तस्मिन् पुरवरे हृष्टा धर्मात्मनो बहुश्रुताः।
नराः तुष्ठाः धनैः स्वैः स्वैः अलुब्धाःसत्यवादिनः ॥ १ -६ -६ ॥
“In that best city, Ayodhya, all are exuberant yet virtuous, and scholars are variously learned in sacred lores; people are contended with their own fortune, free from greed, and truthful —Valmiki Ramayana, Balkand, [1-6-6]
Ram Lalla is regaining the lost glory. After nearly 500 years of exile and 30 years in a tent, Shri Ram is returning to His original birthplace. Ayodhya is regaining its grandeur. The days of getting permission from some bureaucrat even to change the Vigraha’s clothes in a child’s form are over. As we approach the 75 year of our modern Republic, Ayodhya’s rejuvenation and the Ram Mandir’s reconstruction have a special significance.
Since time immemorial, Ram, Ramayan and the virtues the great epic stands for are ingrained in the Bharatiya psyche beyond imagination. Whenever Bharatiya people refer to an ideal ruler, the obvious reference point is Raja Ram, and the capital is considered Ayodhya. This popular impression transcends the barriers of sects, castes, regions and languages. Hence, there was an incessant struggle for the liberation of the Ram Janmabhoomi and now jubilation with the Pran Pratishtha ceremony. The usual suspects who tried their best to halt this process of national awakening are again trying to raise new issues and create confusion. Their gimmicks no longer influence public sentiments. Instead of getting carried away by the irrelevant and illogical arguments to garner votes, we need to focus on the lessons of this struggle, participate in the devotional celebration and resolve to build the Ram Rajya, the Bharatiya ideal of a Righteous Republic.
The struggle for Ram Janmabhoomi is a symbol of persistence and vigour of the Hindu society. Invaders defeated the rulers, converted some people and divided the land, but the society never gave up the civilisational spirit of this nationhood. From Mir Qasim onwards, the attack was on this spirit, not just temples. The freedom fighters for the last 1500 years were clear about the idea of Swaraj. It was never about just political independence but reclaiming that spiritual freedom. Our spiritual freedom was first hit when Somnath was attacked. Since then, Bharat has not felt free for hundreds of years. The idea of Ram Rajya always inspired us to fight against evil. Saving the idea of Bharat, which believes in respect and acceptance of all ways to be true, from the religious supremacist ideology, was the true spirit behind this long and continuous struggle.
When Gandhiji explained the concept of Ram Rajya as the ‘Kingdom of God on earth’ in religious terms and ‘perfect democracy in which inequalities based on possession and non-possession, colour, race or creed or sex vanish’ in political terms, he was referring to the same civilisational resolve.
Our Constitution makers were well aware of this civilisational reality. Therefore, we find the repeated mention of Ram Rajya and Gram Swaraj during the deliberations in the Constituent Assembly. They found no problem rejecting foreign notions like ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ while framing the Constitution as they had a bigger and better indigenous ideal in the form of Ram-Rajya. Shri Ram, Mata Seeta, and brother Lakshman find a place in the original Constitution, which is also on the pages of fundamental rights, which is not an accident but a conviction.
Unfortunately, the colonial and colonised historians never recognised this spirit, resulting in religious tensions and political wranglings. The misinterpreted idea of secularity further aggravated the matter with appeasement politics. Still, the journey commenced with the restoration of Somnath temple, while starting afresh with the new Constitution was a significant move. It was the first dent to the fraudulent concept of secularism. The undercurrent to liberate Bharat from the colonial shackles of intellectual and cultural slavery through historical distortions flowed from one generation to another. Vishva Hindu Parishad taking up this issue under the aegis of Dharma Sansad was the last leg of the societal battle. The legal battle could be won because of the civilisational will to correct the historical injustice. We should revisit, remember and record the memory of all those stalwarts who contributed to this struggle for cultural independence.
A new chapter is written in the Itihasa of Bharat with the Ram Lalla’s Pran Pratishtha in the reconstructed temple. We are fortunate to witness this momentous occasion. The spontaneous celebrations of this occasion with religious and cultural fervour, not just in Bharat but across the globe, signify that this is not a political event. The battle is over. Ayodhya, the land of peace, is liberated. Ram Lalla reclaimed the birthplace. The fundamental objective of striving for Ram Rajya is still not attained. As Maharshi Valmiki has explained in the sixth chapter of Balakand, the arrival of Shri Ram turned Ayodhya into a virtuous land. Though the essence of Ram-Rajya is reflected to some extent in our policy-making process, the ultimate objective of re-establishing the Ayodhya spirit based on Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah is still a distant dream. Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla is the beginning of a new chapter. Every Ram bhakta will have to contribute to realising Ram Rajya. As the Ram Lalla reclaims His birthplace, it is the occasion of grand celebration. It is also a moment to make a collective resolve for the coming generations – to build a righteous Republic. As a media publication, Organiser Weekly played a constructive role throughout the recent phase of the struggle. This year’s Republic Day coincides with the culmination of another freedom struggle in the form of Ram Janmabhoomi’s liberation. To mark the occasion, we present a special edition encapsulating the spirit behind the movement, the celebratory mood of the people and the future trajectory for Ram Rajya.