‘Will vote for party that builds Ram Temple’: Crowd disrupts Rajnath Singh’s speech
“Jo Mandir Banwayega, Vote Usi ko Jayega (We will vote for the party, which constructs the Ram Temple),” the audience chanted disrupting Rajnath Singh’s speech.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale were among the senior leaders who found themselves in a piquant situation on Sunday when their speeches at Yuva Kumbh programme in Lucknow were repeatedly disrupted by young participants demanding a Ram temple at Ayodhya.
The participants, mostly affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS, shouted down senior leaders, indicating that they wanted to hear something concrete on the Ram temple issue.
At least 5,500 activists registered themselves for Yuva Kumbh which was held about three weeks ahead of the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad.
Singh stopped his speech for more than five minutes when the participants started shouting: “Mandir jo banayega, vote usi ko jayega (Whosoever constructs Ram temple will be voted to power).”
Initially the union minister ignored the slogans but when they did not stop, he asked the sloganeers to calm down. “Banega, banega, wahin banega (It will be constructed at the same place),” he assured the participants.
Refusing to relent, most of them stood on their chairs and continued to shout slogans with their arms raised towards the sky.
The clamour died down only when Rajnath threatened to leave. “I understand and salute your resolve for the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Our government is giving utmost importance to the issue. One should not doubt our intention of constructing a grand temple in Ayodhya,” he said.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath and governor Ram Naik also faced similar protests when they reached the venue for the inaugural event earlier in the morning.
Adityanath ended his speech by saying that whenever the temple was constructed it would be done by the BJP. After Adityanath, almost every prominent speaker tried to address the issue, albeit cautiously.
Senior RSS leader Dattatreya Hosabale said, “Even I want a temple. I want him (Yogi) to do it. I want it to happen in front of you. But what kind of temple? A temple of the glory of India.”
While the organisers said no action would be taken against those who indulged in the sloganeering, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad dubbed this as a “manifestation of the anger and dissatisfaction” of the youth who have been waiting for the construction of the Ram Temple.
VHP, an affiliate of the RSS has been leading the campaign for the construction of the Temple in Ayodhya. “The slogans that were raised is an answer to those who ask us why raise the issue of Ram Mandir instead of Roti and Rozgaar (food and employment). The educated and empowered young people of this country know what they want, they want Roti, Rozgaar and Ram,” Surendra Jain, joint general secretary of the VHP said.
The VHP leader added that the sloganeering was not a mark of disrespect and said the young people who raised them are “from professional colleges and are enrolled in post graduate courses” and just “have expectations from Yogi ji and Rajnath ji.”
On October 5, the VHP submitted a petition to President Ram Nath Kovind, following a meeting of its high-powered committee including Hindu saints that urged the government to bring a legislation for the construction of a grand Ram temple.
The Supreme Court, on October 29, deferred the hearing of the case to January, disappointing many who expected a resolution to the decades long spiritual and political movement to build a temple at the exact site where many believe Ram was born. In 1992, a mosque that stood at the site was demolished by Hindu activists and a case over the ownership of the land has since wound its way through the Indian legal system.
The top brass of the RSS brass and many of its affiliates, particularly the VHP, have been pushing for a law to facilitate the building of the temple. Earlier this month, RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi speaking at the Dharam Sansad, held at the Ramlila Maidan in the Capital, asserted that bringing in a law is the only way to enable the construction of the temple. Senior functionaries of the Sangh have attributed the party’s recent loss in the three Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhatisgarh to the anger over the temple issue remaining unresolved.
A temple in Ayodhya was part of the BJP’s manifesto for the 2014 parliamentary elections.