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Sabarimala, Ram temple in focus at VHP’s Dharam Sansad

Rashtriya Swayamsevak chief Mohan Bhagwat equated the Sabarimala temple issue in Kerala with the Ram temple issue in Ayodhya and termed the agitation a movement of the Hindus.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2019 22:35 IST
Dharam Sansad,VHP,Sabarimala
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Baba Ramdev (left) attend Vishwa Hindu Parishad's 'Dharm Sansad' at the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj on Thursday. (PTI)

The Supreme Court did not think about the offence its verdict (in the Sabarimala case) would cause to millions of Hindus, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said during the Dharam Sansad at the Kumbh Mela on Thursday.

The Sabarimala controversy, not the demand for a Ram temple at Ayodhya, took centre stage on Day 1 of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) Dharam Sansad, although Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who gave the meeting of seers a miss on its first day, met separately with Bhagwat on the issue.

Speaking at the Dharam Sansad, Bhagwat equated the Sabarimala temple issue in Kerala with the Ram temple issue in Ayodhya — a movement of Hindus.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that women of all ages could visit the Sabarimala temple, resulting in widespread protests, some of them violent, in Kerala. The Supreme Court will hear review petitions on this in February. Bhagwat said the court was in haste when it delivered its judgment and hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

Attacking Kerala’s communist government, the RSS chief said it was “using force to end the Sabarimala movement which is being spearheaded by Hindu women”.

Baba Ramdev, the yoga guru who also founded a huge consumer products business, too, spoke of Sabarimala. Still, the Ram temple issue wasn’t entirely ignored. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, demanded early construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

“We have Modi (PM ) and Yogi (CM). If temple is not constructed now then when?” asked the Nyas head, referring to the fact that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Adityanath belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party, an affiliate of the Sangh.

“People have lots of hope (for Ram temple). Everywhere people are asking when the temple will come up in Ayodhya,” said Das.

Amidst mounting pressure from saints and Hindu organisations for immediately starting construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Adityanath held meetings with Bhagwat and other seers at the Kumbh tent city on Thursday.

Details of Adityanath’s talks with Bhagwat weren’t released.

However, the meeting came within 48 hours of Adityanath holding a cabinet meeting at Kumbh and just 12 hours after Jyotishpeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati vowed to reach Ayodhya on February 21 and lay the foundation of a Ram temple.

Dalit-Muslim controversy
Bhagwat also created a stir of sorts during the meeting by claiming that Bhimrao Ambedkar had warned against a Dalit-Muslim alliance in politics.

“Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar was well aware of the nefarious designs of Muslims. He always warned against any kind of association (political) with the Muslims,” Bhagwat claimed.

“Now, efforts are being made for a Dalit-Muslim alliance. Babasaheb himself termed these jihadis untrustworthy. We need to make aware people about this,” the RSS chief said.

Bhagwat’s comment comes at a time when there is talk that a Dalit-Muslim-Backward Class alliance could defeat the BJP in the state.

NKS More, associate professor, Ambedkar University, Lucknow, said Bhagwat is “ misquoting and misappropriating Ambedkar”. “ It is clear deviation from the perception of Dr Ambedkar on minority and ‘minoritism’.”

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati believes a Dalit-Muslim alliance will help her party do better in the state in the coming Lok Sabha elections. In 2014, the party failed to win even a single Lok Sabha seat in the general election. BSP spokesperson Sudhindra Bhadoria said Ambedkar was architect of the Constitution and promoted peace, harmony and equality among all the communities and accused Bhagwat of following a divisive agenda.

First Published: Jan 31, 2019 22:34 IST