that small town. Yet, it is on record that the kar sevaks never touched any other mosque. This, in itself, should show that the so-called mobs were no “mobs” and that their fury was not mindless hate, as was made out to be. Had the systems of Indian state, namely, the polity, judiciary, academia, and media, acted with responsibility, the tragedies that unfolded after 6 December 1992 could have been avoided.

Ayodhya is associated with Ram in the Indian psyche from time immemorial. Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs all venerate Ram. Throughout India, irrespective of linguistic barriers, Rama has been the theme of devotional literature and spiritual art forms, both in dance and music.

Perhaps the oldest mention of Ram, alluding to him as an avatar outside the Valmiki Ramayana, occurs curiously in Tamil Sangam literature. The story goes thus: A girl had fallen in love with a boy who had left for a place far away to earn money. Every evening, the girl stood at a particular place and looked at the pathway to her village, pining for her lover. This led to gossip among the villagers. They all talked behind her back. And then, the hero returned, and all the gossip ceased.

The poet explains how: “Just like those birds in the banyan tree (near the Sethu) under which Ram was planning his strategy, disturbed by their sound, when with His voice, itself Vedic authority, commanded them to be silent, and the way they fell silent.” Similarly, the village gossip fell silent when the girl’s lover returned.

Note that nowhere the word Ramayana is used, and also that this is not in the time of Valmiki. This is a piece of poetry at least two thousand years old, and if an episode from Ram’s life associating him with divinity is being used in such a tangential manner, then imagine how much the Ramayana should have been a part and parcel of Tamil cultural life. India is a nation today because of such connections, of which Ram holds an important place.

To the south Indian pilgrim who visits the north, the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal do not appeal to her heart, but Ayodhya does. If there is a rock where Ram is said to have rested during his exile in the forest, then, irrespective of what language one speaks, all Indians feel an attachment to that rock. Even Valmiki and Kambar do not decide it for the Hindus. They were instruments of a greater force—the nation-building processes of India. For Indians, it is the spontaneous emergence of sacred geography from the memory of Shri Ram.

In the Ayodhya episode of modern Indian history, it is wrong to consider it as a fight between Hindus and Muslims. It is not. It is a fight between those deviant features of the Indian state that have strayed from the spirit of the Indian nation, and the nation-building forces. When the Congress and the ruling Nehruvian elite progressively deviated from the spirit of India, they created a volatile situation for the country. If anyone wants to see what the Nehruvian Indian state can achieve without an iota of connect with the Indian nation, one just needs to see what they have done in Jawaharlal Nehru University. The same could happen throughout India. Fortunately, the Ram Janmabhoomi movement—the largest people’s movement since independence—emerged and directly challenged the artificial narrative that the Nehruvian state was imposing on the soul of India.

Had the Nehruvian state faced this challenge with facts, and in the spirit of democracy, today we would have had a majestic Ram temple in Ayodhya. Unfortunately, the Nehruvian deep state responded with bullets and false propaganda. And then, history unfolded at human cost.

The Ram temple in Ayodhya is the spirit of India that does not seek revenge for the past, but one that seeks reconciliation and justice. A Ram temple in Ayodhya is the most natural thing to happen. Trying to stop that can only accelerate hatred among communities.

Today, this wisdom has dawned on all concerned parties. The oldest litigant for the Babri stricture came out with a statement that he would like to see a Ram temple there. By allowing the building of a Ram temple at the very site demanded by the Hindus in Ayodhya, the judiciary will ease out the most dangerous fault-line that exists between the artificial Nehruvian state and the organic Hindu nation, a line that threatens the very existence of India as a nation-state. – Swarajya, 27 September 2018

» Aravindan Neelakandan is an author and contributing editor at Swarajya.

Shila Puja at Ayodhya