Cultural Nationalism and the Construction of Ram Temple

RSS chief, Dattatreya Hosabale asserted that ‘Ram Temple is a symbol of cultural nationalism and it can’t be suppressed in the name of secularism’.

Cultural Nationalism provides a vision of nation’s identity, history and destiny. It defines a nation’s identity by a shared culture, which is backed by a secularism. Secularism is not atheism, it provides separation of religion from state, protects the freedom of believers and non-believers, enforces fairness and equality so that person who identify with a religious or philosophical view and person who do not, both have the same rights and are at par. Secularism never suppressed cultural nationalism, in fact, it accentuates it.

VHP President, Alok Kumar compared Black’s Life Matter Movement with Ram Janam Bhoomi protest as according to him, both struggles were for justice and equity for a specific culture.

As far as we know, Black’s Life Matter Movement is against systemic, structural and institutional endemic of racism coupled with white supremacy. The movement aims at shunning dehumanization, stigmatization, disempowerment and criminalization of coloured race. It aimed to combat the pandemic of racism and shatter the preconceived notions of black inferiority.

Whereas, Ram Janam Bhoomi protest aims at proliferation of communal violence, proved antithetical to brotherhood, enforced insidious hindutva ideologies and proved perilous to Secularism.

Ram Janam Bhoomi protest was never a religious one. It was always a cultural project aimed to escalate communal tension, hate crimes, religious subjugation and disrespect, hatred and violence against the Muslim Community.

Moreover, a 2009 report authored by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Manmohan Singh Liberahan, found 68 people to be responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid, mostly leaders of BJP – LK Advani, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Brij Bhushan Saran Singh, Sakshi Maharaj and others. Taking this into consideration, how can we conclude that Ram Temple is a symbol of Cultural Nationalism and will provide ‘roti’. Construction of the temple will remove modernity and the people will imbibe moral values and principles as they have, that is, disseminating hatred, violence, bitter and harsh feelings and, what not.

‘What love is to Religion, violence is to culture.’

Hindu Vigilante – RSS and VHP- are doing nothing but portraying majoritarian religious revivalism in the garb of cultural nationalism.