SP Government Plays the Minority Card Once Again
Dr Shakti Kumar Pandey from Lucknow
Only the other day, Mulayam’s gesture with VHP leaders in a meeting was lauded by all and sundry, and it was felt that the State Government intends to open a new chapter of Hindu-Muslim unity in the state, by promising to facilitate the ‘84 Kosi Parikrama’ in Ayodhya and mediate for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
But the very next day all hopes were shattered when the Government not only refused to mediate for Ram Mandir construction, but also imposed a ban on the much-awaited ‘84 Kosi Parikrama’ around the holy city of Ayodhya. And this was done at the behest of Azam Khan, the fanatic communal Muslim leader who is the sole guiding force behind Mulayam Singh Yadav. It may be mentioned that Azam Khan criticised and expressed his displeasure over Mulayam’s meeting with the VHP leaders and the seers of Ayodhya. No sooner did Mulayam got a hint of that, he took a U-turn and adopting a new posture, not only banned the ‘84 Kosi Parikrama’ but also refused to act as a mediator on Ram Mandir issue. Not only that, throwing salt on the wounds, Akhilesh Yadav, the worthy son of a worthy father, announced the 20 per cent quota for minorities.
The proposed 84-kosi- padyatra of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) crossing six districts in Eastern UP including Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya was likely to garner support for construction of Ram Temple. It was slated from August 25 to September 13.
The VHP leader Shri Ashok Singhal says that the ‘Sri Ramajanmabhoomi Temple Construction High-Power Committee’ sent an 11-member Sant Delegation to meet Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Akhilesh Yadav at their residence in Lucknow. The meeting continued for about two hours. During the meeting, the Jagadguru Ramanandacharya and Swami Rambhadracharyaji Maharaj made it clear that the 84-Kosi Yatra is a tradition that has been there for thousands of years with the belief that it gives deliverance to the performer from the cycle of 84-lakh Yonis. Just as the Kamadgiri Parikrama at Chitrakoot, Govardhan Hill Parikrama at Braj Mandal, 84-Kosi Parikrama of Braj Kshetra and the Thiruvannamalai Parikrama of the Sacred Arunachala Hill in South India can be undertaken at any time of the year and no specific time-frame is fixed for it, the 84-Kosi Parikrama of Ayodhya can also be undertaken at any time of the year. Shri Mulayam Singhji promised to the delegation that he would make efforts, after consultations with the local authorities, so that the Yatra could take place. At no point during the conversating did the delegation have an inkling that he was against this Yatra or that any sort of ban would be imposed on it.
Shri Singhal said that the Government’s notification was surprising. In order to stop this Yatra they clamped Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to prohibit assembly of people in all those districts around Ayodhya. This decision of the Government is not only unfortunate but also dictatorial. There is not an iota of doubt in it that they are out to crush Hindu feelings only under pressure from the Muslim leaders. He said Mulayam Singh’s move to oppose and stop the Yatra is not only a violation of the Constitutional rights of Hindus but a gag and betrayal of the Hindu society. The Hindu society is no longer ready to tolerate it. This Dharmic Yatra is being undertaken by the Sants and seers coming from all the States of the country.
We would request Shri Mulayam Singhji Yadav and the Chief Minister of UP. Shri Akhilesh Yadavji to revoke this ban, and if they do not do this then the Hindu society, in order to defend its rights, should remain ready to wedge a struggle through peaceful and democratic way, added the VHP leader.
Meanwhile in Faizabad, section 144 has been progumulated in the entire district by District Magistrate from immediate effect, and it will continue till September 19. Authorities have also started checking and frisking of people entering the district. With VHP claiming that over 40,000 saints and sadhus would be participating in the yatra, the authorities have made all arrangements to prevent them from entering the district.
Claimed as the VHP’s biggest public movement after the ‘purna aahuti mahayagya’ in 2002, the 20-days-long 84-Kosi-yatra, between August 25 and September 13, was supposed to garner public support by the VHP for the early construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya.
It may be mentioned that the Muslim community frowned upon Mulayam when they learnt about his meeting with the VHP leaders. Azam Khan also questioned as to why Samajwadi Party leadership was keen for mediation in Ramjanmabhoomi and Babri Masjid issue. In a strongly worded statement Azam Khan said Mulayam Singh Yadav had built his image among Muslims after a long struggle. “I believe he would not allow anyone to malign this image now,” Azam Khan said in his statement here. ‘’The act of the SP leaders has hurt the sentiments of the Muslims and talks between the VHP and Mulayam Singh Yadav has sent a wrong signal to the community,’’ Khan said.
Saints adamant on Parikrama
Extremely agitated over the refusal of permission to centuries old 84 Kosi Parikarma by Samajwadi Party Government of Uttar Pradesh, the saints have warned that the Parikrama programme would go on as per the schedule and they are ready for any fight on this issue.
The saints also came down heavily on the State government saying that the government is playing with fire by repeatedly hurting the sentiments of the Hindus for appeasing the Muslims. They termed the 20 per cent reservation to Muslims in the State as sheer appeasement of minorities.
According to reports from Ayodhya, the saints and VHP leaders have made all arrangements for starting the Prikrama and the programme will go on as per the scheduled on August 25. “There is no change in our programme and the Parikrma will go on as usual. If any attempt is made to prevent us the agitation will be carried out all over the country. We are ready for any action on the part of the State government for Sri Ram Temple,” said VHP spokesperson Shri Prakash Sharma.