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What Is Important - Power or Ram?
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
Lal Krishna Advani, Leader of the Bhartiya Janta Party to 2005

In India, the people who are expert to gain power by inciting religious feelings in others are again active. Interestingly the central government of India is being accuse for inciting religious feelings whereas the roots lie somewhere else. In the political history of India, the only hindutvawadi political organisation, Bhartiya Janta Party had remained the biggest partner in the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The political experts in BJP accept that the maximum number of seats, which they have got in parliament, is 183, and it was all because of the politics on the name of Lord Rama. It was well known that because of the controversy of Ram Janm Bhoomi – Babari Mosque issue it was propagated in the country by Bhartiya Janta Party that they would get Ram Janm Bhoomi Temple built if they come in power. The innocent devotees of Lord Rama helped them to get the maximum number only on this hope.

But the Bhartiya Janta Party forgot its promise when it came into power. It played its so called secular politics in the way the congress plays. At that time the BJP got its allies only on the condition that it would give up its issues of Ram Janm Bhoomi, common civil code and Article 370 removal from Kashmir agenda. The so called Rama devotees of BJP did this. They had two alternatives at that time. They may choose one, Rama or power. At that time the party selected to be in power. Was it not proper for these devotees of Rama to kick the power and announce that there agendas were in priority. They got that highest political position in Indian Parliament only in the name of Lord Rama. Had BJP rejected power at that time and favoured its Rama temple Issue? Then it was a time to show real attachment for Lord Rama. But their priority of power in place of Temple construction proved that in their opinion power was more powerful.

Now again preparations are being made to ask for votes. Now the issue is not Ram Janm Bhoomi but Ram Setu ( Adam Bridge) a project named Setu Samudram shipping channel for costing Rs. 2.5 thousand crores is being proposed. That is on the sea water flowing between India and Sri Lanka. This project was firstly proposed by the then British commander A D Taylor in 1860. Now after 135 years, a constructive attempt to finalise it is being made. This sea root, which is 12 meter deep and 300 meter wide, is to be constructed by the swez canal board. This board will control it and up keep it. BJP is opposing this project as that Setu is to be broken in Setu Samudram project. This Setu is known as Rama Setu. According to the Hindu thought and convention the figure that appears to be a bridge is the ruins of that bridge which was prepared by the Vanar Sena(Monkey Army) of Hanuman Ji in the presence of Lord Rama, to have victory over Sri Lanka. Undoubtedly any subject matter that hurts the religious feelings must be deeply pondered over. There must be sincere efforts that feelings of any religion not be hurt. But it does not behave any party to think itself 'patron' or custodian of the Hindu feelings on Ram Setu issue.

Today BJP is trying to incite the feelings of the Hindus on Ram Setu issue. At the same time it is trying to put the blame on the congress, the congress president Sonia Gandhi or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Surprisingly the BJP is accusing when during its own rule, four ministers of the center, Arun Jaitly, Shatrughan sinha, VedParkash Goyal and S.Triveenavkarrasu had recommended the project in 2002 in its initial stage. When all the departments gave its favour, then on July 2, 2005, the project was given a start. Regarding the opposition of BJP there arises one question, why it did not oppose in 2005 when it was in its initial stage? Why does there seen a need to oppose it at this stage? The opposition by the BJP is in large scale and in the meeting of the BJP executive in Bhopal, it had to declare that the issue of the Bhartiya Janta Party in the coming election will be this uses of Lord Ram's name that hurt the feelings. Is the silence of two years not a proof of it that the BJP was waiting for the coming elections? So it did not feel to waste its energy in the last two years on this issue. At present this opposition of the Setu Samudram project by the BJP clearly shows that being an opposition party, it wants to put obstacles in the execution of this project and it wants to make a part of its election maneuvering.

In the coming days the BJP and its associates the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and others that give energy to the party will try to play politics on this issue. The party that recommended the project in its initial stage, the BJP is trying to show itself the guardian of Ram Setu and devotee of Lord Rama. Whereas it is telling Congress and other left parties against Lord Rama.

The above circumstances are sufficient to make one understand that how far the BJP is devotee of Lord Rama or the power. To ask for votes in the name of Lord Rama is nor a new thing for the BJP. But the BJP, which took the lead in the name of Lord Rama and completed its rule for five years, has brought discredit to its name before the Indian voters. In the name of Lord Rama, how far will the BJP succeed to incite the feelings of Indian voters on the Setu Samudram project issue is uncertain. Success or failure is in the lap of future.

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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.






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