Ground breaking ceremony of Ram temple in Ayodhya at the very site where Babri Masjid once stood was regrettable for more than one reason. This event was made possible by a dubious verdict of the Supreme Court of India, a verdict that went against many of its own findings. Supreme Court ruled that the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 and it’s desecration in 1949 were in violation of law. Court also observed that there was no indication that the construction of Mosque was preceded by demolition of a structure by unfriendly powers. But in the end the Court ordered that the entire disputed land be allocated for the construction of a temple.

On the day of the event we saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adithyanath misusing their constitutional positions for narrow political gains. Prime Minister totally ignored the voices of protest from across the nation against his participation in this communally partisan affair. Mr. Modi forgot that he is the Prime Minister of a secular country and not just of his party. By their involvement in the ceremony Prime Minister, Governor and Chief Minister undermined the very constitution that they were bound to protect by oath.

Presence of Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS Chief, on the dais along with the Prime Minister clearly established who actually held the reins. The entire event was designed by Sangh Parivar to further their communal agenda and to make gains in the coming State Assembly elections. The Prime Minister of the country yielding to a nefarious organization in broad daylight was indeed a sad spectacle. Parivar is trying to implement their wicked agenda with the help of the ruling establishment. Their ultimate goal is to bring the entire country under their thumb. Sane voices around the country realize this danger and are fighting back tooth and nail, but the political class is letting them down.

The biggest disappointment has been the conduct of Indian National Congress. Their open support for the building of Ram temple under the aegis of Sangh Parivar will only strengthen the fascist forces. Undoubtedly this attitude will result in their further decimation. Prevailing sentiment among the members of Muslim community is that the party that aided the communal forces to destroy the mosque is again allying with them to build the temple in the disputed site. The community cannot be faulted if they look upon this as yet another betrayal by the Congress party.

In these trying times when the fascist forces are strengthening their grip over the country the very survival of Congress party is dependant on the support of secular and democratic minded people, especially the backward classes. Most crucial support base of the party among the backward classes is that of the Dalits and Muslims. Hence INC has the responsibility to allay their insecurities. Disadvantaged sections of the population expect the party to resist the fascist forces by upholding the constitutional and democratic values that has hitherto defined India. Instead the party is pathetically trying to counter hardcore Hindutva with it’s version of mild Hindutva. Needless to say, this approach will prove to be suicidal to the organization in the long run. Unless a course correction is attempted immediately, party could well find political irrelevancy staring it in the face.

Responses of other opposition parties were not very different from that of the Indian National Congress. What these parties should realize is that BJP cannot be beaten at its own game. Adherence to communal politics will only help them grow. BJP has to be countered with an inclusive movement that is firmly grounded in the hallowed values of secularism, democracy and unity in diversity. Vast majority of Indians desire this and that vast majority considers the 5th of August 2020 as a sad day in the history of independent India.

P. Mujeeburahman is Assistant Ameer , Jamaate Islami Kerala


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