Former Union Minister Uma Bharti is one BJP leader who has always been vocal about her views on the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, besides never shying away from making radical remarks on the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992.
As India remembers the disturbing as well as polarising incident, which took place almost three decades ago — triggering sweeping changes in the country’s social landscape and political dynamics, apart from spiking communal tensions, Uma Bharti, who played a salient role in the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement, said during an interaction with IANS: “I salute those who brought down the disputed structure.”
In her trademark no-holds-barred style, the saffron-clad former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said: “When I remember that day, I recall it as one of the proudest moments of my life.”
The BJP leader said she would always rejoice the moment when she witnessed the collapse of the disputed structure in front of her eyes.
She said: “I don’t know who are those people who demolished that structure but I salute those people. It was a wonderful and unique moment for me. First, the structure collapsed. Second, due to its collapse, the road map for the Ram temple was prepared. It was only after the demolition of the structure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi could lay the foundation stone of the Ram temple, so those who demolished this structure deserve our salute.”
Uma Bharti said she had entered the movement with one thought in her mind — that the Ram temple should be constructed even if it meant putting her life at stake.
“Had the kar sevaks not demolished the structure, the Archaeological Department would not have been able to excavate, and the court could have never gotten to learn about the evidence of the existence of the temple.
“I do not consider it (the razing of the disputed structure) to be a criminal activity. No Prime Minister can lay the foundation stone upon a criminal activity. The act of crime happened 500 years ago … we corrected that,” she said during her conversation with IANS.
Referring to the trial that went on against her for many years, the former Union Minister said: “We have lived that moment in joy and pride… and I will enjoy it for the rest of my life, so I never felt like facing the trial but took it as a matter of pride.”
She continued: “(Lord) Ram is an ideal for the new generation and the Ram temple is a symbol of Hindu identity and national identity. Ram is the divine man of the nation… the life force of our country is Hindutva, and the life force of Hindutva is Ram, Ganga and cow.
“That is why India is secular. Because India is Hindu, and Hindus believe in Ram. Hence, Muslims as well as people of other religions are safe in this country. In fact, this is the glory of Lord Ram.
“Lord Ram existed thousands of years before Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad. I therefore consider Lord Ram to be the ancestor of all. The exploited and the oppressed class is still waiting for ‘Ram Rajya’, and the path to ‘Ram Rajya’ originates from the Ram Mandir,” Uma Bharti said.
Stating that inequality is still pervasive in Indian society, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said: “Just like Lord Ram took 14 years to kill Ravan, in the same way PM Modi should be given 15 years to establish ‘Ram Rajya’ in the country.
“The condition of weaker sections, government schools and hospitals will have to be improved… people will have to come out of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment. That would be ‘Ram Rajya’ in the true sense,” she added.
On the probable impact of the Ram temple issue on the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uma Bharti said: “We never wished for any impact. The Ram temple agenda has always been on the forefront. Following the demolition of the disputed structure, we (the BJP) lost power in four states, and also lost elections. Despite everything, the Ram Mandir has always been on our agenda, and now, we are constructing the temple.”