Mandir wahin banega: The BJP’s rise from 2 to 303
New Delhi, Aug 04: August 5, 2020, will be a tremendously significant day for the Bharatiya Janata Party as its "Mandir wahin banega" slogan is coming true.
The temple is a political, intellectual and legal victory for the BJP, that rose steadily from just two MPs in the 1984 elections to 303 in this year's Lok Sabha elections.
The ram temple bhumi pujan also coincides with the first anniversary of the annulment of Article 370, another key ideological plank for the saffron party.
The pledge to construct the temple found its way in all BJP's manifestos following the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in December 1992. It never gave up on its core ideology that include abrogation of Article 370, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizenship.
The party has been steadfast in its commitment to its core causes after Modi took charge of the party and brought it to power in 2014.
This was the first time that the BJP won a majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha, making it immune to political pressures that its earlier government under Vajpayee often felt. The party's win in 2019 with an even bigger mandate has seen it pursue its core causes with a renewed vigour.
Prime Minister Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath elevating the significance even further, by attending the ceremony on Wednesday, as both are known for their uncompromising commitment to the Hindutva cause.
Notably, Modi as a national office-bearer in the BJP played an important role in L K Advani's 'Ram Rath Yatra' in 1990 while Adityanath's late guru Mahant Avaidyanath headed the group of sadhus and Hindu organisations that was formed in 1984 to spearhead the temple movement.
BJP's role in the Ram Janmbhoomi movement
Though it was Vishwa Hindu Parishad under late Ashok Singhal which conceptualised the Ram Janmbhoomi movement in 1984 and began mobilising sadhus and Hindu groups nationwide, the issue gained political currency like never before after the then BJP president L K Advani started his 'Ram Rath Yatra' in 1990.
This had followed the party's decision to come out openly in support of the temple's construction, where the Babri mosque stood at that time before being brought down by frenzied kar sevaks in 1992, in its national executive meeting in Palampur in 1989.
Advani's Rath Yatra was also seen as a counter to the Mandal politics aimed at reservation for Other Backward Groups unveiled by the V P Singh government in 1990. Advani launched his famous 'Rath Yatra' from Somnath temple in Gujarat, drawing people in thousands as his chariot rolled through the country's heartland, at times triggering communal riots as well, while the movement gained momentum.
Opposition's silence on the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya during the Covid-19 pandemic, also show how Prime Minister Narendra Modi has swayed the issue.
No invitation has been extended to Congress leaders, even interim Congress president and the party's only Lok Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh, Sonia Gandhi, has not been invited.
Several Congress leaders believe that political slugfest on the Ram Mandir is now pointless since the matter was given a finality by the Supreme Court.
Others like Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh hope to keep politics away from the issue as the movement for the construction of the temple preceded the founding of the RSS or the BJP and "was a public movement".
Also, opposition leaders in Uttar Pradesh believe that the BJP will contest the 2022 assembly elections citing the Ram Temple as its biggest achievement. The parties don't want to give the BJP any chance to polarise the issue and make it a prominent poll plank.