New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has backed recent efforts by its various affiliates to revive the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. It has issued a clear message that all efforts should be made to inform the people about the dispute, which took the nation by storm on 6 December 1992 when the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished by right-wing activists.

Members of the RSS and its affiliates say that a mass movement for building a Ram temple will be carried out in the next two months and that the demand will play a crucial role in the 2019 general elections.

Senior leaders of the RSS are of the view that there has been no forward movement on the issue and that an entire generation has grown up without being aware about the Ayodhya dispute.

“It’s been over 25 years and an entire generation of youngsters do not even know about the Ayodhya dispute," said a senior member of the RSS asking not to be named.

“While a large section of people continue to demand a resolution of the Ayodhya dispute, there is a section of people who wonder about the need for another movement. People have either forgotten about the Ayodhya dispute or are not aware of it. The RSS is of the view that all efforts should be made to revive the issue," the RSS leader added.

Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an affiliate of the RSS, plans to organize a dharam sansad (congregation of Hindu religious leaders) on 9 December at Ramlila grounds in New Delhi. This is meant to put pressure on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to bring a bill in the winter session of Parliament to support the construction of a temple in Ayodhya. The timing of the dharam sansad is interesting because it is planned just two days before the start of the month-long winter session of Parliament which is scheduled to start on 11 December and continue till 8 January.

“The timing of the dharam sansad is important because we expect that the Union government along with opposition parties would take steps to ensure construction of temple in Ayodhya. Our slogan is ‘Jo Nahi Hai Ram Ka, Woh Nahi Hamare Kaam Ka’ (Whoever does not believe in Ram, is of no use to us)," said Vinod Bansal, spokesperson of VHP.

According to the VHP, the dharam sansad would be its biggest congregation of Hindu religious leaders and devotees of Ram. VHP leaders said that they are expecting at least 300,000 people to reach New Delhi by Sunday morning.

“We have information that 10,000 buses are coming with devotees of Ram, we are preparing food packets for 3 lakh people. Most of the devotees are coming from areas close to New Delhi, from a radius of 150km," said Bansal.

Members of the VHP said that a similar dharam sansad would also be organized in every Lok Sabha constituency and support of the local member of Parliament would be sought to help build a Ram temple.

“Ram temple is the issue, we will build a nationwide movement for it in the next two months and we are confident that it would play a decisive role in the 2019 general elections. We want it to be a key deciding factor in the general elections," said Bansal.

Last week, VHP had organized similar dharam sansad programmes at seven places in the country, including Nagpur, Mumbai and Mangaluru as the RSS affiliates wants to revive the movement yet again. Since there is a possibility that over 300,000 people could attend the dharma sansad, VHP has asked people to help prepare food for them. Those who cannot attend can help the movement by holding day-long prayers in the homes, it said.

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