16 June, 2021

Holier Than Thou

The VHP plan to prop up a new set of Shankaracharyas sparks off angry protests from the seers

Holier Than Thou

IS the VHP leadership sailing, as it claims, full-steam ahead with its plans to build the Ram temple at Ayodhya? Not quite. Rough weather has hit its architectural plans as the VHP has dismally failed to convince the Shankaracharyas—the top-rung Hindu priests—that the pre-fabricated construction it's putting together is the ideal temple for the Ramjanmabhoomi.

The Shankaracharyas of all the four key peeths have expressed reservations about the VHP's plans. In contrast to the VHP's 'whatever the Supreme Court ruling we will build the temple' line, the Shankaracharyas have declared that they prefer to wait for the court ruling. And with the religious leaders in no mood to cooperate, the VHP has got itself into further controversy by seeking support from other sants, some of whom are also claimants to the title of Shankaracharya.

To be sure, the VHP versus the Shankaracharyas tussle has more to do with politics than religion. Within months of the demolition of the Babri Masjid the Shankaracharya of the Dwarka and Jyoti peeths,...

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