By Rajan Narayan

THE entire focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on the inauguration of the grand new temple of Ayodhya on January 22, 2024 For Narendra Modi and the RSS, and BJP karyakarta, the inauguration of the Ayodhya temple will be a moment of great triumph. It may be recalled that Modi himself with the top BJP leaders were present at Ayodhya when the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.
Amongst those who admitted that they were present was Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnivas. So far none of the top BJP leaders in Goa have admitted that they were present when the Babri Masjid was demolished. Although the late chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, was very much there as a kar sevak to participate and witness in the demolition.
Modi has been hands-on when it comes to the construction of the Ayodhya temple and its formal inauguration which presumably he is qualified to do. He obviously wants to make it a global event with prime ministers and presidents from around the world invited to attend the opening ceremony. For Modi, it is the culmination of his ten years of being the prime minister of India or Bharat. He is Modi is hoping that playing the Hindutva card will ensure that the BJP will romp home to another easy victory in the upcoming parliamentary polls scheduled later this year in April 2024.
Modi, in his preoccupation with the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, has forgotten all about single-digit development leave alone double-engine development. It may be recalled that Modi called it double engine development when Goa was ruled by its first BJP chief minister, that is Parrikar.

CLEARLY, in Modi’s mindset, he received confirmation of his BJP agenda with the party winning in Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Modi is not at all concerned about the poor or ameliorating their poverty once and for all with down-to-earth infrastructure building and creating employment from the bottoms up.
He seems to have lost interest in beating the minorities. Indeed, he reached out to the country’s small Christian population. Modi realizes that he would need every single vote and every single seat to return to power fairly. But he has obstinately refused to acknowledge the contribution of the Muslim community to India’s growth.
Even though the Muslim community has produced stalwarts like APJ Abdul Kalam. Abdul Kalam was the original rocket scientist. Subsequently he was made president by the Sonia and Rahul Gandhi government. Modi, of course, has not stopped baiting the Sonia Gandhi family endlessly.
Most recently it has been Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra who is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate. Priyanka along with Robert Vadra have been implicated in a major scam and the Enforcement Directorate has launched a probe against them. Then comes Rahul Gandhi who is an accused in a “National Herald” scam. It is claimed that the “National Herald” which is owned by the Nehru family was involved in a Rs800 crore scam.
Nothing is being proven of course and even the attempt to throw Rahul out of Parliament did not succeed. The Supreme Court intervened and ruled that his disqualification from Parliament was invalid. Rahul’s nomination in the last elections to Parliament was set aside when a lower court sentenced him to two years in a defamation case. But he triumphantly returned to Parliament.
Modi has been involved in every step of the way in the building of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Even the statue of Lord Ram has been chosen by him. Locals including the priests in Ayodhya have been kept in the dark about the nature of the entire statue. Modi’s focus is not only on Ram Mandir in Ayodhya but the town of Ayodhya also.

MODI has promised Rs15,000 crore for the development of Ayodhya. Already a new international airport has opened in Ayodhya. Ayodhya will also be connected by train from New Delhi and Mumbai. Strangely, Modi has asked karsevaks and BJP workers not to crowd Ayodhya on the day of the inauguration.
Apparently, the inauguration will be confined to selected invitees. Leaders of all political parties have been invited to the inauguration including Sonia Gandhi and the Congress president, Mallikarjun Kharge. However, Modi claimed Rahul and Priyanka are not entitled to an invitation to the inaugural ceremony.
Ayodhya is being sought to be developed into a major international pilgrim destination. The only Hindu country as far as we know is Nepal although now it calls itself officially a democracy. Every state government is offering help to pilgrims desiring to visit the brand new Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
According to Modi, Lord Ram spent most of his life and particularly the 14 years of exile, in tented accommodation. Now he claims that he has given Lord Ram a big palace to live in. Goa Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant has already promised help to Goans wishing to visit Ayodhya.
The BJP in every state is offering sponsored trips for BJP kar sevaks and BJP workers to Ayodhya. One is reminded of the time of the demolishment of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. It may be recalled that kar sevaks from every part of the country were present to do their bit towards at the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The demolition got the blessings of all the top BJP leaders of the time including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and of course, all community of swamijis. Swami Yogi Aditiyanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, was present when the Babri Masjid was brought down.
Now all that is history and the Ayodhya temple is listed on the top of the promises Narendra Modi has and keeps making, Ayodhya Temple was on top of the list and has ensured this promise comes true. It would appear that the inauguration of the temple will be a mega event like the World Cup Cricket, it is may be bigger than any Olympics or bigger than any national athletic games.

MODI has raised Lord Ram to the status of a major god in the temple at Ayodhya and presumably he is now firm in the opinion that the BJP’s Hindutva agenda is subscribed by the entire nation.
Before the elections to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chandigarh the BJP did not openly flout his Hindutva agenda. It is now become bolder and bolder and now there are no apologies about its Hindutva mania. The Hindutva belief may be perfectly legal. After all the Hindus have every right to promote Hinduism in a country where Hindus make up the majority community.
But this can never been at the expense of the minority. History has proved that in a country where minorities have been marginalized the party in power suffers setbacks. Like in Goa, no political party can win without the support of the minority communities. The late Manohar Parrikar realized this when he gave tickets to minority community leaders from South Goa. His efforts was hugely successful when all the minority Catholic MLAs were given tickets for winning the elections.
Even now a large number of the ministers and MLAs in the BJP legislative party in Goa are members of the minority Catholic community. Modi believes that he can get away by ignoring the Muslim minority though it is far larger at almost 15% of the population.
If the Ayodhya Temple inauguration goes as well as Modi has planned it, this will be focus of the BJP campaign for Parliamentary elections. The parliamentary elections are coming up fast as they are scheduled in April 2024. The code of conduct for the parliamentary election will come in force in February. This is why states are preparing budgets and reports.
The Hindutva agenda and particularly the fanatical Hindutva agenda can be a threat for the secular republic of India. Already the name India has been dropped and during the G20 Summit it was made clear that India is now known as Bharat. The change in the name cannot be legally approved or cleared by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha where the BJP still does not have an absolute majority.
We do not know how the minorities will react. But the inauguration of the Ram Mandir with such fanfare celebration marks a huge landmark in the growth of the BJP. It is the ultimate vindication of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Never mind that there is still no evidence that Ram was born in Ayodhya. The location of Ram’s birth is buried in history. It must be admitted that a place called Ayodhya is mentioned in the “Ramayana.” Legends have become history in Narendra Modi’s India. Facts do not matter as long as the propaganda machinery of the Hindutva agenda triumphs.

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