Is the Ram Mandir Just an Agenda to Secure Votes from Dalits?

Is the Ram Mandir Just an Agenda to Secure Votes from Dalits?

The world is aware of the huge dispute revolving around the land at Ayodhya. It is rooted in some political, social, and socio-religious causes, especially ones around Dalits. The land, which is considered as the birthplace of Lord Rama and now Ram Mandir, is also where the Babri Masjid was located. The Hindus believe that a previous Hindu temple was demolished to build the mosque. However, a political rally in the year 1992 destroyed Babri Masjid to its ruins. Subsequently, the land went under the Allahabad High Court as a complaint was lodged with the ownership of the land.

On October 2019, the Supreme Court passed its final verdict after the dispute continued for several years. The verdict went in favor of the government, stating it belonged to them. The order also suggested the land to be given to the Hindu temple trust. Alternatively, a five-acre land was given to the Sunni Waqf Board to construct the mosque.

Ram Mandir, which will soon be constructed on the allocated place, will be used as a symbol of solidarity amongst the Hindus. The foundation stone of the temple was laid by one of the Dalits, Kameshwar Chaupal, three decades ago. He is now an active member of the Ram Mandir Trust. This debate around the Hindu social order has brought a shadow into this scenario. The leaders of this trust, like Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, and Kalyan Singh, are Dalits and belong to lower and backward communities of the society.

This movement has also become of great significance to showcase the special place for the backward classes and Dalits in the matrix. This decision taken by the BJP is being seen as a move to uphold the position of Dalits in the society and consequently gain more votes. The lower caste leaders had to be brought into the picture to give a new, reinvented place to them in society. It has been taken as a foolish attempt to take in the Dalits to consolidate the vote bank. To quote a Congress Dalit leader, Udit Raj, he says, “They don’t love Dalits, they love votes.”

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