Shilanyas of New Bharat
“Saugandh Ram Ki Khaate Hain, Hum Mandir Wahi Banayenge” was one among many such slogans that rented the air from billions of Ram Bhakts from the period starting mid-80s when the Sangh Pariwar commenced Ramjanmabhoomi Mukti Yajna Samiti. On August 05, 2020, those slogans became a reality with the shilanyas of the construction of a grand temple for Sri Ram, befitting his stature and personality. The grand shilanyas ceremony of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya was astounding. The erudition in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech was distinctive. I have not heard such a to the point speech on Sri Ram and the Ramayana from the mouth of any leader. Modi counted the names of several texts written about Sri Ram in Indian languages. He talked about many countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, etc., where there is a mention of Ramkathas. Only a talented scholar and sharp speaker can portray such a beautiful character of Sri Ram’s world-wide form as Modi did. In his speech, Modi described the character of Sri Ram by quoting from many languages – -domestic and foreign. The most important thing to note was that he did not utter a single word, which would hurt the communal harmony. Modi’s speech on that day was a combination of a bhakt and a statesman. He never sounded triumphant but throughout talked about inclusiveness in his speech. This essence emerged very well in the speech of Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat too. Ayodhya represents a struggle by Indians to recover their true history from the grip of imperial surrogates—the Islamists and the secularists. These are the residue of defunct imperial movements. They are now partners in negation trying to preserve their privileges and positions as representatives of imperialisms past. Negationism has been their main tactic. But it is doomed to failure, as the shilanyas in Ayodhya has called their bluff.
In this perspective, it is apt to mention that the self styled brigade of secularists are talking of secularism, especially of Indian variety, that is propagated by those who consider themselves intellectuals and liberals, that has reduced the majority community into second class citizens in their own country. They conveniently ignore that the Constitution itself stands for Ramrajya and find fault with the act of PM joining shilanyas programme. They argue that there should be separation between the state and religion. Was there a line of separation between the state and religion when the Rashtrapati Bhavan, PMO and various ministries had organised Iftaar parties? Was it there when former Vice President, Hamid Ansari was wearing religion not just on his sleeves but on head? Secularism never advocated that a PM, be a Hindu or of any other religion, has no right to practice it. Nehru hosted Iftaar parties, so did many other PMs and ministers in the past. Thus, using the word secularism just to attack Hindus is unacceptable. Sri Ram represents our cultural ethos and Sri Ram is a symbol of our nation. The world community views India under the prism of Sri Ram, which is well known. Hence, PM Modi was right in inaugurating the bhoomi puja for Ram Mandir. A controversial structure on Sri Ram’s temple should have been given go by in 1947 after Independence. For, the substantial reason that the Supreme Court found to deliver its historic verdict in favour of Ram Mandir was the findings of the Archaeological Survey of India. The ASI, in its voluminous report, had clearly stated “that the mosque had no foundation of its own and it was a superficial structure that was built on pillars, which was non-Islamic in character.” Against this backdrop, the Sangh Pariwar in general and the BJP in particular always maintained that the construction of a grand temple for Sri Ram at Ayodhya – emulating Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel vis-a-vis Somnath – would pave the way for a harmonious co-existence of various communities. The shilanyas ceremony has exactly done just that. It cannot be forgotten how the Congress and many non-BJP parties had projected Babri structure as symbol of secularism and had also opposed the construction of Ram Mandir, both politically and legally in various courts. But the shilanyas of Ram Mandir has effectively silenced the Congress, the Left parties, the shouting brigade and the Lutyens’ media.
By Deepak Kumar Rath