BJP firms up its Hindutva agenda as 2019 elections near 

The announcement of Ram Rajya Rath Yatra before the Gujarat polls may well be BJP’s attempt to polarise voters for political gains

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

NH Web Desk

Black money. Terrorism. Corruption. Employment. All of them, deceptively employed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the lead-up to general elections in 2014, now seem like vote-grabbing rhetoric without any substance whatsoever. It seems that Modi added three years of his government when he alleged that previous governments did nothing in the last seventy years. Because India had been free for 67 years when he started making this claim of his. And nobody knows it better than Modi that nothing substantial has happened in the last three years.

All out in the open, how will the BJP win the general elections in 2019?

A strategy has already been chalked out. After the recreation of treta yug in Ayodhya this Diwali, the BJP decided to make Ayodhya and Ram Temple the major issues the next general elections. The work on playing up Ayodhya and Ram Temple will begin in February 2018, when Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flags off the Ram Rajya Rath Yatra in Ayodhya.

The yatra will pass through six states and culminate in Rameswaram.

Besides, signs of Ayodhya, Ram Temple and Hindutva mothballing into major political issues are already visible in Uttar Pradesh. The announcement of getting a 100-metre-long-statue of Lord Ram installed and creating a Treta Yug-like environment by lighting 71,000 lamps along the river Saryu on Diwali, and the grand welcome extended to models dressed as Rama and Sita as if the gods had themselves appeared—all these are signs that Ayodhya and Hindutva are back on top of BJP’s election agenda.

Efforts to colour the state of Uttar Pradesh saffron, like literally, are ongoing as well. Be it the secretariat building, government buses, bed sheets in government hospitals, or welcoming visiting cricket teams with headscarves- there seems to be a wilful strategy at work towards fomenting polarisation and spread Hindutva.

According to reports, the Ram Raya Rath Yatra will commence on February 13 next year and culminate on March 23 in Rameswaram. Although the yatra has been organised under the banner of Shri Ramdas Universal Society of Maharashtra, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, RSS and other like-minded organisations will likely take part in this.

The declared objective of this yatra is to re-establish ‘Ram Rajya’ and the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. There seems to be a particular reason behind announcing this Yatra around the time of elections Modi’s home state of Gujarat and neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.

Many political analysts believe that Modi is an expert in polarising any election. Therefore, announcing this yatra before the states’ elections may well be an effort to polarise the electorate in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

This announcement also makes it clear why Yogi Adityanath was made the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. When Yogi was picked to lead Uttar Pradesh, it was widely believed that the reason was so Yogi could work on spreading Hindutva as Modi spoke of development.

Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had to reluctantly concede to this instruction, which came from the RSS. That agenda of the RSS is now finally taking shape.

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Published: 01 Nov 2017, 6:18 PM