Decades ago, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the great Hindutva revolutionary, opined that should Hindus come to unite, then Congress leaders will be forced to wear their Janeu over their coats. That is, the Congress leaders will be forced to display their Hindu credentials overtly in order to retain their Hindu voters. Veer Savarkar said that for Congress but it largely holds true for every other non-Islamic political party as well, such as the Samajwadi Party and others.
Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday declared that Shri Ram belongs to his party and he and his party men are Ram Bhakts. He also said that he will be visiting Ayodhya soon with his family. “I had also arranged lights on the banks of river Saryu and sound system at the ‘Bhajan Sthal’ for the worship of Lord Rama,” he added.
Amusingly enough, it is a total departure from what the Samajwadi Party was preaching in its heydays. One wonders how Mulayam Singh Yadav must be feeling at this moment. At the height of his power, as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he felt emboldened enough to order firing upon Karsevaks during the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement resulting in the death of innumerable Ram Bhakts.
Now, fortunes have turned around so greatly that Mulayam’s own son has to go around saying that he and his party members are Ram Bhakts. To be clear, Mulayam Singh Yadav had said tha he had regrets but defended his order that led to the death of the Ram Bhakts. And his defense was atrocious. He had said, “I regret giving orders to shoot kar sevaks at Ayodhya. My decision to order firing at kar sevaks was to save Muslim minorities. This decision was needed to keep the faith of Muslims in this country intact.”
Last year in February, Republic TV had revealed in a sting that the Karsevaks were denied proper funeral rites and were buried instead of being cremated as per Hindu rituals. The official government figure was 16 but the actual number was in the hundreds. It was one of the worst cases of human rights violations in Independent India. And now, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son claims that he and his party members are Ram Bhakts too.
Samajwadi Party under Mulayam Singh Yadav left no stones unturned to mock Shri Ram and his devotees. In fact, the slogan of the SP-BSP alliance for the UP Assembly Elections in 1993, a year after the demolition of the disputed structure at Ram Janmabhoomi, was “Mile Mulayam Kanshi Ram, Hawa Ho Gaye Jai Shri Ram”. Such conduct had earned Mulayam Singh Yadav the sobriquet ‘Mullah Mulayam’.
Akhilesh Yadav, during his tenure as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, carried on with the party legacy of antagonising Ram Bhakts. In 2013, he banned the 84-kosi Parikramah after Azam Khan issued a strong statement following a meeting between VHP leaders and the father-son duo of Mulayam and Akhilesh. The VHP was quite visibly upset.
That now Mulayam’s son Akhilesh has turned around and declared himself a Ram Bhakt only goes on to show the tectonic shift Indian politics has undergone. The rise of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah has ensured that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to continue to rule politically while disrespecting Hindu sentiments. The Congress party was the first to undergo such a transformation. Now, it appears regional parties are following suit.