By Santosh Kumar Pathak
New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS): The politics in the country has transformed a lot in the last decade with political parties and leaders seen shifting their stance on various issues.
The seeds of this transformation were sown back in 1989, when the BJP, in the midst of a decades-long legal battle for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, has openly announced its political support to the Ram temple movement.
At a party convention chaired by the then National President of BJP, L.K. Advani, it was decided that the party will openly support the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Earlier, Vishwa Hindu Parishad was leading the movement for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
After this decision of the BJP, the political scenario in the country started transforming rapidly. While the BJP started getting politically stronger, on the other hand, the mobilisation of other political parties against the BJP also intensified.
At one point of time, amid the Ram Temple movement, all the major political parties, except Akali Dal and Shiv Sena, joined hands to criticize them for supporting the movement. However, years later, today BJP is at the top of the country's politics. Not just this, but also, it has completely transformed the politics in the country.
Many leaders who were previously known for their politics of secularism and minorityism later joined the BJP.
After becoming the Prime Minister in 2014, Narendra Modi also played a big role in transforming the country's politics. He has firmly established the politics of majoritarianism.
Under the present circumstances, most of the political parties are neither able to criticise the BJP on Ayodhya issue, nor they can denounce the construction of the Ram temple.
Prakash Sharma, the then National Organisation Minister of Bajrang Dal and currently a senior leader of Uttar Pradesh BJP, who was arrested for the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, while talking to IANS, said that the "so-called advocates" of secular politics have now started realising that their politics could be done without the appeasement of the minorities.
"The awareness that was created due to the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir movement among the majority of society has completely transformed politics. Earlier these political parties and some people used to create hue and cry on every year's 'December 6' because they thought that by doing this they would get the votes of a particular community, but when there was a reaction from the Hindu side, they stopped doing so because of the fear of losing political ground. Everyone, from Rahul Gandhi to Arvind Kejriwal, is trying to prove themselves as Hindus now."
"In fact, after the demolition, the country's political atmosphere used to heat up every year on December 6. A round of allegations and counter-allegations used to start between the political parties. Uproar during the winter session of the Parliament, over the demolition, had become a tradition for the day (December 6)," Sharma said, adding that even the security agencies had to be more vigilant on the day. "But in the last few years, the scenario has changed completely."
In 2019, by giving the verdict on the Ayodhya dispute, the Supreme Court legally cleared the way for the construction of the Ram temple. In 2020, after the Bhoomi Pujan by Prime Minister Modi, the construction of the "grand" Ram temple started in Ayodhya.
According to Champat Rai, general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, the construction work of the first floor of the "grand" Ram temple being built in Ayodhya will be completed by December 2023.