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'Togetherness Is The Message From Ayodhya'

Last updated on: February 03, 2024 10:33 IST

'Sri Ayodhyaji will emerge as the greatest centre of cultural togetherness, universal harmony, vasudeva kutumbakam, compassion, and love for every single living being on this Earth.'

IMAGE: A devotee with Lord Ram's name written on her forehead arrives ahead of the opening of the temple in Ayodhya, January 20, 2024. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

When he witnessed the pran pratishtha in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream for Tarun Vijay, former editor of the RSS weekly Panchjanya and a former Bharatiya Janata Party member of the Rajya Sabha.

The Hindu Right ideologue has been espousing the cause of the Ram temple when it had few takers.

"Rama is the solution. Rama is not the vivadha (argument)," Tarun Vijay tells Saisuresh Sivaswamy/

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi lights the 'Ram Jyoti' at his residence in New Delhi after attending the pran pratishtha ceremony. Photograph: ANI Photo

Still, we have not seen religion and politics being mixed to this extent in India before?

Sir, what was Somnath? Somnath was the resurrection of India's honour and pride. There have been several other occasions.

India is a Dharmic society, you cannot deny Dharma from public life. Every single instance, from lighting of the lamp to the breaking of coconut while launching a ship, everything revolves around our cultural and civilizational values.

India is essentially a Sindhu-Saraswati civilisation. Ayodhya is the continuity of that flow. Nothing else. If it is denied, we deny the core values that define India.

IMAGE: Devotees in massive numbers stand at the entrance of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple to offer prayers. Photograph: Shrikant Singh/ANI Photo

Will the Ram temple have electoral purchase going forward? Is that why all the pomp and splendour, mass participation, etc?

I think every good step taken by the Government of India in the right direction influences the mind of the people to decide which way they should vote. And if Ayodhya does that, there should not be any surprise.

IMAGE: Movie superstar Rajinikanth speaks to the media as he leaves for Ayodhya to attend the pran pratishtha ceremony, in Chennai. Photograph: ANI Photo

The Ram temple may have an impact in the Hindi heartland, but what about the South which marches to the beat of a different drummer?

Not a single family in the south wakes up without chanting the name of Rama, without Thiruvalluvar's Thirukkural, without Adi Sankara's hymns for Shiva or Sri Rama.

The South cannot be defined without M S Subbulakshmi, Thiruvalluvar, Chinnamma, and Avvaiyar, Andal, Adi Sankara. Together they create an aura around Sri Raghupati.

Rama could not have defeated Lanka unless the help from southern people, the Vanaras, and people like Sabari. So South is an essential part of the Indian milieu of Dharma.

Without the South, we just cannot define Sanatan Dharma. The South leads us. And you have seen even the murti is sculpted by a great artist from the South. And the hymns of Thiagaraja were sung...

So there is no question, I think... Sri Rama unites the entire India from length to breadth.

We have seen that even in Arunachal tribals, the Wanchos, they have centuries old tradition to pay respect to Sri Raghuvira. So, Rama unites us all.

Rama is the solution. Rama is not the vivadha (argument).

IMAGE: Modi greets sadhus and others after the pran pratishtha ceremony. Photograph: ANI Photo

Can we now consider Prime Minister Modi as the real Hindu Hriday Samrat?

Prime Minister Modi is the real Bharat Hriday Samrat. He represents the essential values that define Bharat Mata.

He is the son of Bharat Mata, true son of Bharat Mata who has no hesitation, no inhibitions and no pretensions to deny Bharat Mata and then create divisions on the basis of north, south, caste, creed, language and other things.

He has very clearly said this day must be remembered and must be celebrated by all rising above the complications of historical baggage.

This is a very important thing, that the RSS sarsangchalak also said. He spoke about samanvay (harmony), he spoke about samadhan (solution), the prime minsister spoke about the development of the country.

He said that we have to move from Dev to Desh, from god to country, and we have to move from Ram to rashtra, from Sri Rama to national development.

His message is very clear. He wants this nation, togetherness, moving towards prosperity, good health, good education, and good future.

That is the message of Ayodhya. Togetherness.

