With the Supreme Court concluding the arguments in the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case, everyone is busy speculating if a temple will finally be built at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
But whatever be the court’s verdict, one thing that is uncontested is the rise of the assertive Hindu and his/her role in shaping Indian politics in the years to come.
This assertive Hindu knows that a Hindu Rashtra is not a theocratic state, but expects a strong pro-Hindu government to correct the wrongs done to the community by pseudo-secularism and misrepresentation of unity in diversity since Independence.
As the popular saying goes: Ram Mandir has made many governments, but none of the governments made a Ram mandir.
A call for Hindus
About four decades back, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other RSS-supported organisations launched a series of programmes across the country aimed at creating awareness about lost, destroyed and/or desecrated temples and reclaiming them.
There are thousands of such temples across India, either demolished or lying beneath other religious structures.
Beginning with the All India Bharat Mata-Ganga Mata Yatra and one-village-one-brick movement, the movement culminated in L.K. Advani’s Somnath to Ayodhya ‘Ram Rath Yatra’ in 1990. Then BJP president Advani was part of this massive programme to educate people about the Ayodhya movement. The general awareness among the Hindu society, the urge to be assertive for the rights of Hindus and determination to pursue the temple agenda was reflected in the political gains made by the BJP. The party included these issues among its main political agenda.
With a strong BJP at the centre and as a ruling party in most states, it is unthinkable that the politically aware Hindu will ever give up the demand for two other temples at Varanasi and Mathura, where too mosques were constructed after demolishing temples.
The Narendra Modi government’s recent actions – scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir with Article 370, the belligerent statements on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the possibility of introducing a bill for Uniform Civil Code – have bolstered Hindu sentiments. In other words, these are natural outcomes and a logical corollary of the Hindu unity as envisaged by the RSS, which has been tirelessly working for ‘sanghatith Hindu samaj’ (united Hindu society) from before Independence.
Coming back home
The “bhavya Ram Mandir” (grand Ram Temple) as envisaged by leading Hindu groups reflect the sentiments of millions of Hindus across the world. It will be a reality, sooner than later. Given the energy and sense of achievement it will create, it would be naïve to dismiss the demand for “teen nahi toh teen hazar (give back three temples or we take back three thousand)” as mere bravado.
Hindus are hopeful that after over a century of fighting for his birthplace, Bhagwan Ram finally will get to come back home.
There is a general consensus that there was a temple in Ayodhya and it was destroyed to construct a mosque by the invading army of Babur, hailing from what is now Uzbekistan. The mosque was demolished in 1992.
Whatever be the Supreme Court’s verdict now, one thing is clear: Hindus are once again finding a strong voice in India, without having to censor their call for due rights and political space.
There is no looking back or tip-toeing around the issue of resurgent Hindu pride that is sweeping the nation now. Politics, across the spectrum, will have to learn to adapt itself to this new wave or it will be wiped out.
The author is a member of the National Executive Committee of the BJP and former editor of Organiser. Views are personal.