At a press conference in New Delhi today, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad declared that he would head to Ayodhya on November 26th with a copy of the Indian constitution and a photograph of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar to remind the local administration of its' duties. His unique plan comes in the backdrop of a massive communal mobilisation by Hindutva forces in Ayodhya supposedly to push for a Ram Temple (even while the case is being heard by the Supreme Court of India) but clearly with an eye on the upcoming general elections of 2019.
Chandrashekhar also said that if the governments led by Prime minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath cannot provide adequate security to the people of Ayodhya then they must resign and let the oppressed castes take power. He reminded how the UP government under Ms Mayawati had not let any untoward incident to happen when the Allahabad HC had pronounced it's judgement in the Ram janmabhoomi case a few years ago. Chandrashekhar also said that the renewed call for the construction of a Ram Mandir at the disputed site is against the constitution and is being done because the BJP has not had any success in the last four and a half years. Fearing an outbreak of violence, Chandrashekhar said that the Ayodhya movement is being done to 'break the country'. Responding to the question of how exactly he will enter Ayodhya, which reportedly resembles a fortress right now, he said ' Only time will tell how I manage to enter Ayodhya'. He also said that until the SC pronounces a verdict, status quo must be maintained in Ayodhya.
Chandrashekhar Azad also took issue with recent disparaging comments made against Bhim Army by Ms Mayawati, the BSP Chief and made it clear that he was not supporting either the BJP or the Congress. In fact, he went to the extent of saying that if the Congress was serious about the upliftment of backward classes, it must project Ms Mayawati as the leader of an opposition coalition and then, he said, ' we'll see how the BJP comes back to power'. Chandrashekhar reiterated that Bhim Army's mission is to support the backward's classes ascent to power and that they are merely walking on the path shown by Babasaheb Ambedkar and Kanshiram. On Mayawati's comment asking him to join the BSP to show his commitment towards fighting for the marginalised, Chandrashekhar listed three occasions last month when he tried to speak to Ms Mayawati on the phone without any success.
At a time when most opposition parties are staying mum in order to judge the prevalent mood, it is very significant that an organisation like the Bhim Army seeks to remind the nation that if it is still a democracy then the the constitution and not religious fervour reigns supreme.