Ram temple movement was a campaign to ensure justice with all and appeasement of none: Gadkari


PTI, Jan 15, 2024, 9:32 AM IST

The Ayodhya movement was an awareness campaign not just for a temple but to ensure “justice with all and appeasement of none”, said Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday and stressed that the history of Hindutva is the history of “our” country. The senior BJP leader was addressing a gathering at a book launch in Nagpur.

Gadkari said BJP stalwart L K Advani’s ‘Rath Yatra’ brought the Ayodhya Ram temple cause to the forefront in the country. The Union minister said Ashok Singhal of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), senior BJP leader Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Ritambhara, several sadhus and Shankaracharyas struggled for it.

The Ram Janmabhoomi movement was not just about a temple, said Gadkari. “These efforts were to give back pride and respect to India’s history, culture and heritage,” he said.

Gadkari said the presence of a Ram temple where Lord Ram was born is a symbol of pride and self-respect for all those living in the country. “Hence, this issue was not communal or caste-related. It was ‘rashtriya’ (national),” he said. People are now happy that a grand temple is being constructed at the birthplace of Lord Ram and “we all will get an opportunity to take darshan on January 22”, he said. In the past, the Union minister said, the word “secular” was wrongly interpreted for political gains. “…but our society is genetically ‘dharm nirpeksh’ (secular). The meaning of dharm nirpekshta is ‘sarv dharm satbhav’ (equal respect for all religions),” he said.

Gadkari said the Ayodhya Ram temple movement was a public awareness campaign to ensure “justice with all and appeasement of none” and was against a “new appeasement policy” that had been brought out by putting aside “our country’s pride, culture and history”.

The Union minister of Road Transport and Highways also talked about the 2019 Ayodhya verdict of the Supreme Court. “That time, we were expecting that justice should be given based on history, truth and evidence and SC gave that justice to the followers of Prabhu Ram Chandra,” he said.

According to Gadkari, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar used to say that in spite of all rulers being Hindus in India, a few numbers of foreigners ruled “us because of lack of unity among us”. Indians should rise above caste and dedicate themselves to Hindu culture, Hindu history and Hindu way of life, he said. ”Hindu is Indian culture, and Indian culture is synonymous with Hindutva. Hindutva is not narrow, not sectarian, and not casteist. Hindu is inclusive of all, pride of the nation and the history of Hindutva is the history of the nation,” he added.

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