December 5, 2014 3:29:27 am
Using WhatsApp messages and pamphlets, BJP workers in Ayodhya and Faizabad are urging people to plant saffron flags atop temples and houses to mark Bhagwa Divas (saffron day) on December 6, the day the Babri Masjid was destroyed in 1992.
BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh are distancing themselves from the campaign, saying it’s not a party exercise but they “can’t stop local residents from celebrating” since “it comes naturally”.
While state unit chief Laxmikant Bajpai has threatened action against BJP workers if they go ahead with the plan, Faizabad MP Lallu Singh maintains “Lord Ram is not interested in getting his own makaan (house) first. He would want homes for his devotees first.”
Yet Singh, a staunch RSS worker, admits that the “celebrations” this December 6 will be greater because “this is the first anniversary after the BJP came to power with such a clear majority”.
“The VHP usually organises the programme… All houses and shops will hoist saffron flags, put up colorful bulbs and light diyas. Sadhus and sants will assemble for special prayers, pooja and celebrations,” he said.
There is “no coercion” but “it comes naturally to the locals to join the celebrations”, he said, adding that “the BJP is also involved in the celebrations . it’s also natural that this time there will be more enthusiasm and zeal among party workers, local residents because of the stunning BJP victory. There will be more flags, more lights.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said, is on a “divine mission” of “replicating” Ram “by serving his people without discrimination” and “building houses for the poor”.
State BJP chief Bajpai ruled out any party role: “The BJP is not going to hold any event like Bhagwa Divas on December 6. I will take action against party workers if they organise any such event.”
But BJP workers from its Information Technology cell have even designed a Bhagwa Divas logo, and are forwarding it via social media and WhatsApp.
“Pamphlets are being printed and will be distributed in public with an appeal to place saffron flags atop houses and temples in Ayodhya and Faizabad on December 6,” Dinesh Jaiswal, BJP’s IT cell convenor for Faizabad, said.
Jaiswal said Bhagwa is a symbol of Hindutva and nationalism and they have planned the campaign to “create awareness among youth who do not know much about the incident of December 6, 1992”.
BJP Faizabad district president Ram Krishna Tiwari said the party will not organise any event on December 6 but “we will distribute sweets”.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.