These brazenly provocative statements by a BJP leader came after the Supreme Court finished hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute case and reserved its judgment
A leader of the ruling, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Uttar Pradesh has ‘advised’ people to buy iron swords on Dhanteras, not gold ornaments and silverware. Dhanteras, a day before Diwali, is celebrated annually before the festival of Diwali. As per tradition, people buy utensils or other items made of metal. This year, Dhanteras will be observed on October 25 (Friday). It was the BJP's city president for Deoband, Gajraj Rana, made the comment in light of the upcoming verdict on the Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue and asked the Hindu society to buy swords as it will be "useful in the near future".
The BJP leader's comments came soon after the Supreme Court finished hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute case and reserved its judgment. Speaking to journalists, Rana said, "Countrymen want a grand temple of Lord Ram to be built in Ayodhya so that everyone can have a grand darshan of Lord Ram." Rana added, "The Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya issue is expected soon and we are confident that it will be in favour of the Ram temple. However, this could vitiate the atmosphere, so it is advisable to stock iron swords instead of gold jewellery and silver vessels. These swords will be useful for our own protection when such a time comes."
When he was questioned why he was making this exhortation, asking the population to buy swords, he said, "The scenario of the country will deteriorate and in such circumstances, we want to protect ourselves."Rana however, clarified that he did not "utter a word" against any community or religion.
"Even in our rituals, we worship weapons and our Gods and Goddesses have used weapons depending on circumstances. My statement was in reference to the current changing environment and a suggestion to the members of my community. Nothing more should be read into it," he added. Predictably, the ruling BJP has distanced itself from Rana's statement.
The party's spokesman for Uttar Pradesh, Chandramohan said: "The BJP does not endorse this kind of language if it has been used by him. Whatever he has said is in his personal capacity. There is a very clear guideline for the party leaders. Any action or statement must be done or said within the ambit of law and no one is above the law." Gajraj Rana is known for his inciteful, hate speech. He had, months ago, equated the Islamic seminary at Deoband the Darul Uloom with terrorism while campaigning in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In another provocative statement, Rana had said: "There is a 'Shiv Ling' inside the Mecca and Hindus used to live there once."
RSS predicts a victory for ‘Hindus’
Meanwhile, in a statement that mocks at the ongoing process in the Supreme Court, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) expected the court verdict in the Ayodhya case to go in favour of Hindus, its Sarakaryavah Suresh Joshi said in Nagpur on Friday, October 18.
“The Supreme Court has completed the hearing in the Ayodhya case. It has been our stand since long that all impediments for the construction of a Ram temple should go. There was a legal issue as to who owns the land. Now, we are waiting for the court to deliver its judgment and everyone is expecting the verdict to come in a month,” he said.
Mr. Joshi was addressing the media here at the end of a three-day Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (ABKM) meeting, which was also attended by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. “We will take a decision on our next course of action depending on the changing scenario following the court verdict. We are expecting that the court verdict will come in favour of Hindu society,” he said.
On the issue of finding a solution through mediation, he said, “Attempts to find a solution through mediation had been going on for long. We also wanted a solution through this process. But mediation did not provide any tangible solution within a fixed time frame.”
“Had the mediation yielded a result, the option of going to court would not have necessitated. We have come to such a pass that there is no hope of getting a solution through mediation. It would also have been fine for us if mediation had succeeded. Now, the court is hearing the case and the verdict should be acceptable to all,” Mr. Joshi said, adding that this was a matter of prestige for all and also that of the country.