14 May, 2021

Ten Men And An Effigy

Ten Men And An Effigy

The juggernaut was bound to run into hurdles. Garishly decked with monstrous men in top-hats, scantily-clad women, mangled mandirs, the spectre of crosses and churches and the Christian clergy out to convert, the rath was already the bearer of bad tidings when the Madhya Pradesh government stopped it on its march. Words plastered across the vehicle's body matched the monstrosity of the visuals: 'Seva ka durupyog na ho; dharmantaran turant rokiye (don't misuse the goodwill; stop conversions at once), Rome nahin, Ram chahiye (not Rome, but Ram)' and 'Hindu saare ek (Hindus are one)'.

Despite the hype, there were few takers for this yatra

With an unapologetic Pope coming to India, a dozen-strong saffron salvation army had set out journeying from Goa to Delhi between October 21 and November 4 to remind the nation of its "sanskruti". The Sanskruti Raksha Manch (srm) had made clear its intentions: a BJP government or not, bullet-proof cars for the Pope or not, it was going to fire token shots at the pontiff.

The rath...

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