In his speech at Ayodhya on Wednesday, Modi referred to the Supreme Court verdict and called upon the people to maintain peace and harmony just as they had done when the apex court had announced its judgement on November 9, 2019. “We had seen then how all countrymen had respected everybody’s feelings while welcoming the verdict,” Modi said.
Significantly, Modi did not engage in any chest-thumping on the demolition of the Babri mosque or hail the role of any BJP leader or Kar Sewaks in the event. Neither did he recall his own role as LK Advani’s charioteer during the Gujarat phase of the Ram rath yatra of 1990. Modi was not present at Ayodhya in 1992 when the demolition took place.
Though Modi said several attempts had been made in the past to finish the “Astitva (relevance)” of Lord Ram in the past and even structures (read temples) were razed in the process, he did not dwell further on the issue.
While around 200 guests were invited, the list did not include any BJP leader, except Uma Bharti. Despite being one of the prominent figures in the Babri demolition case, she was made to sit in the audience. Vinay Katiyar, who was with the Bajrang Dal and is also an accused in the case, was nowhere in the picture though he has been an MP from Faizabad.
Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were kept out on the pretext of keeping them safe from COVID-19. Modi did not take the name of Advani, Joshi, Uma or any organisation involved in the 1992 incident.
Modi began and ended his speech with a new slogan, “Siyavar Ramchandra ki Jai, Jai Siyaram” which includes Sita. The slogan during the Ram temple movement was “Jai Shree Ram” which had also become a provocative call in the aftermath of the demolition.
The Prime Minister referred to Ram and his rule (Ram Rajya) as one where the backward and low castes, the tribals, and women were respected. He said when Mahatma Gandhi invoked the name of Ram it was to include the welfare of all sections of society.
Modi also underlined the benefits that are likely to accrue to the Ayodhya region after the temple is constructed and the place becomes a big attraction for pilgrims from far and wide. This would contribute to the economic well being of all locals, irrespective of their faith.
He maintained that since Ram is worshipped across the country from Kashmir to Kerala, the construction of this grand temple will bring people together.
The Prime Minister stated that Ram is worshipped and revered in various neighbouring countries, including nations like Indonesia and Malaysia which have a sizable Muslim population. He said the Hindu God is respected even in Iran, China and Nepal (Sita’s birthplace) along with Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos and other countries.
He even sought to emphasise on the relevance of Ram in the present era, saying the need to make India a strong nation finds a confirmation in his dictum- there is no love without fear.
Modi said Ram’s call for protecting children, the old and the medics has resonance today in the times of Corona and called for people to observe social distancing and wearing a mask.
By attending the foundation laying ceremony Modi has appeased devout Hindus greatly and this may even bring electoral benefits to BJP in the near future. The bitterness over the demolition of the Babri mosque in the minds of the minority community and those who stand by secularism will also not end as those involved cannot be forgiven. However, Modi also used the occasion to emphasise that the country needs to move on from the events of December 1992.
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7 Comments on this Story
Dm Bhanap168 days ago
The speeches made by PM Mody Yogi Adityanath Mohan Bhagwat are commendable for their restrain responsibility and respectability befitting the polite non- controversial and sombre nature of the historic occasion that will be remembered for all time to come.
Binu Pillai168 days ago
Modi's election JUMLA... Ram mandir is being sold for votes. And the North Indian communal idiots will vote for BJP, that's enough..
Dhirendra Singh Rathore169 days ago
He didn't move on because what he did by laying down the foundation of Shree Ram Mandir is symbol of that eternal truth which always prevails at the end of a long fought war that too by constitutional ways and so it's now for the descendents of the invaders to finally move on now accepting their wrong beliefs