Ram temple stays out of VHP agenda, for now

Aug 16 2014, 09:59 IST
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SummaryIn breather for Modi govt, outfit to focus on expansion as part of its golden jubilee plans.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which has been demanding that the Ram temple be rebuilt in Ayodhya for more than three decades, has put its agenda on hold for the next year. In a series of programmes announced to mark the organisation’s golden jubilee this month, the VHP has not mentioned an agitation to push for the Ram temple.

While the BJP, too, had promised to explore all possibilities within a Constitutional framework to facilitate the construction of the temple, the VHP’s decision could come as relief to the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, despite invoking lord Ram several times at a rally in Ayodhya on May 5, avoided making any commitment for the temple’s construction.

“VHP will run only constructive programmes for expansion of the organisation, to include new members and create awareness among Hindus about the VHP and its

50-year journey. If we will take up an agenda of agitation, it can affect (our) plan of geographical expansion,” said VHP general secretary Champat Rai when asked why the Ram temple issue was left out.

Rai, who is the secretary of the committee formed to organise these events, also told The Indian Express that the VHP does not want to divert its workforce and energy to any tasks other than those planned for the next year. These programmes have been planned after several brainstorming sessions, he said.

The programmes will begin from August 16 in Mumbai and will be followed up with processions on August 17 and 18. Hindu Sammelans would be organised in every district and grand Hindu Sammelans are planned in Mumbai on December 14, Kolkata on December 20, Bhopal on December 21, Bangalore on February 8, and Delhi on February 22. In the first week of October, the national convention of the outfits youth wing, Bajrang Dal, will be held.

Sri Ram Mahotsav and Sanskrit Sammelans will be organised in March and April next year and a plantation drive will be run in May, June, July and August (2015). The golden jubilee year celebrations will conclude in September 2015 with a Sadhvi Sammelan and a convention of seers in Nasik.

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