New Delhi, Feb 13: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad will begin its ‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’ from Ayodhya today. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will flag off ‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’ that will pass several states before ending at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. The yatra is being officially organised by a Maharashtra-based social organisation, and it will see participation from organisations like the VHP and the Muslim Rashtriya Manch.
The 39-day ‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’ will be flagged off from Karsevakpuram, which is a workshop set up in by the VHP in the 1990s. People gather pillars there hoping that would be used for the construction of Ram Mandir one day. The yatra would travel through Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra as well as Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
During the 39 days of ‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’, nearly 40 public meetings will be held to revive the Ram temple movement before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The last day of Ram Rajya Yatra will be March 23. Non-BJP ruled states like Kerala have raised apprehensions about the yatra especially in view of the 1990 rath yatra held by veteran BJP leader L K Advani, which had allegedly triggered a spree of violence in several parts of the country.
Senior CPM leader from Kerala MA Baby called the ‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’ a divisive idea from the BJP which wants to deflect the political discourse following its huge loss in the recent by-elections in Rajasthan. “Communal polarisation is the political plank on which BJP and Modi, especially the RSS, is dependent on,” he told a news channel. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Zafaryab Gilani asked the government look into the issue since a “rath yatra is a matter of law and order”.
However, the organiser of the ‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’ denied having any political motives behind their idea. “It is not our fault that the election is coming up. We are not holding this yatra to campaign for the BJP,” Maharishi Shanta Bandhi of the Shri Ramdas Mission Universal Society, the chief organizer of the yatra, was quoted as saying. Sharad Sharma, long time spokesperson of the VHP said their sole objective is the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Ram Janambhoomi- Babri Masjid dispute is century old point of a tussle between Hindus and Muslims. The mosque was demolished by Hindu Karsevaks on December 6, 1992, in Ayodhya, after which riots broke out in several parts of the country. The Hindus claim that it is the birthplace of Lord Rama where a mosque was built in 1528-29 CE (935 AH) by Mir Baqi.