Top sadhus boycott VHP event in Ayodhya, call it drama

Top sants and representatives of various Hindu groups were expected to participate in the VHP event to support the construction of a Ram mandir on the disputed site in Ayodhya.

As the rhapsody over the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s much-hyped dharma sabha dies down, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the VHP faces an uncomfortable truth. The religious congregation was held in Ayodhya on November 25 to push for the construction of a Ram temple.

Top sants and representatives of various Hindu groups were expected to participate in the VHP event to support the construction of a Ram mandir on the disputed site in Ayodhya. However, most sadhus and monastic establishments prominent in Ayodhya boycotted the event, severely denting the VHP’s hopes of regaining any significant foothold in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

Sadhus of the Nirvani and Nirmohi akharas two of Ayodhya’s three prominent Ramanandi akharas kept a distance from the VHP show. Not only did they distance themselves from the event but they also called it “drama for politics”. The Digambar Akhara was the only one that was seen participating in the event.

“What was the point of attending the Sangh’s meeting and clapping like a fool? It would have been better for the VHP to do something to expedite the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case in the Supreme Court. People can see through their drama,” said Dinendra Das, the Nirmohi Akhara’s Ayodhya head, told India Today TV.

The Nirmohi Akhara is one of the three litigants between whom the Allahabad High Court had, in a judgment in 2010, divided the disputed site on which the Babri Masjid stood before its demolition by a mob of kar sevaks in 1992.

Among the attendees at the sabha was Ram Das, a sadhu who was formerly part of the Nirmohi Akhara.

When asked about the former akhara member attending the VHP event, Das said, Ever since he [Ram Das] was expelled from the leadership of the akhara last year, he has been looking for backing from the VHP. The akhara has already disassociated itself from him.

Dharam Das, the head of the Nirvani Akhara, said he and the other sadhus did not support the event as it was only a “political” stunt by the RSS, VHP and Shiv Sena.

“Sadhus are simple, but you cannot assume their support so confidently especially when they know that you are doing nothing but politics. RSS, VHP or Shiv Sena are not the ‘thekedaars’ of dharam,” Dharam told India Today TV.

Dharam Das, also a prominent member of Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal, the central governing body of the VHP, said he boycotted the event to “respect” the general sentiment of Ayodhya’s sadhus. “I boycotted the VHP event because I wanted to respect the general sentiment of Ayodhya’s sadhus who feel betrayed by the BJP government at the Centre,” he said.

Hanumangarhi, Ayodhya’s biggest monastic establishment, which functions as the headquarters of Nirvani Akhara, said they are so angered by the VHP’s way of handling the Ram temple issue that they do not wish to speak about it.

That is because the residents of Hanumangarhi are tired of playing into the hands of the VHP, Sanjay Das, a prominent sadhu of Hanumangarhi, told India Today TV.

The Hanumangarhi sadhu feels that the VHP only bring up the Ram temple issue when the elections are near.

“They want an early resolution of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, but the VHP has not given any signal that it is serious about that. Only at the time of elections does it get up to show that it is serious. That cannot work anymore,” Sanjay Das said.

Source: India Today

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