Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 5
A very few among the current active top BJP leaders, including Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and JP Nadda, can claim any direct link with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement or the 'Rath Yatra' that marked the party's official entry into the agitation, putting it at a commanding position in the country's political scene that it is today.
Led by then BJP president LK Advani, the purpose of the yatra was to support the agitation started by Sangh Parivar affiliates like the VHP. Narendra Modi, the then BJP's Gujarat organisation secretary, was a part of the meticulous planning that went into the massive political and social movement.
Advani, who along with late Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief Ashok Singhal, is counted among key figures of the movement lasting decades, some say centuries, for a Ram Lalla temple at his birthplace on the banks of Saryu river in Ayodhya where the Babri mosque stood.
The yatra helped galvanise aspirations, energies and passions of its countless participants, say BJP leaders, putting the issue on the forefront. It is said that Modi, who was part of the planning, resolved that he would go to Ayodhya only when he was in a position to fulfil the aspirations of millions of Hindus. The day is today.
In fact, today when he arrived in Ayodhya to lay the foundation of the grand Ram temple, a promise by the ruling BJP in multiple manifestos over the years. The historic event marked the culmination of decades-long movement that catapulted the saffron party to the political centerstage.
The site of the temple, which until recently was disputed, is the place which devotees believe is the birthplace of Ram Lalla Virajman, the infant Lord Ram.
The grand Ram temple at Ayodhya, the core to the ruling BJP's ideology, is being built over the site where once stood the 16th century Babri mosque before it was razed in 1992 by Hindu activists.
In November last year, the Supreme Court ruled for the site to be handed over to Hindus for the building of the temple and an alternative five-acre site for Muslims for a mosque.
Meanwhile, the BJP has asked its cadres to felicitate ‘kar sevaks’ who participated in the movement between 1989 and 1992, post on social media updates about the event and share pictures of programmes in respective states or districts. Any BJP functionary, MLA or MP who has taken part in the movement has also been asked to post pictures.
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