Tuesday, August 2, 2022

A View of the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement

The Planned Structure 

of the Ram Temple

After India’s independence, Jawaharlal Nehru continued to define Indian nationality in terms of colonial political institutions and Western moral theory. He did not see India in civilizational terms, as a Hindu rashtra where people of all faiths could live under the framework of Hindu culture. Since his goal was to turn India into a socialist-secular society, he got his Congress government to create an order based on the Western doctrines of socialism and secularism. 

The purpose of Nehruvian socialism and secularism was to subordinate the aspiration for Hindu renaissance to the goal of superficial Hindu-Muslim unity. The Nehruvian system was incompatible with India’s social conditions, historical experience, and with Hinduism’s quest, since ancient times, for an order based on dharma. The Nehruvian system failed to unite the country, and it failed to bring economic, social, and cultural betterment. 

By the end of the 1980s, a sizable section of the Hindus were alienated from socialism and secularism. They saw socialism as the fountainhead of bureaucratic inefficiency and corruption, and secularism as a strategy for suppressing Hinduism. Their alienation needed an expression. 

This expression came in the form of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, which took the country by storm when L. K. Advani began his rath yatra on 25 September 1990. The goal of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was the construction of Lord Ram’s temple in Ayodhya—but this movement can also be seen as independent India's first major rebellion against the Nehruvian doctrines of socialism and secularism. The Ram Janmabhoomi movement was not restricted to Ayodhya; in its essence, it was national and civilizational.

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