Editorial: Mahabharata Days Are Here Again

Editorial: Mahabharata Days Are Here Again

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 07:04 PM IST
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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath cannot be taken lightly. He has a reputation for taking strong action, though he is not as even-handed as he should be. He is the one who has shown the political utility of bulldozers, now the strongest weapon in the state arsenal. That they are used selectively is a different matter. When he recalls Lord Krishna’s attempt to broker a deal with the Kauravas in the state Assembly, he does it with a purpose. That he played a significant role in the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya is not disputed. He wants similar temples at Mathura and Kashi, which he claims are two more Hindu centres of faith. He wants the mosques at these places to go so that two magnificent temples can be built there. He says that he will not only talk but will also walk the talk.

The chief minister implies that he knows how to have his way. Nobody mistakes the element of threat contained in his message. What he pretends not to know is that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which had created the Ayodhya issue that BJP’s Lal Krishna Advani had converted into a political issue by going on a Rathayatra from Somnath to Ayodhya, had identified 3,000 religious structures built on the debris of Hindu temples. And they include the Jama Masjid in Delhi and even the Taj Mahal! Till today, neither the VHP nor the BJP or, for that matter, Adityanath has clarified that they want to displace only two mosques. The Place of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, enacted in 1991, prohibits the conversion of any religious site from the religion to which it was dedicated on August 15, 1947. It is a different matter that neither the courts nor the administration pays heed to this law.

It is a measure of the people’s faith in law and order and the supremacy of the law that everybody accepted the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya. That is how the temple was built at Ayodhya, though the verdict very clearly rejects most of the arguments made in favour of the demolition. If anyone wants to build temples, he can find ways, legal or otherwise, to do so, particularly when secularism remains only in the preamble of the Constitution. It is a tragedy that when the chief minister should speak about development, he harps on injustices done 5000 years ago.

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