VHP to hold mammoth Ram Mandir meet in Mumbai on December 2

Updated: 29 November, 2018 19:15 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

VHP is all set to hold a Virat Dharma Sabha on Sunday, December 2, at the MMRDA ground at Bandra Kurla Complex to mobilise Mumbai's support on the Ram Mandir issue

Shriraj Nair with Dr Surendra Jain in Mumbai at a press meet on the Ram Mandir issue in mid-November
Shriraj Nair with Dr Surendra Jain in Mumbai at a press meet on the Ram Mandir issue in mid-November

If you cannot go to Ayodhya, Ayodhya will come to you. This seems to be the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's (VHP) message, as it is all set to hold a Virat Dharma Sabha on Sunday, December 2, at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Bandra (E), to mobilise Mumbai's support on the Ram Mandir issue.

The drumbeats for the Mandir and Masjid are reverberating with greater intensity in the city. Recently, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's visit to Ayodhya catapulted him and his party into the high visibility zone in this conflict. Thackeray was seen on huge posters at strategic junctions in the city, pushing for the Ram Mandir on the Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya.

The meeting
On November 17, Dr (PhD) Surendra Jain, jt. general secretary of the Hindu nationalist organisation, was in Mumbai from Delhi, to speak to the press about how the VHP was tired of waiting for a verdict on Ayodhya. Now, in a show of strength designed as an indicator of just how much the city is being dragged into the Ram Mandir issue, there will be at least, "1.5 lakh Ram bhakts at the MMRDA meeting, where revered saints will speak about the Ram Mandir," said Shriraj Nair, jt. secretary and spokesperson VHP, Mumbai. When asked how he had arrived at the figure, Nair said that with the mobilisation by their cadres and the current response, "We are confident that we will have those numbers at the Bandra ground on Sunday." Nair clarified that 'Ram bhakts' are all those who believe in Lord Ram. He added that the Mumbai audience will comprise a large number of urban professionals too. "People will come from all parts of Mumbai, its suburbs and beyond."

Pressure tactic
The VHP's top Mumbai rung said the sabha is part of the "pan-India" mobilisation for the Ram Mandir. This Mumbai dharma sabha comes post a couple of dharma sabhas which started on November 25 at Ayodhya. Another sabha was held in Nagpur the same day. Speakers Jagadguru Narendra Acharya Maharaj, Mahamandeleshwar Vishwesaranand Giri Maharaj, Govindgiriji Maharaj, Nayan Sagarji Maharaj and Jain are to address the Mumbai audience. Nair stated that speakers will speak on how the VHP cannot and will not wait endlessly for a verdict. Nair added, "The sabhas are a way to pressure the government for the forthcoming winter session of Parliament." When asked whether the sea of saffron with its strident voice and slightly intimidating tenor of, "not waiting endlessly" for a Supreme Court verdict is a prospect that will rattle the city, Nair said, "It should not. This is going to be a peaceful meeting. We are law-abiding. Even in Ayodhya, the site of the dispute, there was no problem on November 25."

The history
Nair added that unlike the mayhem at Azad Maidan in 2012, when a mob attacked police, and a Muslim youth desecrated the Amar Jawan Jyoti (war memorial), this meet "will be orderly but the message will be unmistakable." When reminded that the ramifications of the Babri Masjid demolition, 'revenge' attacks and counter attacks, including bomb blasts had soaked the city's streets with blood in 1992-1993, Nair stressed that Hindus are peaceful. "They have not invaded or converted anybody. In fact, riots have been 'imposed' on the Hindus," the spokesman claimed. "This meet is certainly not designed to tear the social fabric of the city, or create any divisions," he finished.

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First Published: 29 November, 2018 14:50 IST

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