The Ram Mandir Nidhi Samarpan Abhiyaan has entered into its second phase where the trust seeks to reach out around 500,000 villages and 110 million families. The mission has been welcomed in the country with great enthusiasm, and people irrespective of their religion, background and political tones worked unitedly to contribute to Shri Ram’s cause. The Ram Mandir Trust and affiliates of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have put in place elaborate and transparent systems to manage the massive door-to-door Nidhi Samarpan drive for the construction of the much-awaited Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Its sole aim is that every family should get an opportunity to contribute as per their personal belief and capacity. The first phase of the mission saw substantial support from people irrespective of race, caste, religion and gender. A Muslim doctor, while donating Rs 1,51,000 stated that his contribution is very personal with the belief that such movements and gestures can lead to religious fraternity leading to unity and integrity of our nation.
Dissociation with Ram Temple
The emphasis of the mission at the grassroots level is disturbing the Congress. The newly appointed Treasurer Pawan Bansal, who seems ignorant of its grassroots party workers, commented that collecting money for Shri Ram’s cause is not the stand of Congress and the party has no plans to collect donations for the temple. He further went on to juxtapose the party’s professing of pseudo-secular politics with his objections to the Nidhi Samarpan Abhiyaan. He disclosed that he was contacted for the drive but he refused on the ground that the belief of the party is based on secular principles. Such a statement was made when its party workers (NSUI) launched the drive titled ‘Re 1 Ram ke Naam’ in Jaipur.
The party is stooping to such a low level that it is asking its party persons not to involve themselves in such a drive as such practice would harm the party’s self-interest. TG Reghunatha Pillai, Congress’ vice-president in Alappuzha district also faced backlash while inaugurating RSS’ Nidhi Samarpan drive and was forced to defend himself to the party besses. He asserted that he participated in the capacity of the president of Pallipuram Kadavil Mahalakshmi temple, and “in temple affairs, there is no role for politics”.
There are so many dichotomies in the Congress that its party workers have to keep their political stature aside while involving themselves in the drive. It is also stated that there hasn’t been any “official directive” from the Command to conduct these drives or even to contribute money.
The Congress party is in fear of losing its command over one respective religious group. It must realise that the strong value system revolves around Shri Ram. It is precisely why Ramayan is favoured for recitation compared to any other religious book or epic in the whole country. The life lessons from Shri Ram needs to be disseminated among family members so that they become selfless, honest, and courageous and maintain the highest standards of integrity. Each recital of Ramayan is intended to make people aware of the importance of inculcating virtues in life. However, such political and pseudo-secular gimmick in the name of Shri Ram by the Congress party diminishes the country’s value system and is also largely affecting the public discourse.
There are so many dichotomies in the Congress that its party workers have to keep their political stature aside while involving themselves in the drive. It is also stated that there hasn’t been any “official directive” from high command to conduct these drives or even to contribute money
In contrary to his party, PC Sharma, a Congress MLA distributed pamphlets in his Bhopal constituency that it was Rajiv Gandhi who laid the foundation stone of the Temple in Ayodhya and people must directly deposit into trust's account and not trust anyone else with their money putting accusations wrongly upon the organisations involved in the movement. The politically afraid Pratap Bhanu Sharma, a former Congress MP, urged its party’s leadership to organise donation camps so as not to let BJP take the credit for the temple’s construction.
At this juncture, Congress must get away with its communal colour as Shri Ram is much above politics and an embodiment of truth, morality and above all ‘the ideal king’. Shri Ram Mandir is not any ordinary religious site as there is a history of political and religious struggle attached to it. The place represents Shri Ram, whom we could describe as a man who displays perfect moral and social behaviour.
It is high time that Congress must realise that Shri Ram is not about “Hindu Identity” but about “Hindu values”. Building Shri Ram Mandir is not communal; instead, it is a sign of respect, fraternity and commitment. If Shri Ram wanted to spread Hinduism, He could have converted all the Rakshasas into his clan after killing, Ravan like any other religion is seen to do. But He preferred not to do so, as the fight was over principles and not over the identity of the two parties involved in the war.
Shri Ram Mandir’s building will reinvigorate the Hindu values leading to a social order that is honest, committed and shows the highest integrity standards, bringing an end to the identity issues.
(The writer is a Jodhpur-based columnist)