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Ayodhya Ram Mandir: How the World’s Largest Ram Temple Construction Movement Became Successful

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) played a pivotal role in the Ayodhya Ram Mandir movement, directing its energies toward the construction of the world’s largest Ram Mandir. Interestingly, the VHP chose not to claim credit for its success but rather attributed it to revered saints and the Hindu community.

Throughout the movement, various committees like the Marg Darshak Mandal, Janmabhoomi Mukti Yajna Samiti, Mandir Jeernoddhar Samiti, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Shri Ram Janm Bhoomi Mukti Sangharsh Samiti, and finally the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Nyas guided the path, consistently crediting and placing saints at the forefront.

The objective was clear – a united Hindu society would lead to a unified nation, transcending differences and fostering harmony.

Historical Glimpse: Temple Construction and Destruction

The historical roots of Ayodhya as Lord Rama’s birthplace go back to the era of Maharaja Vaivasvata Manu, who established the Ram Mandir on the banks of the Sarayu River. Emperor Vikramaditya, around 2100 years ago, built a grand temple with 84 black stone pillars. Unfortunately, foreign invader Babur ordered its destruction in 1528, and his commander Mir Baqi replaced it with a mosque using the temple’s ruins as the foundation.

The primary motive behind the destruction of the Ram Mandir was an assault on the faith of the Hindu community, aiming to force them into religious conversion. The initial resistance against the temple’s desecration led to a continuous struggle for 15 days, resulting in the sacrifice of nearly 176,000 Ram devotees. However, Babur’s military power prevailed, and the temple was demolished.

From 1528 to 1949, the temple issue witnessed multiple conflicts, with Ram devotees sacrificing their lives in about 76 wars during this period. The struggle continued, with victories and setbacks, but the claim to Lord Rama’s birthplace was never abandoned. Rulers, saints, and common citizens fought, sometimes up close, sometimes from afar. The vision of the deity was sought either within the temple or makeshift tents on platforms.

Though legal proceedings were initiated in 1949, the pivotal turn came in 1964 when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad was founded. Since then, the VHP has been instrumental in the formulation, execution, and resolution of the Ayodhya movement, recognizing its role as a guardian of Hindu interests.

The Turning Point: Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Entry and Plan of Action

The momentum shifted in 1983 when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, in its 19th year, joined the Ayodhya movement. While it led the agitation, the credit was consistently deferred to the saints. In 1983, during a Hindu conference in Muzaffarnagar, Gulzarilal Nanda and former Health Minister of the state, Daoudayal Khanna, invited attention to the liberation of Kashi, Mathura, and Ayodhya. They wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, emphasizing the importance of these sacred sites.

Post this, a series of agitations for the liberation of birthplaces of deities commenced. The Ayodhya movement gained immense momentum with the unique initiative of the ‘Ekatmata Yajna’ (Unity Sacrifice) organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in December 1983. A hundred Yatras (pilgrimages) were planned, connecting Rameshwaram and Somnath, symbolizing the unity of India. All Yatras converged in Nagpur on December 29, 1983.

Inspired by the enthusiasm generated by the Yatras and Unity Sacrifice, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad formed the ‘Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mukti Yajna Samiti’ on July 21, 1984. The Gorakhsha Peethadheeshwar Pujya Mahant Avaidyanath Ji Maharaj was appointed as its chairman, and Daoudayal Khanna became the secretary. Additionally, in 1984, Bajrang Dal was formed to safeguard the processions of Shri Ram and Janaki. The ‘Dharmasthala Raksha Samiti’ was established to intensify the campaign against the takeover of the temple premises.

The pivotal moment arrived on November 9, 1989, with the ‘Shilanyas’ (foundation stone-laying ceremony) of the temple performed by revered saints, including Ramachandra Das Paramhans. This ceremony, held in the presence of sacred stones worshipped by millions in the country’s villages, marked a significant step toward the construction of the Ram temple.

Post the Shilanyas, the Central Margadarshak Mandal of saints decided to announce ‘Karseva’ on October 30, 1990. This declaration triggered a political uproar. In an attempt to prevent Karseva, the central government, led by V.P. Singh, and the state government, led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, issued numerous warnings. However, undeterred, thousands of Karsevaks (volunteers) chanting ‘Ram Lalla hum aayenge, mandir wahin banayenge’ (We will come as Ram’s children and build the temple there) reached Ayodhya. Despite the stern warnings from the then Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav that even birds couldn’t enter, enthusiastic Ram devotees climbed the domes of the mosque and placed saffron flags.

Subsequent events involved Rath Yatras led by L.K. Advani, discussions with political leaders like V.P. Singh, Chandra Shekhar, and P.V. Narasimha Rao, legal battles in the High Court and Supreme Court, and the historic unanimous verdict on September 30, 2010. The consensus judgment paved the way for the construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site.

From 1983 to 2020, the VHP’s planning, execution, and crisis resolution in the Ayodhya movement have been witnessed globally. The organization never sought credit for its efforts, consistently attributing the success to the revered saints and the Hindu society. The Ayodhya movement was not just about the construction of a Ram Mandir; it was a unifying force for millions of devotees, transcending regional and cultural boundaries. The journey, marked by resilience, determination, and unwavering faith, has established a global benchmark for socio-religious movements, reminding the world that sometimes, even against formidable odds, faith and unity can triumph.

Conclusion: Ayodhya Ram Mandir – A Symbol of Faith and Unity

The Ayodhya Ram Mandir stands tall as more than just a physical structure; it is a testament to the collective faith and resilience of millions. The movement, spearheaded by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, successfully navigated challenges, transcended political complexities, and provided a blueprint for socio-religious movements globally. The unity forged in the pursuit of this shared vision has left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of millions. The Ram temple, once a distant dream, now stands as a symbol of faith, unity, and the triumph of resilience over adversity.