23 June, 2021

Gun To The Temple

Goaded by a restive sant brigade, the VHP turns strident—but Vajpayee is only half listening

Gireesh G.V
Gun To The Temple
Is the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) demand for the undisputed land at Ayodhya linked to a larger saffron gameplan of consolidating the Hindu votebank in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh? Or is it a one-off position taken by the Hindu militant organisation to satisfy its own cadre, which has been agitated for some time now as there has been no forward movement on Ayodhya so far? The VHP continues to be belligerent and has even openly attacked Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee while the government has officially distanced itself from the organisation. Says BJP party chief Jana Krishnamurthy: "The VHP can do what it likes, but it'll have to be ready to face legal action." VHP's Ashok Singhal says he understands the government's compulsions, but it's time it appreciated the VHP position as well.

Ayodhya's latest controversy came on January 27 when a team of 10 representatives from the VHP and the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas, after a quiet and unimpressive Chetavani rally from Ayodhya to Delhi, met Vajpayee. Also present were home minister L.K. Advani and defence minister George Fernandes in...

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