Former Member of Parliament Mani Shankar Aiyar is once again in news, for doing what he does best – stir controversies, brew anger among the masses and dish out a story that is extravagantly outlandish and preposterous.
The outspoken septuagenarian decided to grace an event called Ek Shaam Babri Masjid Ke Naam, and use the opportunity to litter the stage with inflammable comments.
Early signs of Mr. Aiyar’s well-planned ploy to use this platform to make a comeback and give stiff competition to his other diplomat-turned-politician colleagues are visible from the fact that he consented to participate in an event that was organized by Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
SDPI is the political wing of Popular Front of India, which, in the opinion of Government of Kerala in 2012, was inimical to the safety of Nation.
On the one hand, SDPI has been known for its unabashed anti-Vande Mataram stance and opposing the very gesture of 'Namaste', citing the two as against the religious beliefs of certain communities. On the other hand, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, after protests from Opposition, was forced to reinstate the tradition of singing Vande Mataram in the Assembly.
Clearly, Congress leaders are brazenly out of sync. This is a consequence of gaps in personal and organizational ambitions in the grand old party.
Political leaders in India are known for not admitting personal or organizational mistakes, since every act pleases or disappoints a section of the electorate. However, Mr. Aiyar, in a first, called demolition Of Bari Masjid an indefensible “unconstitutional activity”.
According to him, it was a mistake committed by the Congress Party under the leadership of then Prime Minister, Shri PV Narasimha Rao. It is not the first time a leader from the Congress Party has held the former PM responsible for obliquely acquiescing the demolition of Babri Masjid. Such was the anger against him within the top rung, that he was not even given a fitting farewell in death.
For an outside observer, Mr. Aiyar’s comments on Ram Mandir confirm that repeated temple visits of the Congress Party President, Shri Rahul Gandhi are nothing more than electoral photo opportunities.
While it is clear that the Congress Party is united against the construction of Ram Mandir, they are a divided house as far as communication of their stance is concerned.
At the event, Mr. Aiyar also questioned the veracity of the faith of millions of devotees by impinging a question mark on the accuracy of Ram Janmabhoomi being the actual birthplace of Shri Ram. This is not the first time that a Congress leader has raised questioned the veracity of certain events and facts mentioned in Ramayana.
In response to a petition filed by Subramanian Swamy and others to protect the Ram Setu, a bridge that is believed to have been constructed by Ram himself, the UPA government rejected the religious claims in an affidavit it filed in the Supreme Court. “Valmiki Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas admittedly form an important part of ancient Indian literature, but these cannot be said to be historical records to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters and occurrences of events depicted therein,” it said.
It is outright funny, that Mr Aiyar questions the accuracy of the birthplace of Ram Lalla, while his Party members in Madhya Pradesh undertook the Ram Van Gaman Path Yatra, the route that Shri Ram undertook during his exile. The Party needs to arrive at a consensus, on whether Ram is fact or fiction, before it speaks anything further on the cultural icon of India and many other Nations.
Repeated instances of intruding the faith of majority of Hindus in the Nation, by questioning the very existence of Ram exposes the anti-Hindu stance of the Congress Party and further consolidates the electorate it has ignored, to appease its vote bank. Disrespecting beliefs of voters, just for appeasement is repelling and invective. It is also telling that religion is a mere tool for the Party to deploy during elections, and take a stance of convenience as and when deemed.
(The views and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Republic TV/ Republic World/ ARG Outlier Media Pvt. Ltd.)