After hibernating for over a decade, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad is back playing the Rama temple dhun.
It is certainly not in tune with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent assurance to the minority community of not allowing any religious group, belonging to the majority or minority community, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly. That is if the assurance was not a typical example of a politician’s doublespeak.
Senior office bearers of Ram Janma Bhoomi Nyas met in Ayodhya on Tuesday, 16th of June, to reiterate their demand for the enactment of law or creation of special bench in the Supreme Court to fast track the temple/mosque case.  Ironically, it was almost after 12 years that the full board meeting of the Nyas was held in the temple town and the first after Modi came to power in May 2014 without any divine intervention. The All India Muslim Personal Board has been making similar demands.
By now, we all know that the emotive issue of Rama temple/Babri mosque is a matter of faith and may ignite communal temperatures but the disputed issue has lost much of its political charm in India, which is on the move. Modi and BJP’s national president Amit Shah also knew that their development model had more electoral appeal than the contentious issues of Hindutva, including construction of Rama temple in Ayodhya, in 2014. Then how would it help the BJP mobilise votes in the upcoming Bihar elections followed by UP. Undoubtedly, the two states were worst affected by the temple movement in the 1990’s. But not now.
The meeting did not limit itself to resolutions but also announced another public mobilisation campaign. In 1989, they had launched ‘shila pujan’ across the country and brought shilas to Ayodhya amidst much fanfare. The shilas are now rotting there . The Nyas will now be gathering stones from Indian villages for their use in the construction of Rama temple even though there is no guarantee when and how it would be used. Loads of carved stone have been lying in desolate Kar Sewak Puram in Ayodhya for almost two decades.
Ashok Singhal, now 25 years older than his age in the 1990’s, told the media that their stone gathering movement would be akin to the one taken up during 1989, when the temple movement was at its peak.
However, much water has flown down the Saryu all these years. A new generation born after the demolition of the disputed structure doesn’t get excited by such religious issues. They respect their faiths  but won’t die for it.
It’s time the saffron brigade realises that building of a Rama temple or even Babri Mosque is unlikely in another century. The dispute dates back to 1885 when the first petition was filed by Nirmohi Akhara seeking permission to pray inside the disputed structure. In 1986 the Faizabad court had observed, “It is most unfortunate that a masjid should have been built on land especially held sacred by the Hindus, but as that event occurred 356 years ago, it is too late now to remedy the grievance.”
It’s time the Sangh Parivar accepts it.
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