8 reasons Modi will do absolutely nothing about Ram Mandir

The PM hasn't taken up even smaller Hindutva/VHP/RSS causes directly.

 |  5-minute read |   30-11-2015

One of the worries that baiters of Narendra Modi had that if he became the prime minister, then the contentious Ram Mandir at Ayodhya would become a reality and split the nation into two. Those fears are far-fetched because Modi is going to do absolutely nothing on the Ram Mandir issue.

Here is why...

1. Modi did absolutely nothing for major Hindu causes in Gujarat.

Modi was accused of letting Hindu hardliners go on the rampage during the Godhra riots and then in the subsequent elections derided the Muslim community with the comment, "Hum paanch hamare pachees" during campaigning. However, the former charge did not hold up in courts and as far as the latter is concerned, Modi didn't make such an inflammatory statement ever again.

He totally harnessed the development mantra in Gujarat, clipped the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) wings and went on a confrontational path with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), making an arch enemy out of the firebrand Pravin Togadia, who hates Modi to this very day for that.

For example, did you know that at one of the Sangh Parivar gatherings in Gujarat in 2007, Modi was blasted as being anti-Hindu! Another point to note is that among BJP leaders, Arun Shourie has written the most on Islamic issues while Subramanian Swamy speaks the most hardline Hindutva language.

Do you think it's a coincidence that both found themselves out of the Modi Cabinet in 2014?

When Modi hasn't taken up even smaller Hindutva/VHP/RSS causes directly, what hope is there for the biggest one of them all in the form of the Ram Mandir?

2. Modi can't afford a confrontation with the Supreme Court.

While the Supreme Court has been open to discussing cow slaughter and uniform civil code, that has not been the case with the Ram Mandir.

The Allahabad High Court's verdict came in 2010, while the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that a status quo be maintained till the appeals are dealt with. Currently the ball is in the Supreme Court and nobody, not even Modi, can do anything till the verdict comes. It's anybody's guess when that will be!

3. BJP doesn't have two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha and is in the pits in the Rajya Sabha.

If Modi wants to pre-empt the Supreme Court or overrule it if the verdict goes against what is desired, then the BJP will require two-thirds majority in both Houses. Currently it has just above 50 per cent in the Lok Sabha and has an abysmal presence in the Rajya Sabha.

Modi even had to scrap his Land Bill. A case in the point is also the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. That has broad-based consensus throughout the country and yet Modi is absolutely struggling to pass it! So what hope is there for a highly contentious issue like Ram Mandir?

4. Delhi and Bihar election losses, #AwardWapsi and #Intolerance has put Modi on the back foot.

The BJP will push for the Ram Mandir only in two contrasting scenarios. One if it's firmly on the front foot. Or when all is lost and it takes the issue up as a desperate gamble. Currently the party is on the back foot following election defeats in Delhi and Bihar, and #AwardWapsi and #Intolerance campaigns.

However, all is not lost. The Modi government is marching ahead with his reforms of power, railways and infrastructure sectors, and with the #ToiletRevolution, and will not want to be bogged down by the Ram Mandir imbroglio.

5. Modi-RSS ties are not all hunky-dory.

It is laughable that some have said that Modi is being remote controlled by the RSS. That is not the case. Modi is his own man and shares an uneasy relationship with RSS leadership. In fact, it is for this reason that both the RSS and BJP leadership opposed him in 2013.

The RSS leadership is furious that Modi is refusing to take up any of their pet issues and his relationship with the VHP has been really bad for ages now.

6. He will not touch "Mission 2017" too.

Here's a conspiracy theory. The Sangh Parivar will push for the Ram Mandir in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and thereby polarise the electorate and capture power in the state and use it as a launching pad for further consolidation in 2019!

However, there's a serious flaw in that. 2017 is when the BJP will get its own President and vice-president who will head the Rajya Sabha. For the first time ever, the BJP is the largest party in the electoral college and just needs a little push to secure both posts.

There's no way Modi is going to jeopardise that!

7. None of the issues of the far-right will be taken up.

Another important point is that Modi has positioned himself at centre-right. None of the issues of the far-right will be taken up, like scrapping of Article 370 and uniform civil code, where even the courts are making more progress than Modi!

The far-right also wants Modi to take on the mainstream media and promote Hinduism aggressively, none of which is happening.

8. All Sangh Parivar hardliners turn moderate in the end.

AB Vajpayee as a hardliner used to make strong Hindutva speeches and made one even when the Ram Mandir movement was underway. As prime minister he became quite mellow. LK Advani led a rath yatra that eventually led to the demolishing of the Babri Masjid.

Today he is the darling of the seculars. Sangh Parivar leaders do a lot in their hardline phases and mellow down thereafter. Modi was seen as a rank hardliner in 2002 and fashioned himself as a statesman from 2007 onwards.He has come too far with his "governance and development" image in 2015 to touch the Ram Mandir.

Post script...

The idols mysteriously appeared in the Ram Mandir when Jawaharlal Nehru was the prime minister, the locks were opened when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister and the masjid came down when PV Narasimha Rao was the prime minister. All Congress regimes!

Writer

Sunil Rajguru Sunil Rajguru @sunilrajguru

The author is a Bengaluru-based journalist and blogger.

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