BJP makes its job easier by returning Ram Mandir to the centre of its narrative
Lucknow, Jan 27 (IANS) It is a perfect recipe – more perfect than what the BJP had imagined it to be.
With careful planning, the BJP has managed to bring the Ram temple in Ayodhya to the centre of the electoral narrative and the response from the common man will make sure that it stays there till the elections are held, sometime in April-May.
The ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony reached every household in India through live telecast and streaming on January 22.
Temple memorabilia is on sale across the country, making sure that there is a bit of Ram Lalla in every heart, every house.
The surging crowds that reached Ayodhya after the consecration ceremony on January 22, was more than what the BJP expected.
The Yogi Adityanath Government had to stop bus services, appeal to the people to wait longer for ‘darshan’, increase darshan timings and even reschedule Ayodhya-bound trains.
Crowds that are pouring into the holy city from all parts of the country, will, perhaps, make sure that the BJP reaches its target of 50 per cent vote share – or maybe even more.
The manner in which the BJP has built up the temple narrative, has put the Opposition in the anti-Hindu camp.
“It is clear – if you have declined the invitation to the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony, you are perceived as anti-Ram. For the moment, the BJP and Ram are almost synonymous and you cannot separate the two. Even the VHP which spearheaded the entire Ayodhya movement seems to have taken a back seat. VHP leaders’ presence was not very visible at the ceremony,” opined a political analyst.
A senior BJP Legislator said, “If this is so, then we have toiled for it. Yogi Adityanath put infrastructure development in Ayodhya on the fast track and ensured that the development of the holy city took place faster than the temple construction. Prime Minister Modi also ensured that the airport, railway station and other facilities came up in record time. Those who are going to Ayodhya, are seeing the magnificent temple and also a new Ayodhya.”
The BJP is now planning to take groups of devotees from every Assembly constituency to offer prayers at the Ram temple. The campaign will continue till Holi, which falls on March 25.
After a gap of about a week, Ayodhya will start celebrating Chaitra Navratri which will culminate in Ram Navami on April 17 – celebrations for which will again be on a grand scale.
The BJP clearly visualised and pushed the temple plank to the doors of the Lok Sabha elections and a host of programmes will broaden the outreach.
These include the likes of the Kalash Yatra, Ayodhya Darshan, Mandir Deep Jyoti, distributing booklets among the people on the history of the Ram temple movement, and reaching out to people to sport the Ram flag in their homes and vehicles.
Besides, the BJP has also unveiled a ‘Gaon Chalo’ campaign as part of the party’s bid to go to the rural parts of India.
The Opposition, on the other hand, has not only failed to counter the temple narrative set by the BJP but has even started imploding.
The INDIA bloc seems to be cracking up sooner than expected with JD-U, Trinamool Congress and AAP baring their fangs. In this situation, the road to victory in 2024 seems to be getting smoother for the BJP.
The Ram temple has been fed into the BJP’s cultural-nationalism discourse and ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is the all-important war cry for the upcoming general elections.