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Ram temple won't bring Ram Rajya in UP, 'may ensure' political victory for BJP in Lok Sabha

By Sandeep Pandey*    

A Ram temple consecration ceremony is scheduled in Ayodhya on 22 January. This temple is being built, after demolition of a mosque at the same place, in the name of a Hindu deity who is described as epitome of virutes. The act of demolition, described by a Supreme Court judgement as criminal act, was carried out by political organizations believing in Hindutva ideology. The land was given by the same Supreme Court judgement for building a temple. But again political organisations have taken over and want to take credit for the consecration ceremony. The role of Bhartiya Janata Party as a political organization is understandable but the ruling party has involved the entire government paraphernalia in this process. The money being spent to make it a special event is sheer madness.
Since when did it become the government’s job to build temples, especillay in a country which abides by a Secular Constitution? The Prime Minister is going around as the chief priest of the country. It is said that God created humans. But consider the arrogance of Brahminical Hindu religion, probably the only such religion on earth, which believes it can infuse life into a God’s statue.
Before this Yogi Adityanath lighted 22.23 lakhs earthen lamps in Ayodhya during Deepotsav, something started by him after he became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Thus he bettered his own last year record of 17 lakhs lamps in Guinness Book of World Record. The colossal wastage makes a mockery of the poor, the country’s largest in his state, who come the next morning to collect unburnt mustard oil from these lamps to use for cooking. What is being achieved by burning these lamps? Why should government be obsessed with Guinness World Record, especially when the pervious record is also in its name? If this is not insanity then what is?
Yogi Adityanath also pays professional models to dress up as Ram, Laxman and Sita and provides them the government helicopter which lands them in Ayodhya, recreating the scene of Ram’s return from Lanka, and goes to pay obeisance to them. Is this not misuse of government assets?
All this when the life of people has been made difficult by the government. The rapists of Biliks Bano released by the government of Gujarat and Minister of Home Affairs, government on India, have been ordered to be put back in jail by the Supreme Court. But nobody knows whether they’ll actually go to jail before the national General Elections due later this year. The female wrestlers still haven’t obtained justice in the case of sexual harassment by BJP Member of Parliament from Gonda, in the vicinity Ayodhya, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who still maintains stranglehold over the administration of wrestling in India. Two male wrestlers, one of them speech challenged, have also returned their medals and awards in a strong rebuke to the government. Ajay Mishra Teni, who instigated his son to ride his vehicle over farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, killing four of them and a journalist, still continues to be a Minister in the Home department. The families of the deceased await justice while the minister’s son roams around free like the rapists of Bilkis Bano.
The carts of street vendors from Lanka market outside Banaras Hindu University have been confiscated by the Municipal Corporation on 28 December, 2023, which unlike pervious occasions will not release them without permission of police. Request to Police Commissioner go unheeded. There is a 2014 street vendor’s law which makes it illegal for police and municipal corporation employees to remove street vendors without their rehabilitation.
In Ramnagar, across from the river Ganga in Varanasi, in spite of stay orders from courts houses were demolished in a road widening exercise. The circle rates in Varanasi District have not been updated since 2019 so that when land is acquired from farmers in Pindra for Kashi Dwar project, farmers will not get fair compensation. In Azamrgarh, farmers from 8 villages have been opposing a proposed international airport project questioning its need when there is one just two hours away in Varanasi. The farmers are, in general, unhappy with the land acquisition process.
The farmers in Hardoi, Unnao, Sitapur and most of U.P. have to keep awake all night to save their crops from stray cattle. The government claims to provide Rs. 50 per cattle per day to feed stray cattle but doesn’t have any dedicated budget to build cow sheds. Hence, most Gram Pradhans, like the one from Gram Sabha Mahua Danda in Hardoi District try to shirk their responsibility when the local villagers raise the issue of stray cattle and put pressure upon the local administration to take care of the problem, as recently happened. In his case the local Sandila MLA, belonging to his own caste, is supporting him against the directives of the Chief Secretary to put all stray cattle in cow sheds and gaushalas. Meanwhile, the farmers suffer, some of whom have given up cultivation in desperation as the UP government has made it illegal to fence their agricultural fields with bladed wires.
The BJP government has come up with an ingenious way of avoiding increase of rates of Urea fertilizer meant for farmers. They have simply reduced the quantity of Urea in a bag from 50 kg to 40 kg, in two installments, without changing the price.
Gram Sabha of Aseni in Barabanki has passed a resolution in 2021 against the liquor shop in village but District officials say it is a state policy and lathi charged a demonstration on demanding shut down of liquor shop. In Yogi’s rule foreign liquor shops are doing brisk business. However, just on 22 January liquor shops have been ordered shut, exposing the hypocrisy of BJP government.
Bribe rates have gone up many times compared to previous governments as it is now risky to take bribes. The officials have appointed proxies to accept bribes on their behalf so that they’re not caught in the age of mobile phone cameras.
All contract employees, like para teachers, are agitating against the government for regularization of their jobs or at least an increase in their modest honoraria. Just before the last Assembly election in U.P. in 2022 an aspirant for teacher’s job, Shikha Pal, who is a B.Ed., was atop a water tank at the Education Directorate for about half a year protesting against the government’s recruitment policy.
Rs. 10 postal order which is required to file an application under the Right to Information Act has disappeared from post offices across U.P. – Lucknow, Kanpur, Barabanki, Moradabad and Varanasi, so that people cannot hold the government accountable by asking uncomfortable questions. This is symbolic of suppression of all dissent in BJP rule.
It is clear that Ram temple in Ayodhya in not going to bring a Ram Rajya in U.P. or the country. At best, it’ll ensure a political victory for the BJP in next Lok Sabha elections and that is the reason consecration is happening even before the construction is complete. It is not a religious temple. It is a political temple. It is a project of the Hindtuva organizations which has succeeded because of BJP in power. Some of the oppostition parties are feeling at a loss not knowing how to respond to the invitation for the 22 January event. They should outright reject it as it is a BJP and Narendra Modi event.
They must keep in mind that Hindtuva organizations have nothing to do with the Hindu religion. No senior Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, Jansangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad or BJP leader has ever written a book on Hindu religion like Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Aurobindo Ghosh, etc, have done. Hence there is no need to feel guilty about not being part of the consecration ceremony. Similarly, the voters need to distinguish between Hindu religion and the politics of Hindutva.
---
 *General Secretary of Socialist Party (India)

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