The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has announced it will install idols of Lord Rama in 2.75 lakh villages of the country by the time the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya begins. This initiative, which is called Ramotsav, will begin on 25 March and will conclude on 8 April.
During the Ram temple movement in 1989, karsevaks brought bricks from these villages for the temple construction.
The VHP has been very active in the matter of construction of the sanctioned Ram temple in Ayodhya. Before its construction begins, the organisation is also looking for qualified priests for the Ram temple.
The VHP wants a Dalit priest here. It believes this will convey a big message of social harmony. The organisation for Hindus says that the temple will be constructed with money drawn from society, not the government.
However, the Narendra Modi government is not sitting idle since the Supreme Court verdict that went in favour of the Hindu side. The union government has set up a separate desk to look into all the matters related to it. Additional secretary-level officers will chair it. The home ministry said on Thursday that three officials would look into the Ayodhya case with the focus on how the court dealt with the issue. One of the additional secretaries will lead this team.
According to the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya, the central government has to form a trust for the construction of the sanctioned Ram temple within three months, that is by 9 February.
VHP spokesman Vinod Bansal said it’s the government that had to make the trust. “We will not interfere in this. If a Dalit priest is appointed, we will welcome it. The VHP has been preparing Dalit priests for a long time,” he said. The VHP has been campaigning to make some members of the Scheduled Castes priests for formal worshipping at the Ayodhya temple for a long time. It has created a Dharmacharya Liaison Department and an Archak Purohit Department for the purpose.
Organisations like the RSS, of which the VHP is an affiliate, have been connecting with Dalits since the Ram temple movement. On 9 November 1989, when the foundation stone of the Ram temple was being laid, the first brick was laid by a Dalit worker from Bihar, Kameshwar Chaupal. Through this, the Hindu organisation conveyed the message that Bhagawan Rama stood for the entire Hindu society. This helped increase the number of supporters of the Ram temple movement remarkably.