TNI Analysis: The real reason Ramcharitmanas is under attack

The attacks on Ramcharitmanas and Ram Mandir by RJD politicians in Bihar aren’t unrelated .They follow a well thought out plan aimed at a certain vote bank

| Updated: 13 January, 2023 10:53 pm IST

Ever since Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the date of completion of the Ram Mandir being constructed in Ayodhya, there has been perceptible unease in the opposition.  Battle lines have been drawn. Opposition parties with an eye on the Muslim vote bank, have started to attack Ram Mandir and Ramcharitmanas, a holy book for Hindus. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad Yadav has pitchforked its Hindu leaders to target Hindus and their beliefs.

Certain groups and politicians opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi have lent their support to the highly divisive and derogatory statements made by two RJD leaders.

RJD is deliberately targeting Ram Mandir and Ramcharitmanas to reclaim its core vote bank of MY (Muslim-Yadav) combination. Lalu Yadav ruled Bihar for 15 years with MY votes and certain sections of the Other Backward Castes (OBCs). RJD wants Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU) to merge with RJD and pave the way for the anointment of Tejaswi Yadav as Bihar CM and move Nitish Kumar to national politics. Lalu Prasad Yadav who is recuperating in a Singapore hospital after kidney transplant, is also aiming for a bigger role in the 2024 Lok Sabha election by championing the cause of MY and OBC vote bank.

Jagatanand Singh who was Lalu Prasad Yadav’s most trusted lieutenant during his 15-year rule in Bihar, fired the first salvo by questioning the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. Singh said that Ram Mandir is being constructed on the land of hatred. It met a sharp response from the ruling BJP and Hindu seers. Singh refused to budge from his statement and Tejaswi Yadav the deputy chief minister of Bihar maintained stoic silence.

Barely the dust has settled on the RJD leader’s controversial remark on Ram Mandir, Bihar Education Minister Chandra Shekhar, who happens to be from the RJD, went a step further and said that Ramcharitmanas spreads hatred. He mentioned Manusmriti and RSS Founder Golwalkar’s Bunch of Thoughts as belonging to the group of books or epics that divide the society and spread hatred.

Nitish Kumar who is on Samadhan Yatra of Bihar feigned ignorance when asked about his education minister’s remarks about Ramcharitmanas, revered by Hindus not only in India but across the globe. If we analyse statements of Jagatanand Singh and the education minister of Bihar, a well thought out pattern emerges. RJD is testing waters for 2024 General Elections, by attacking markers of Hindu faith and identity, RJD is sending a message to Muslims that they are their conscience keepers and will fight the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

Bihar education minister’s comments on Ramcharitmanas are aimed at creating a wedge among OBCs and people from the lower strata of the society. The Bihar minister misquoted and misinterpreted the couplets of Uttar Kand of Ramcharitmanas and went on to say that it was against lower castes. This is a subtle messaging to confuse the support base of BJP that has stood by them in 2014 and 2019 national elections.

BJP’s opponents know they can not defeat the saffron party by talking about development and upliftment of the poor as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has implemented scores of schemes to ameliorate the poorest of the poor. Only way to win against the BJP is by creating a wedge in its support base and then wean away a sizable number when it comes to voting.

As time closes on all polls in 2024, we may witness more such vitriols to vitiate the atmosphere and confuse the voters to influence the final outcome. It needs to be called out as it is aimed at sowing seeds to mistrust in the country.

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