It is happening the way it was expected to happen. The battle to stir,
influence and manipulate perceptions of voters is intensifying as the parliamentary
elections approach near.
Assembly elections to the five states, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh,
Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Mizoram, being seen as the ‘test-case’ before the
parliamentary polls, are announced and the campaigning decibel is rising.
So, when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) announced to observe a Sankal
Diwas in Ayodhya on October 18 to press for legislation on the Ram Temple
in Ayodhya, it was on the expected line of the events foreseen with Narendra
Modi’s elevation as the Bhartiya Janta Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial
Targeting the ‘majority’ Hindu votebank - and if that was to be done, it
had to begin with the Ram
Temple issue. VHP’s ‘84
Kosi Yatra’ in the last week of August was the first major experiment.
Though the Yatra was a failure in terms of its execution on the ground
level, it did corner more than expected attention of the nation by the
continued media coverage. The irresponsible rush of the Akhilesh Yadav led
Uttar Pradesh government implementing a heavy security blanket to appease the
minority votebank only helped the VHP’s efforts by making an otherwise
insignificant event a much talked about national issue.
And even if there was match-fixing between the BJP and the Samajwadi
Party (SP) over it, as reported and being reported, it helped the BJP and
harmed the SP.
The situation, now after the Muzaffarnagar riots, is even more delicate communally
and so is more apt to harness the benefits of sentimental divide on religious
Hindus are blaming the SP government. Muslims are blaming the SP
government. And the BJP is playing the victim card as only the BJP MLAs have
been arrested in the Muzaffarnagar riots case even if the accused involved were
from SP and Congress as well.
So August was the VHP’s first attempt at reigniting the Ram Temple
issue. September saw the deadly riots fueling hatred and religious divide. Okay,
it cannot be said if the two are related. But, they somehow, come in the realm of
factors manipulating the mass sentiments to play along the religious lines.
And now, in October, another stir to demand a legislative status to the Ram Temple
On expected line, the UP government has banned the VHP event. The controversy
that was brewing for some days is reaching to the heightened level with media
clamour getting hooked to it. Expect it to reach to the deafening level by
Now, as the UP government say that it would not allow like it didn’t allow
the Yatra in August, we have reasons to believe that this Sankalp Diwas, too,
is going to fail on ground.
But, that was never the case like it was the case in case of the ‘84 Kosi
Yatra’. It was more about reaching to the perceptions of the majority Hindus
calling them to unite in the name of God and Religion.
And perceptions can be reached easily by playing the victim card showing
the ruling class as anti-majority and blindly pro-minority.
The SP is in an awkward position. Given the prevailing political circumstances,
it is not sure if the SP will gain any political mileage by playing the tough
protector of the Muslim interests but it has to act so.
And that would amplify the VHP’s call for the Ram Temple
And that would directly help the political cause of Narendra Modi and so
of the BJP.
‘Sankalp Diwas’ after the ‘84 Kosi Yatra’ – yes, the script is unfolding.
Let’s see how it plays out.
84 KOSI YATRA: WHAT LIES BENEATH?
84 KOSI YATRA – THE PURPOSE SERVED!
MAJORITY APPEASEMENT POLITICS AND NARENDRA MODI
TEMPLE SHOULD NEVER BE AN
ELECTORAL ISSUE BUT!