BJP, RSS have made business out of Ram mandir

New Delhi, June 16 (KMS): Backing the demand for a central agency probe into the corruption in the purchase of land for the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar has said that the BJP and the RSS have made the shrine a ‘medium of business’.

Speaking to reporters in Rasra, Rajbhar said, ‘The BJP and the RSS have made Ram temple a medium of business.’ He also asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath when action will be taken against the accused.

Rajbhar’s remarks came a day after the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also made similar accusation that Shriram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust General Secretary Champat Rai bought 1.208 hectares of land in Ayodhya’s Bag Bjaisi village worth Rs 2 crore at an inflated price of Rs 18.5 crore for the Ram temple with the help of trust member Anil Mishra.

Terming it a case of money laundering, SP leader Pawan Pandey and AAP leader Sanjay Singh sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into the matter.

The Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party chief claimed the said piece of land was purchased for Rs 2 crore on March 18 for the construction of Ram temple and five minutes later, it was bought by the Ram Mandir Trust for Rs 18.50 crore. He also sought a probe by the CBI and the ED into the scandal.

Targeting Modi and Adityanath, Rajbhar, a former BJP ally, said, ‘Both the leaders claim zero tolerance (for corruption). Modi and Yogi should make it clear as to when a case will be registered against the trustee of the Ram Mandir Trust and when the accused persons will be sent to jail, he asked.

It merits mentioning here that Ram Mandir symbolises India’s radical shift towards illiberal majoritarianism, which runs on the idea of maintaining Hindu supremacy in India. In 1992, highly charged Hindu fanatics descended on the 16th century Mughal-era mosque in the city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state. The desecration and destruction of the mosque was the result of decades-long social engineering carried out by extremist Hindu organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which was outlawed after one of its members assassinated India’s founding father, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, on January 30, 1948. The RSS was inspired by European fascists in the 1920s.  Indian Prime Minister Modi has been a lifelong RSS member. He often pays tribute to its main ideologue, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who justified rape as a weapon against Muslim women. The destruction of the mosque helped India’s ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party, which is mentored by the RSS, rise from being a small entity with a negligible vote share, to an invincible political behemoth that now enjoys the majority in the Indian parliament. In 2019, Indian Supreme Court handed the contested land to a government-formed trust – which would go on to finance the Ram temple construction project. The court took into account an archaeological survey that showed the Babri Mosque was built on top of an older structure. Surveyors said it was the mythological Ram temple. But the late Indian historian, Sarvepalli Gopal, said human settlement in modern Ayodhya can only be traced back 2,800 years, whereas the legends of Lord Ram date back 5,000 years. The Ram Temple’s first foundation coincided with the first anniversary of the removal of disputed Kashmir’s special status, which was a long-standing demand of Hindu nationalists to punish defiant Kashmiris.