By Arun Srivastava
Desperation is writ large on the faces of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The prospect of defeat at the 2019 Lok Sabha elections stares at their faces.
For more than a year Bhagwat has been cautioning Modi to listen to the ground level murmurings amongst the Sangh cadres and develop appropriate policies. Though Modi assiduously followed their diktats, he could not rise to their expectations, especially when it came to the economy and Hindutva. While Modi, being under public scrutiny, wanted to move slowly, the Sangh was in hurry to force the administration to prepare the ground for the speedy conversion of India into a Hindu Rashtra.
Bhagwat and the RSS are not sure of an outright win of the BJP in the elections. He is angry that the anti-Hindutva forces have been given more time. This is what probably prompted him to declare at the VHP rally in Ayodhya that the time for patience was over and demanded a law to be brought to facilitate the construction of the Ram temple if the matter was not a priority for the Supreme Court.
Barely ten months ago Bhagwat had reposed his faith in the Supreme Court and urged the apex court to give the decision at the earliest. He had said that it has historically been proven that the temple was there and now the apex court should give priority to the case. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” Bhagwat said.
His desperation sends the signal that for winning the election RSS can go to any extent, even encouraging violence. One thing is clear that the RSS, more than the BJP, intends to communalise the election. This was the message in Bhagwat’s last Vijaya Dashami speech—the annual statement of mission and agenda for RSS cadres—significantly before the next general elections. Bhagwat has two things to focus; one construction of Ram Temple and winning the elections. Never before an RSS chief in his Vijaya Dashami speech talked at such length about the elections.
The importance of the meeting could be gauged from the fact that leaders from almost all the frontal organisations were present. Incidentally, the Supreme Court has listed the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute appeals for January 2019; after the conclusion of the assembly elections this year. RSS feels that the apex court may not allow the construction of temple. Then it would not have enough time to build the tempo in favour of the temple. Bhagwat portrays Ram as the personification of life energy of the nation and the icon of dharma.
His assertion makes it clear that the 2019 election will be between secular forces and RSS; BJP will simply be a façade for public consumption. Bhagwat’s consistent thrust “time for patience is over” is scary. “Now I say patience will not work. Now we need to mobilise people. If, for whatever reasons, because the court has a busy schedule or maybe it does not understand the sensibilities of the society, the Ram temple case is not a priority for them, then the government should think how to bring a law for the construction of the temple….the law should be introduced at the earliest. Now this should be the decisive phase of this agitation,” he said.
With the 2019 general elections looming large, the sense of impatience is palpable among the RSS and BJP leaders. If they lose the electoral battle Ram Mandir might not be constructed. “One year ago, I myself had said be patient. Now I say patience will not work. Now we need to mobilise people. Now we should demand a law. If we need temple, we need to raise our voice, and the temple should be built in any condition”, he said. (IPA Service)