Former Karnataka Chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy on Monday launched a scathing attack at the RSS and those collecting funds for the construction of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir. Drawing a parallel with Nazi Germany the Janata Dal (Secular) leader called it an "undeclared emergency" and wondered where the country was headed.
The protracted legal battle for Ayodhya's Ram Mandir had come to an end in November 2019, with the Supreme Court paving the way for the construction of a temple at the disputed site. Nearly a year later, Prime Minister Modi took part in the bhoomi pujan for the upcoming temple. And soon after this, organisations working with the Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra announced a pan-India donation drive to collect funds for the planned temple.
That campaign began in January this year, with trust treasurer Swami Govind Dev Giri stating recently that the Trust had already received more than Rs. 1,500 crore. The donation drive will continue till February 27, and the Trust aims to reach four lakh villages and 11 crore families across the country. "People are contributing to the trust. After 492 years, people have got such an opportunity again to do something for the Dharma," Giri was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
But in a country with more than a billion people, it is impossible for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to any cause. And as people across the country donate funds, those conducting the drive appear to have hit upon a rather unusual method of announcing who exactly has made a contribution. According to reports, people are now having their houses marked with stickers acknowledging their contribution - a fact that seems to have alarmed many.
"It appears that those collecting donations for the construction of Ram Mandir have been separately marking the houses of those who paid money and those who did not. This is similar to what Nazis did in Germany during the regime of Hitler when lakhs of people lost their lives," Kumaraswamy alleged on Monday.
While reports have quoted Bajrang Dal leaders to say that the stickers are merely a way of marking places that they have already visited to collect funds from, Kumaraswamy contended that the "fundamental rights of people are being snatched away in the country now".
Drawing a parallel between the RSS and the foundation of the Nazi Party, he said that there was now a situation where one could not freely express his or her views.
"A situation has been created where nobody can share their feelings. I do not know what will happen if media upholds the government’s views in the coming days. In such a situation it is difficult to guess what would be the fate of common man," he added.