Why it’s high time Congress speaks up on Ram temple in Ayodhya

Nelanshu Shukla
Nelanshu ShuklaOct 19, 2018 | 13:28

Why it’s high time Congress speaks up on Ram temple in Ayodhya

To take on the BJP in the upcoming Assembly polls to three states and the 2019 general elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi might have become a ‘janeudhari’ and started visiting temples on the double, but the senior leaders of the grand old party are derailing his soft Hindutva approach by making controversial remarks one after the other.

These statements may alienate the Hindu voters, who the Congress is trying to wrestle from the BJP.


Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi offered prayers at Dwarkadhish Temple in Gujarat to kick off a three-day Navsarjan Yatra. (Photo: Twitter)

Latest in the list is Congress senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Azad. He stoked a controversy by saying that Hindu leaders don't call him for campaigning anymore because of the fear of losing votes. The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister made this statement while addressing a gathering of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) alumni in Lucknow.

Earlier Congress’ senior leader and MP from Trivandrum Shashi Tharoor embarrassed the party by saying that Hindus will never want to build a temple at a place where another religious site has been destroyed. Distancing itself from Tharoor, the top leadership said that he has given this statement in his personal capacity and what he said is not the official version of the party.

The BJP was quick to corner the soft Hindutva approach adopted by Rahul Gandhi. BJP leaders accused the Congress party of insulting the Hindus.

The developments come at a time when Rahul Gandhi has completed a visit to Kamtanath temple in Chitrakoot and Pitambara Peeth at Datia in Madhya Pradesh.


During a recent visit to his parliamentary constituency Amethi, the Congress chief was welcomed by a group of kanwariyas, who called him Shiv bhakt for completing the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

In order to peddle its soft Hindutva image without any hindrance, former Madhya Pradesh CM and senior politician Digvijaya Singh has been completely sidelined from campaigns because he has in the past raised contentious issues like Hindu terror.

However, with the recent alleged ‘anti-Hindu’ remarks made by senior party leaders and the absence of a clear stand on the Ram Mandir issue, the Congress may find it very difficult to convince the Hindu voters who are largely supporters of BJP,  a party with a hardcore Hindutva ideology.

The Ram temple issue is back in the limelight with full vigour with the Assembly elections to Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan drawing close and the big battle of 2019 set to start next year.

Many believe that the Congress’ Hindutva pitch could anger the minority communities. (File Photo: PTI)

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s demand for a legislation to build the Ram temple, which has found strong support from BJP leaders, has sent a message across the nation that the Ayodhya issue is going to be a top priority. As opposed to this, apart from Rahul Gandhi's visit to temples, the Congress party has failed to take a strong stand on any issue concerning the Hindu community.


Kapil Sibal , a senior Congress leader and renowned lawyer has already been accused of representing Sunni Waqf Board in the Ayodhya case and allegedly trying to to delay the hearing in Supreme Court.

It is thus very important for the Congress to speak up on the Ram Mandir issue and to beat the BJP at its own game.

On the flip side, many believe that the Congress’ Hindutva pitch could anger the minority communities which have largely supported the party on the national stage. The Congress thus needs to tread with caution if it wants to avoid a significant harm to its electoral prospects.

Last updated: October 19, 2018 | 13:33
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