Mumbai: Election years are always the time when divine intervention is desperately sought, to make votes swing in favour of one side or the other. In the nineties, BJP clamoured for building of the Ram mandir in Ayodhya and now, Shiv Sena has appropriated that mantle. Then it was the turn of Ram’s most devoted lieutenant, Hanuman, to be roped in by parties — he was labelled variously as a Jain, Dalit, a tribal and a forest dweller in the run-up to assembly polls in Rajasthan.
Now, the spotlight is back again on Ram. The BJP Member of Parliament from Mumbai, Poonam Mahajan, has said Ram was the first migrant from the north to the city of dreams, in an obvious bid to woo the north Indian populace in the city. North Indians are the second largest community in the city after Maharashtrians, accounting for 26-28% of the state’s population.
Openly currying favour with the north Indian population, Poonam told a gathering of the Uttar Bharatiya Morcha, just like them, Ram too had come from the north.
“The ties that bind Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh (UP) are ancient, it is Ram who is the originator of this connection,” she said, causing audience antennae to go up. The migrant population, which is mainly working class, has often faced harassment from Sainiks and MNS. Very recently, a Sena corporator said as Ram had passed through Malabar Hill in his search for Sita, the area should be renamed Ram Nagri.