The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliate organisation, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP), held a ‘Dharma Sansad’ (meeting of religious leaders) at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, an iconic venue for protest and rallies, on December 9. During the ‘Dharma Sansad’ RSS and VHP leaders pressed their demands for construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya’s disputed site. Addressing the event just two days before the start of the winter’s parliament session, the ‘religious’ leaders issued an ultimatum to the ruling government and asserted that construction of the temple was BJP’s electoral promise in 2014 and the government ‘must deliver its commitment’ before 2019 Lok Sabha elections, either through a supreme court ruling or by passing a legislation in the upcoming parliament sessions.
“The Ram Temple will be built on Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya. This is what crores of Ram bhakts want. Their sentiments must be respected. In a democracy, those in the government have the duty to fulfil the demands and aspirations of the people,” said RSS sarkaryavah (general secretary) Bhaiyaji Joshi while addressing the crowd that had gathered to support RSS’ demands.
Last month, Bhaiyaji pledged that if the government doesn’t heed to their demands then the RSS would start the agitation similar to 1992. The 1992 Ram Mandir agitation was the turning point in Indian political narrative. The movement resulted into widespread riots leading to as many as 2,000 casualties across the country.
Since October this year, RSS and its affiliates have been building pressure on the government with a motive to ensure that PM Narendra Modi doesn’t leave his office before the temple is built. UP CM Yogi Adityanath has also put his weight behind these demands and said that UP government is fully committed to the construction of the mandir before 2019 elections.
Presently, the Ayodhya land dispute is pending before the Supreme Court with the next hearing slated to be in January 2019. The RSS leaders and workers have revealed that they’ll be waiting for the judgement and will decide their next plan likewise.
Further, VHP is preparing a door-to-door outreach campaign to gather more support for their demands. They have pledged to intensify their efforts for the fast-track construction of Ram Mandir once the SC’s judgement on the matter is out in January.