The gimmick of rousing the nation on the issue of construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya on the place where Babri Masjid stood till 25 years ago seems to have fizzled out. The Bhartiya Janta Party has won elections in the past over the emotional issue of construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. But there are tell-tale signs that by whipping up the Ram Janambhoomi issue and construction of the temple at the site is going to cost the saffron party not just poll but also its fast waning prestige.
The entire Eastern Uttar Pradesh is sitting on tinderbox of sorts ever since the VHP and Shiv Sena announced their grand plan to mobilize hundreds of thousands of their cadre to the temple town that is usually a serene place. The residents of the area are still concerned about their safety and the safety of their near and dear ones as the saffron outfits, in a quest to improve their electoral graphs, bring their people to the temple town. Even people travelling in trains passing through the city and adjoining are having tough time with their relatives worried for their safety. There have been many appeals from some community leaders to avoid travelling in the train as the communal frenzy, once again, reaches the boiling point. Reports suggest that Muslims living in this otherwise peaceful place have sent their relatives to countryside.
People have already been fooled enough
The BJP would have remained on the fringe of the political landscape for much longer, had the party not discovered the emotive issue of Ram Jabambhoomi/ Babri Masjid and grabbed it with both hands. It was sheer ingenuity of Lal Krishna Advani, that he, assisted by the BJP’s paternal organization, the RSS, went on to bring the nation to its knees when he embarked on the Ram Janamhoomi Rath Yatra, that culminated in the well-planned destruction of the historic Babri Masjid on 6th December 1992.
Advani, who, at one point of time thought himself to be the ultimate ‘prophet’ of Hindutva so much vitiated the communal atmosphere, with his high-pitched rhetoric, that thousands of people lost their lives in riots that broke out across the country in the wake of Babri Masjid demolition. Many people believe that Advani’s past caught with him when he was not just denied the top job when the BJP came to power with two third majority on its own, but also repeatedly ridiculed by Narendra Modi and his lieutenant, Amit Shah. The way the old man of the BJP who actually built the Bhartiya Janta Party with his another comrade of decades, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is a an example of sorts how people can be dumped when they are past their sell-by date. The man who once stopped the entire North India and created fear among millions and millions is not able to create even a whimper.
Ram Janambhoomi is no more an issue
With the government on the back-foot and people unable to see the promised ‘achche din’, so lucidly promised four and half years ago, the saffron leaders might have liked to fall back on the issue that had paid them hefty dividends in the past. But people, despite repeated efforts of the BJP, VHP and the larger Sangh, to fool them, have seen the frivolity of the issue. There is no mosque at the site –it has already been razed to the ground and the place is being used as a temple –with Ram Lalla installed there, since the demolition of the mosque the place is being used as a temple.
There is no denying that people have seen their lives badly impacted over the last more than four years since the BJP government came to power at the centre. Initially the party had thought to keep the election momentum intact and make the Congress a permanent whipping boy. But alas, it didn’t happen.
The demonetization fiasco badly impacted the lives of the general public. And whatever was left was lost when the ill-thought out and badly planned GST destroyed mid-level and small scale industries, that employ the majority of the people in a poor country like India. The ordinary people’s lives have been so badly impacted by the demonetization and the ill-conceived and very badly implemented GST, that they have no more patience left for the current dispensation. Even their most ardent supporters among the upper caste have been so much annoyed by their performance in running the affairs of the governance that they don’t see any wrong in finally ditching the saffron bandwagon.
The fact that the VHP and Shive Sena, despite their high-pitched rhetoric and sloganeering, failed to attract the masses to their rallies in Ayodhya, shows that common people have finally wizened. They are not going to be fooled twice for the issue that destroyed communal amity not just across North India, but even beyond Vindhiyas.
Muslims didn’t react as Sangh thought they would
Despite the shenanigans of the Sangh and every effort of the VHP and Shiv Sena to vitiate the atmosphere, and force Muslims to speak and get embroiled in the issue, the community has steadily kept quiet. This has dampened the spirit of the Sangh satraps that were sure the Muslims will object over the planned rallies in Ayodhya and will come out in their droves agitating against the rabble rousing. Muslim leaders have said the case is in court and they have repeatedly stressed that they will accept the court verdict. Muslims have also realised the futility of coming onto the streets and giving further advantage to extremist saffron outfits on the platter. While there is no death of rabble rousers among the Muslims, but there was so much pressure on them from common Muslims that they didn’t dare vitiate the atmosphere.
Muslim cleric demands relocation of Babri Masjid
In the meantime, a renowned cleric of the Lucknow based Nadwatul Ulama, Maulana Syed Salman Husaini Nadwi, has once again said the Babri masjid should be relocated from the place and constructed somewhere else. Last year Sri Sri, Ravi Shankar had held parlays with him on the issue and it had made headlines. Now the cleric has repeated his stand once again saying Muslims should agree to the relocation of the mosque from the disputed site and construct an imposing mosque elsewhere. While many Muslims agree with him, they wonder if the Babri Masjid was the last mosque on the Sangh radar.
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