Ahead of the next general election, RSS rallies for Ram temple

A RSS rally for a temple inching for a grand Sabha on December  9

Days after a massive congregation at the temple town of Ayodhya to push for a Ram Mandir in the holy city, the RSS has initiated a rally to mobilize people to build a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya in the disputed Ayodhya site.

Thousands of Hindu hardliners have been rallying to press for a temple at a site where an ancient mosque was razed in 1992.

The RSS has started a 10-day ‘Sankalp Rath Yatra’ in the national capital calling for an ordinance for the construction of Ram Mandir. The RSS rath yatra aims at an early decision on temple construction ahead of the apex court hearing that starts in January 2019.

The massive Sankalp Yatra includes within its fold all RSS affiliates headed by the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of the Sangh.

Starting from the Jhandewala Mandir, few metres from RSS’s Delhi headquarters, it will culminate on 9 December at Ramlila Maidan. Having divided Delhi into eight regions it will visit a different region every day.

The development is preceded by a massive Ayodhya congregation which was attended by nearly 2.85 lakh people. For December 9, a mega event has booked 10,000 buses to ferry people from Meerut, Braj and Haryana. 5 lakh people are expected to attend the Dharma Sabha.

While the Dharm sabha at Ayodhya went off peacefully, Muslim litigant Iqbal Ansari has thanked the Uttar Pradesh government for “good arrangements”.

Huge crowds of saffron-clad protesters, waving swords and chanting “Praise Be to Ram”, massed in Ayodhya where the right-wing groups want a grand temple be built.

Amidst these developments, UP CM Yogi Adityanath has promised a “grand” statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. He has changed the name of the district where Ayodhya town is located from Faizabad, which has Muslim origins, to Ayodhya.

A chorus of demands have been triggered from within the BJP and various Sangh Parivar outfits for a law in the Winter Session of Parliament, to build the Ram temple before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Ayodhya saw a massive rally with 5,000 additional police deployed to protest areas.

The Babri Masjid being razed led to riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims. More than 2,000 died in riots after the mosque was torn down.

In 1528, a mosque was constructed in Ayodhya under Mughal rule. Popular belief suggests  it was built on exact birthspot of Lord Ram.

It was in December 1949 that Hindu activists placed idols of Ram inside the disputed structure.

Separate claims have been filed by both parties. In 1989, the Allahabad High Court ordered the maintenance of the status quo.

India has seen a peak in the campaign for the construction of a Ram temple since 1991.

It was in September 2010, the Allahabad High Court ruled the site where the mosque once stood should be split into three parts, one for Muslims and two for Hindus.

Later the division of the site was challenged in 2010.

By the next general elections in 2014 the BJP said it would “explore all possibilities within the framework of the constitution” to facilitate the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site.

Huge banners with images of the mosque called for parliament to pass a law allowing for the temple’s construction.

For decades the controversy has been a flashpoint between the two parties in the case.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces ire from those who feel that he has not done enough for the cause.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) says they will not cede an inch of land for anything but a Ram temple.

Meanwhile PM Narendra Modi has accused Congress of trying to thwart an early solution to theRam Mandir issue.

While the average population still maintains that more than a temple or a mosque, a school or a hospital will actually give the city a new lease of life, the calls for a Ram Mandir from the political fraternity at the helm has reached fever pitch.

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