New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) feels that with the beginning of the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, it is time to stop creating an unnecessary debate on the issue of secularism over the demolition of Babri structure.
“Every year there is an attempt by a section of society to create a debate on secularism in context of the events that took place on 6 December (1992). The fact, however, is that it was Hindu society, which was wronged. What could have been done immediately after independence in 1947, took so long to happen, so it is time to put an end to this debate in context of 6 December,” said a senior RSS functionary.
The functionary told ThePrint that people of this country aren’t interested in this debate any more.
“Sri Ram’s Temple is the manifestation of cultural nationalism. It isn’t merely a religious place and the way every section of society is participating in its construction should put to rest any further debate on 6 December 1992 events. The common people of this country aren’t interested in this debate in context of 6 December any more and they have displayed this feeling in many ways,” he added.
Reflecting this sentiment further, the RSS-backed weekly from Mumbai ‘Saptahik Vivek (Marathi)’ has brought out a special volume in Marathi last month, which sheds light on the direction of discourse on this issue from the perspective of ‘Hindutva’.
The volume, titled ‘Ram Mandir te Rashtra Mandir’ (From Temple of Ram to Temple of Nation), is priced at Rs 2,500 and carries an exclusive interview of RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat where he has spoken extensively on this issue.
Bhagwat has said the Ram Temple movement might have come to an end, but the “issue of Sri Ram will never end”.
“Sri Rama is God for the majority in this country and for those He isn’t (just) a God, He is an ideal whose behavior in every sphere of life should be followed,” he said.
Bhagwat added Sri Ram is an “integral part of that glorious past of Bharat, which deeply influences the present and future of this nation”.
“The shilanyas (laying of foundation stone) of Ram Temple had already happened in 1989. On 5 August 2020, it was only that the construction of the temple had started.”
“The Supreme Court delivered its judgment on this. According to its directions, a trust was also constituted. That trust received the land for the construction and along with this, the Ram Temple movement came to an end. But the issue of Sri Ram will never end,” he added.
It’s never RSS’ agenda to start a movement: Bhagwat
Asked whether RSS will launch a similar movement for the Kashi Vishwanath and Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura, Bhagwat said in the interview: “We don’t know because we are not those who launch movements.”
“We didn’t even start the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, it was being run by the Hindu society for quite some time. It had been going on much before Ashok Singhal ji joined the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Later on, this came to VHP. We didn’t start the movement, but we got associated with it in some specific circumstances,” he added.
Bhagwat said it’s never in their agenda to start a movement.
“We are those who peacefully transform the hearts of people while giving them samskara (cultural values). What Hindu society would do in future, I cannot say. I can’t say anything on this now. I just want to share that we never start a movement.”
‘Ram is a national icon’
Bhagwat categorically said there are many temples in the country where religious ceremonies can be held, but the importance of Ram Temple in Ayodhya is that it was one of those prominent temples that was destroyed to demoralise the Hindu society.
So it is important to rebuild them, he said. “This has started happening after independence, but merely symbolism wouldn’t help unless we imbibe the values represented by these temples and manifest them in our actions.”
Echoing similar sentiments, a second RSS functionary said it is time to stop looking at Ram Temple from a majority-minority issue.
“Ram is not only a God, but a national icon and an intrinsic part of everyday life of a common Bharatiya. So it would be better if the pseudo-secularists stop raising the bogey of ‘secularism in danger’ in and around the 6 December (event) as it drives a wedge between different sections in the society,” he added.
The writer is a research director with Delhi-based think tank Vichar Vinimay Kendra. He has authored the book ‘Ramjanmabhoomi: Truth, Evidence, Faith’.