The UP government’s Monday evening ban on 20-day chaurasi-kos march across six districts around Ayodhya from August 25 hasn’t come as a surprise for the saffron brigade.
It is in fact thinking of adopting a confrontationist approach with the VHP leaders, aiming to whip up temple sentiments through the religious exercise, suggesting that the yatra plan through Faizabad, Barabanki, Gonda, Bahraich, Basti and Ambedkarnagar remains unaltered.
The idea, as saffron insiders suggest, is to play up the “Hindu pride” factor through the saints.
“Saints from as far as Punjab, Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Malwa and western Maharashtra, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are being contacted all over again to take their feedback on the UP government’s illegal and unwise act that is bound to boomerang,” they say.
“The saints would take a call now on what needs to be done to avenge the insult that this government has meted out to Hindu sentiments. Expect a decision soon,” a VHP source said.
“The saints from across the country who have confirmed their participation for the yatra would start arriving to the temple town as planned. Some Muslim leaders have forced this government to take this unwise decision. The decision underlines the obvious - this government has challenged Hindu pride and it would regret its decision,” a VHP leader told HT.
The saffron brigade is also ready to counter the government logic that the chaurasi kos yatra was never taken out in Ayodhya in August September.
“The saints say that circumambulation of any religious place can be undertaken anytime of the year. It’s wrong to believe that a parikrama has a specific tithi (date).
The tradition of all-time parikrama has been in vogue all over the country,” said another VHP leader.
The VHP leaders cited Giri Goverdhan parikrama in Braj region, Kamdgiri parikrama in Chitrakoot, Thiruvannamalai parikrama of Arunachal hills in Tamil Nadu to back their claim that the religious exercise could be undertaken at all times, even though in certain period it could be more popular.
“There was some confusion over the route and we had made it clear that we are willing to sit with the government to sort it out,” a VHP leader said.