IMAGE: Tarun Vijay, former MP and President of the Uttarakhand War Memorial, at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple. Photograph: ANI Photo

What next for the BJP-led Sangh Parivar? Kashi-Mathura?

When the Sri Rama Ayodhya movement began, nobody could have envisaged that this will be realised so soon. Everyone was mocking us.

People who were seculars, journalists, were giving suggestions that let toilets be built at Ram Janambhoomi. But the temple happened.

It is the power of the people. No party, no organisation, no leader, can ever move without the people's support, without understanding the pulse of the people.

Pulse of the people said Kashi-Mathura, I think that time has come when the Muslims must come forward and accept the truth and hand over Kashi-Mathura for a great future of togetherness.

Those who had opposed Ayodhya, those who had denied the existence of Sri Rama, those who had denied the existence of the Ram Janambhoomi in Ayodhya, must feel remorse and apologise to the Hindus they created a ruckus, they created a conflict without any truth, without any reason, without any logic.

So that has hurt the Hindus. Hindus have a great amount of patience, and trust in god that has resulted in the creation of Sri Rama temple. It's the defeat of Ravan and victory of truth.

IMAGE: A Shiv Sena hoarding outside the entrance of a Mahim church -- where Indians of all faiths come to worship -- in north central Mumbai; it has since been removed. Photograph: Rajesh Karkera/

Many have also expressed concern over the fate of secularism in the country.

Secularism is strengthened now. Secularism is now being practised in its truest form. Secularism does not mean looking with contempt at the majority's sentiments, secularism does not mean denying the majority's rights and mocking their faith.

Secularism means Sarva Pant Samabhav, we should be using the equal yardstick for every faith. You control the Hindu temples, but you don't control churches and mosques. You put atheist ministers in charge of the Hindu temple management committees, but other religious groups are free from such controls.

This is simply an onslaught on Hindu rights, and assault on the Hindu faith. Now secularism will be practised in its truest, best way, which means equality for all.

Those secular people who say that Hindus must be denied their rights or are making fun of the Hindu faith, I think they are very illiberal; their secularism is faulty and wicked.

IMAGE: Muslim Manch supporters visit the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple for Ram Lalla darshan in Ayodhya, January 30, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

How should the religious minorities look at the Ram temple and their own place in the Republic now?

What religious minorities? Religious minorities are all descendants of Sri Rama. When there was no other faith, Sri Rama was there.

If the Indonesian Muslim can respect Sri Rama and Sita, if the Muslims in in other East Asian countries can have Ram Leela and have their Sanskrit names, still offering namaaz five times and practising Islam... and that does not influence their faith in a negative way.

Indian Muslims also feel the same way towards their ancestors. Changing the faith does not mean that you can deny your ancestors. So let all the people feel that they are the children of Sri Rama and respect.

The Arya Samaj believes that Sri Rama was a great person, a human being, not god. Nobody says that the Arya Samaj is un-Hindu stream of beliefs. So whichever you say, poet Iqbal said that Ram is Imam e Hind.

So I think the Muslims are now understanding the links of Hindus and showing a great amount of spirit of togetherness, and I welcome that.

IMAGE: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inspects the Ram Janmabhoomi temple complex. Photograph: ANI Photo

We saw over days huge crowds turning up for darshan at the Ram temple and the resultant chaos. What is your advice to the temple administration to control this situation?

Yes, that was definitely a huge problem, but I am happy that Yogi Adityanath stood on ground zero firmly and the crowd management has taken a better shape.

Those who are coming will have a smooth queue system, facility for all the devotees, sadhus and common people. It has been invoked and there won't be any problem.

Ayodhya is going to be a greater city than the greatest city of culture on this Earth.

No comparison, but I am sure that those people who look at centres of faith like the Vatican and Mecca will soon see that Sri Ayodhyaji emerges as the greatest centre of cultural togetherness, universal harmony, vasudeva kutumbakam, compassion, and love for every single living being on this Earth, including those who are living and those who are in nature, who respect nature as well as all the creatures be they birds, animals or human beings.

That centre is emerging in Ayodhya now.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/