The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which has been at the forefront of the Ram Temple movement since it began, has decided to re-launch the movement. The announcement comes at a time when Hindutva hardliner Yogi Adityanath has been elevated to the post of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked litigants to find an “amicable solution” to the dispute. The VHP has said it will launch a movement called ‘Ram Mahotsav’ from March 26 to April 16.
“The Hindu New Year begins on March 28. Two days before the New Year, we will launch a movement called Ram Mahotsav. During this movement, we will go to villages and educate people on the kind of life that Lord Ram led and how they should also emulate it. We will also launch Jagran Yatras in each block headquarter, demanding that a Ram Temple be built in Ayodhya as soon as possible. Now there is no reason to delay the construction of the temple,” said Ishwari Prasad, VHP Zonal President for Western UP and Uttarakhand.
He added, “It will be a nation-wide movement and we will cover a total of around 2 lakh villages all over. The main thrust of the movement will be in UP, since that is where the Ram Janmabhoomi (birthplace) is. Out of the 2 lakh villages, around 70,000 will be in UP. Soon, you will see the saffron flag atop every house in these villages.”
When asked what expectations he has of the new UP CM, who is seen as a Hindutva icon, he said, “We are confident that the UP CM will support us in the movement. The BJP is in power in the Center and in the state. Ram devotees from over 3 lakh villages have sent stones over the years and 3/4th of these stones are ready. The Ram Temple fund is also ready. However, the temple must only be built on the exact spot where the Lord was born. The CM must not compromise on that front at all.”