Video Editor: Ashutosh Bharadwaj
The Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan in Ayodhya on 5 August was a huge success. It is being said that it is a turning point in India’s history. Many intellectuals and scholars will comment on it and analyse it. I am not capable of that. But there were some things I could comprehend.
The first thing I understood is that 5 August may be celebrated as a grander event than 15 August, our Independence Day, on the basis of the things that have been said.
This mission was labelled more significant than India’s freedom struggle. Last year, on 5 August, Article 370 was revoked and India’s map was restructured. Exactly one year later, if Bhoomi Pujan takes place in Ayodhya on the same date, then only one message can be derived from the two events - a huge step has been taken towards achieving the dream of a Hindu nation by a political party.
It should not be a surprise that from now on 5 August may become equally important to the day when India was established or saw an awakening, and may be regarded as a day of national celebration.
PM Modi’s Well-Structured and Compact Speech
Narendra Modi uses precision targeting in all his speeches so that the audience he is addressing comprehends the meaning of his speech well. He used various historical contexts and imagery about Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Ayodhya to reach out to his audience. His speech seemed like an attempt at reaching out to voters.
An interesting slip-of-tongue happened during his speech while naming the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. People call him Yogi Adityanath. When he (Yogi Adityanath) took oath as (UP CM) he had called himself 'Adityanath Yogi'. Maybe Modi called him Aditya Yoginath by mistake .
It is obvious that after this Bhoomi Pujan, discussions and debates will continue on India’s politics and history. But to understand the two kinds of narratives that will come forward now, I will give the example of well-known BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.
In his article, he has called it (the event) ‘a turning point for India’ since the Ram Mandir movement transformed India’s polity forever. But the Hindus must understand that until caste-based discrimination does not end, the dream of Ram rajya and Hindu unity will remain just a dream.
This is a very significant point because, for the BJP and the RSS, this is not a destination but just a step; and their narrative will continue. However, the counter-narrative to this is summarised very well by country’s noted intellectual Pratap Bhanu Mehta.
He says that Ram is a symbol of ideals and compassion, whereas the Mandir is a project of colonisation of Hinduism by political power. He also says that the forces who made this happen have made Lord Ram synonymous to revenge. But it is essential to understand that there is an attempt to establish monarchy in the guise of democracy.
Opposing Voices Absent Amid the Noise
The Opposition are fearful to issue a counter political argument on this cultural project and even if they oppose, how do they frame their statements? They are also clueless about how to criticise the government and entrap the BJP. So, most political parties have either directly or indirectly kept quiet and did not oppose the Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan.
Criticism and disagreement have come only from a few intellectuals of the country. Those outcries too were crowded out by the pandemonium of TV channels, who were broadcasting their shows like those of religious channels. News, news analysis and constructive opinions were absent in these channels.
A good example of the voices that will echo has been served by BJP MP from Karnataka, Shobha Karandlaje. She posted a picture in which the illustration of the prime minister was taller than that of Lord Ram and the caption read ‘Ram is being taken back to His home.’
It is obvious that the kind of noise and politics we are living with, these are the voices which will echo more than anything. And political machinery will continue to propagate such beliefs and symbols.
. Read more on News Videos by The Quint.Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan: A Turning Point in Indian History1 Arrested for Rape and Attempt to Murder of 12-Yr-Old Delhi Girl . Read more on News Videos by The Quint.