VHP: Babri demolition anniversary this year will be a closed-door affair

Members say they’ve been instructed to refrain from any celebrations in a bid to maintain communal harmony


For the first time in 27 years, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has promised that the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary on December 6 will be a low-key affair, reported The Times of India.

The Sangh outfit that has been celebrating the anniversary as ‘Shaurya Diwas’ organizes yagnas and special prayers for the Ram temple and pays tributes to kar sevaks who were involved in the Babri demolition.

How the VHP celebrates

Traditionally celebrated, the VHP used to plan a number of ‘religious’ programmes including ‘hawan’ for the temple to be constructed in Ayodhya.

Last year VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma had said that the outfit would offer special prayers to Goddess Saraswati so that she could help people, especially politicians, by removing any obstruction in their path of constructing the temple.

“Sarva baadha mukti hawans [hawans seeking to get rid of all obstructions] will be held. Tributes will also be paid to the ‘karsewaks’ who faced the bullets”, he had said.

The VHP also planned a ‘Dharam Sansad’ in Delhi which was to deliberate on the Ram temple issue, cow protection and the Ganges.

Mahant Ramdas of the Nirmohi akhara had stated that December 6 was special as Ramjanmabhoomi was ‘liberated’ from a Mughal structure.

Last year, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had backed the VHP’s celebrations saying, “VHP has a right to observe the day as they have led the movement. Babri Masjid was an eyesore for everybody.”

This year, Sharad Sharma had given a memorandum to the Ayodhya Divisional Commissioner Manoj Mishra, seeking permission to light diyas at the disputed site on the festival of Diwali.

Hypocritical u-turn

After the arm-wresting and heckling for decades, this year, in the wake of the Supreme Court (SC) verdict, the VHP national general secretary said, “This time, all programmes will be a closed-door affair and there won’t be any public display.”

Ahead of the SC verdict the VHP had suspended all programmes and training camps, waiting for further orders from the central leadership. VHP’s Awadh general secretary had said, “Despite the SC ruling in favour of a Ram temple, we have been instructed not to celebrate and maintain communal harmony.”

Question is – Won’t it go back to a chest-thumping religious display of majoritarianism in the face of the Muslims next year onward? What will happen to all its claims of maintaining harmony and peace then?

Trust over trust?

After the verdict, the Centre has asked for a trust to be set up for the construction of a temple at the Ramjanmabhoomi site in Ayodhya. The VHP has suggested that Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath be included in it.

While the VHP has said it hopes that the temple will constructed as per the design of the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas, it maintains that it will be the Centre’s decision as to when the trust would be formed and when the temple construction would begin.

However, some mahants and sadhus connected with the Ayodhya movement have opposed the Centre’s mandate stating that there is no requirement for a new trust, as one (Nyas) already exists.

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, President of the Nyas, in a statement, said: “The trust (Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas) already exists, we can give a big shape to it, and new members would be added as per need.”

Mahant Suresh Das, mahant of Digambar Akhara, who has a long association with the Ram temple movement, said: “The court has very clearly said that the new trust is to be formed and it is the responsibility of the Union government to form the Trust, not of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, though representatives of Nyas should be in the Trust.”

Meanwhile, VHP working president Alok Kumar has made another asinine statement. He said, “The VHP is of the view that government should not spend any money on temple construction. Our insistence is that the entire money should come from devotees and no government fund should be spent on it.”

Insincere VHP?

Alok Kumar had just last week said that the Supreme Court announced its verdict on Ayodhya land dispute case was “not end of the story but beginning of it”, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Saturday said it was “one of our activities” and the organisation would continue to do the other “constructive works and projects that we are running to organise to the society”.

Now while the VHP seems to be giving out peacekeeping statements, the real question is – why can’t the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary be abolished once and for all, now that the SC verdict has ruled in the favour of the VHP’s demands?

Won’t that be the best way for the VHP to walk the talk?


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