VHP’s joint general secretary Surendra Jain courted controversy on Sunday saying that the Ram temple movement was “bigger than the freedom struggle”.
“In 1947, India got its political freedom. But through the movement for the Ram Temple, we got our religious and cultural freedom. This was an even bigger movement than the freedom struggle,” a statement from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) quoted Jain as saying.
He further claimed that the Ram temple had “begun the journey to an era of Ram Rajya” and India’s fortunes would change for the better once the temple was constructed. “The present century belongs to that of Ram…The donation campaign became a bridge to unite the whole nation. It proved only Ram can unite the nation. Secular politics has only divided the nation,” Jain added.
Meanwhile, speaking at the launch of a book titled Sab Ke Ram, RSS joint general secretary Arun Kumar said on Sunday that the Ram temple movement “awakened” the Hindu society and “became a moment of self-realisation for the Hindus”.
The event was organised by the VHP.
“Those who were saying the sentiment of Hindutva is on the wane have had their doubts answered by the tide of donations received for the Ram temple. The Ram temple movement is Hindu society’s self-realisation. It awakened the Hindu society…The movement was not a result of a reaction but of the commitment of the Hindus,” a VHP statement quoted Kumar as having said.
He added, “Our dream is of a harmonious society. Our tolerance is not because of our cowardice, but because of our courage and enterprise.”
The Ram temple movement, involving leaders of the VHP, RSS and the BJP, had led to the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in 1992.
In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Hindus and granted the disputed site to them even as those accused of the Babri Masjid demolition were acquitted.
The construction of Ram Temple, which is being carried out by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, is at an advanced stage. It is expected to open to the public by December, 2023, just ahead of Lok Sabha polls.