RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has said that the Narendra Modi government pass a law for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. This appears to concede that the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not made much of a mark, and it is only the emotive temple issue that has the potential to bail it out in the Lok Sabha election early next year. RSS’ deep concern for the government arises from the fact that the BJP is the political front of the core Hindutva body. There is obvious apprehension that if a BJP dispensation with a majority in the Lok Sabha can’t make it on the strength of its record, a future comeback for the party could be an uphill task, and this could circumscribe RSS’ own freedom of action.
Speaking on the eve of Vijayadashmi — the address of the RSS chief that lays down the agenda for the year and is paid keen attention to by the faithful — Mr Bhagwat reiterated his concern on the temple issue, to which he had forcefully referred during his three-day outreach programme in New Delhi last month. This suggests that the anxiety in RSS quarters on the prospect of the government in the next parliamentary poll has been building over time. The temple issue is before the Supreme Court, which is considering the validity of the 2010 Allahabad high court judgment which divided the property covered by the Babri Masjid brought down in 1992 into three parts, giving one each to the so-called Hindu side, another to the so-called Muslim quarters, and assigned the third to Lord Ram. All hell could break loose if the government were to bring a law or pass a resolution in Parliament, using its brute majority, on the eve of national elections.