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Ayodhya: The Most Sought-After Political Destination till 2019

Posted by Vanshaj Kaul on November 24, 2018 | Comment


Chinese acronyms attributing name’s derived from nature and it’s characteristics to years has always fascinated me. Hearing that the next year would the year of the dragon always seems to be more interesting than just the plain old numbers. Usually, the Indian calendar is not as exciting as the Chinese one but 2019 may present an opportunity to make it more exciting if we were to name it aptly. Attempting to do this , “The year of Ayodhya” may not be an over exaggeration if we were to follow suit with the Chinese in naming the next year.

Ayodhya has never been a small, relatively unknown town, not since Lord Ram was born there and especially not after 1992. But the recent revival of the Ram mandir buzz and the pilgrimages being made by political parties in the recent days may well restore Ayodhya’s importance as the elixir for Indian politics. When it comes to Ayodhya there isn’t much that does not meet the eye. Ayodhya’s symbolic importance for the ruling party to sustain its consolidated Hindu vote and the opposition’s desperate need to regain lost ground within Hindu hearts needs no critical assessment.

Unlike citizens, gods have never really been neglected in India. To ensure this does not change, citizens of India have time and again rightly used the power of democracy to demand respect for their respective gods, however, the same wisdom can’t be attributed to their will to demand better schools or hospitals. Recognising this need, both the ruling and opposition parties have started preparing the ground to win Hindu hearts ahead of 2019. This ground lies in Ayodhya and political parties have already started their pilgrimages rightly re-asserting Ayodhya’s place as the mecca for Indian politics.

The newly christened Prayagraj would host religious devotees for the Kumbh in January 2019. But nearby Ayodhya has already started seeing political devotees make their pilgrimage in the hope of being blessed by the voters in the general elections of 2019. What makes 2019 elections centred around Ayodhya is the fact that 2014 saw massive appropriation of the Hindu sentiment in favour of the BJP which the previous regime and many regional parties had perhaps neglected in the past.

But, today the BJP which has had a longstanding affinity to Lord Ram and perhaps has had a copyright on him seems to have lost some love with its Hindu voters, especially after the SC/ST act fiasco. To add to this Rahul Gandhi’s fresh spiritual sojourn to Kailash Mansarovar, finding a guide in Lord Shiva and the “Saffronisation” attempt by most opposition parties seems to have added to the woes and insecurity of the BJP to sustain the juggernaut they had managed to spin in 2014.

To keep the opposition from picking on disillusioned Hindu’s and regaining their lost vote bank, the BJP seems to have thrown a bouncer at the opposition.  What seems to be googly at BJP from its own allies on the issue of Ram Mandir may actually be a bouncer for the opposition if the BJP does manage to come up with just a bill to support their longstanding devotion to the issue. Whatever the case may be, ceteris paribus Ayodhya is bound to be in the thick of the action and the favoured playground for political opportunism till the election in 2019.