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The Mandir fixation of the saffron brigade

By : Fayiq Wani | Updated on: 12 Sep 2018, 06:49:48 AM
The Mandir fixation of the saffron brigade (File Photo)

New Delhi:

The alacrity shown by a BJP Minister from Yogi Adityanath’s team in UP by claiming that the “Supreme Court is ours” while talking about the possibility of Ram Temple construction at Ayodhya is indeed symptomatic of not only the impossibility of justice for Muslims but also end of impartiality under the present regime. So much so that this may well cast its shadow on others and affect people at large.

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The Minister Mukut Bihari Verma gave some of his bizarre takes on the Supreme Court and the Ram Janambhoomi temple before television cameras in his home district Bahraich on Sunday, or September 9. It was a day when his party’s national executive was meeting in New Delhi and 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was about to address the party’s crucial forum. 

Significantly, the Mandir issue remained off the deliberations held in the Delhi conclave of the ruling party. Yet, the Minister’s observations were never reflected upon, or discussed, by the BJP higher ups who briefed the media after Modi’s concluding speech. Their silence over the issue raised by their state satrap and which involved independence of the highest judicial body was not only conspicuous but can also amount to a tacit and veiled agreement or at least a way to build pressures on judiciary vis-à-vis the temple.

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As none was either pleased or displeased by not so well known a minister of UP, at least in Delhi’s political circles, when he spoke to reporters on his home turf the question that arises is whether his is a lone voice on the contentious issue or there is more to it. The BJP generally says that it is committed to build a grand temple at Ayodhya. And off and on, its one or the other leaders or functionaries voice their entreaties or fulminations over the issue of temple.

Sometime ago, it was UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya who had exhorted for a law to be passed through legislature (presumably that of the Centre) to pave the way for the construction of Ram temple in case the Supreme Court either goes against this or delays the matter by keeping it pending. Taken together Minister Verma’s latest loud thinking over the temple issue with his other party cohorts, what is palpably clear is that by and large there is a broad consensus in the BJP vis-à-vis the issue of building the temple and what remains to be decided is only as to how the way for this is to be cleared.

The fact that the temple issue is mostly raked up whenever elections are near points to its being used somewhat blatantly for bringing a possibly monolith system in the country where not only an affected party like Muslims since a mosque was demolished to clear space for the temple in Ayodhya but also dissenters of myriad kinds and Opposition parties could be silenced and nullified. This is how the fervent desire to build the temple is not meant to browbeat Muslims alone but it is finally aimed at creating scope for a single party rule in the country as has mostly been the case with some of the Communist states that crumbled only under the weight of their single party rule through the decades in the past.

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Hence, the BJP that has of late been castigating what it calls to be urban Maoists, as was also the case during its national executive, has strangely been showing signs of following the footsteps of yesteryears Chinese dictator Mao Zedong after whom the urban Maoists are actually known. So as against them the new and virtual saffron Maoists draw their strength for a single party rule like that of erstwhile Soviet Russia or may be Mao’s China from their leaders like Modi and Amit Shah’s repeated refrains like Congress Mukta Bharat, or India shorn of Congress. At the two-day BJP national executive that concluded in the Capital on Sunday evening Shah vowed to keep the BJP in power for no less than 50 years after possibly winning next year’s general elections; and Modi pointed to what he called to be an unjustified comparison between his 48-month rule with that of 48 years by the Congress which was led by a family.

And as against the rule of the Nehru-Gandhi family led by Congress, the BJP’s top echelons take pride in coming from the large ideological family built for over nine decades or so from now by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), where often frenzy and stridency have been the preconditions for climbing the ladder of power and position. So much so that BJP’s tryst with power at the Centre began when the late Atal Behari Vajpayee, often described as a moderate among hawks, became the prime minister. Yet, on the other rungs of the ladder of power created in his lifetime were none-too-moderates like LK Advani, Modi and Yogi Adityanath. How Modi surpassed Advani so soon to become Hindu Hirday Samrat, or virtual ruler of Hindu hearts, is now an old story.

So, when a minister from Yogi’s bandwagon ended in flaunting what he called to be the Sangh’s sway over Supreme Court besides other organs of the country like executive and legislature, he was only toeing the line set by his party’s top bosses. Thus, playing the Mandir tune may well be a strategically profound move for him and his party comrades but this also reminds and signifies a race for power both within the BJP and outside the confines of the Sangh Parivar to possibly have an absolute and exclusive sway over power in the times to come. The peril with this is that not only Muslims but also all those who can ever try to differ with the saffron ideology and politics could easily get vanquished, tamed, or silenced.




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First Published : 12 Sep 2018, 06:37:40 AM