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Ram Rath Yatra: There Was An Amazing Religious Gathering known As The Ram Rath Yatra.

Ram Rath Yatra

Ram Rath Yatra, From September to October of 1990, there was a political and religious gathering known as the Ram Rath Yatra. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its Hindu nationalist affiliates were in charge of organizing it, and L. K. Advani. The yatra’s goal was to support the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its Sangh Parivar affiliates in their campaign to build a temple to the Hindu god Rama on the site of the Babri Masjid.

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Immediately after the Mughals conquered the area in 1528, the masjid, or mosque, was constructed in the city of Ayodhya. Supposedly constructed over a Rama temple that stood where he was born, it was located. The BJP gave the VHP and other Sangh Parivar affiliates political backing as they launched an agitation to have a Rama temple constructed there in the 1980s.

The Indian government, headed by V. P. Singh announced that 27% of government jobs would be reserved for members of the Other Backward Class in order to carry out some of the Mandal commission’s recommendations. The BJP, which made the decision to use the Ayodhya dispute to mobilize anti-Muslim sentiment in order to unite the Hindu vote, saw this announcement as a threat to their electoral base.

Background and motivation, Ram Rath Yatra

The birthplace of the Hindu god Rama, also known as “Ram Janmabhoomi,” is revered as a sacred location. The location of this site is frequently thought to be the Babri Masjid site in the Uttar Pradesh city of Ayodhya. There is little historical evidence to back up this assertion; in fact, according to a number of historians, Ayodhya only started to develop into a major religious hub with a number of temples in the 18th century AD. Since the city has moved a little bit over the centuries, there is also debate over Ayodhya’s exact location.

A mosque was constructed in Ayodhya after the region was conquered by the Mughals in 1528, and the Mughal general Mir Baqi gave it the name Babri Masjid in honor of Babur, the Mughal emperor. There once was a Rama temple there that was reportedly destroyed by Baqi. This theory is only partially supported by historical evidence, and there is disagreement over the temple’s very existence. There is little evidence, according to many historians, to back up the claims that Rama was born exactly where the Babri Masjid now stands or that there was once a Rama temple there.

Etymology and philosophy, Ram Rath Yatra

The BJP organized a rath yatra, or “chariot journey,” across the country to Ayodhya in 1990 as part of its support for the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation. The BJP President at the time, L. K. Advani. The word “Yatra” in Sanskrit can mean “journey,” “procession,” or “pilgrimage.” In Hindu traditions, pilgrimage plays an important role. The procession of a rath, or chariot, which is common at religious sites, is referred to as a rath yatra.

Hindu nationalist groups have frequently used yatras to describe their recent shows of force, and they frequently use the idea of the pilgrimage itself to rally support. Because it is thought to be a location where a devotee may obtain eternal salvation, the city of Ayodhya in particular is a place of pilgrimage in the Hindu tradition. This belief served as motivation for the Ram Rath Yatra. Caste and gender barriers have historically been partially or completely broken in Hindu pilgrimages.

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The imagery of a pilgrimage was therefore useful to the BJP in its efforts to bring together its caste-based discriminated electorate. The ultimate goal of the yatra was to support the VHP and its Sangh Parivar affiliates’ agitation to erect a temple to the Hindu deity Rama on the site of the Babri Masjid. Pilgrimages and processions frequently involve an assertion of dominance over a physical space, which was also relevant to the Ayodhya dispute.

Route and imagery, Ram Rath Yatra

On September 12, 1990, Advani, who was the BJP’s president at the time, announced the yatra. Beginning on September 25, 1990, the rath yatra sought to capitalize on the widespread anti-reservation bill demonstrations in north India. The 10,000-kilometer-long yatra was designed to converge on Ayodhya and pressure the government into giving the location over to the Hindutva forces for the construction of a temple.

Ayodhya, which is located in Uttar Pradesh, was the destination of the yatra, which started in the Hindu holy city of Somnath and passed through the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar. Due to their connections to the history of Muslim invaders and rulers, Somnath and Ayodhya both had political significance to the Hindu nationalist movement.

Particularly Ayodhya was viewed as a representation of Hindu humiliation at the hands of Muslim rulers. The Indian National Congress (INC)-led government of India rebuilt the Somnath temple in the 1950s. The BJP also wanted to compare its effort to construct a temple in Ayodhya to that project.

Initial stages, Ram Rath Yatra

Scenes of “frenzied religious sentiments and militant national fervor” served as the yatra’s official launchpad in Somnath. Advani received a number of gifts from his supporters, including Saffrom flags, a sword, and a bow and arrow. In addition to battle cries, supporters also chanted religious hymns.

One of the most significant mass movements in Indian history got its start with the yatra. Advani typically spoke at six rallies each day, traveling an average of 300 kilometers (190 miles) each day. A total of 50 rallies were held as the rath traveled through 600 Gujarati villages. Hindu nationalist activists in the village of Jetpur gave Advani a jar full of their own blood as a sign of their devotion. After Gujarat, the caravan traveled to Maharashtra, where the activist fervor was even greater thanks to the Shiv Sena’s, a radical Hindu nationalist party.

The yatra then traveled through Telangana, which was then a part of Andhra Pradesh, in an effort to rally supporters in a region where the BJP had weak electoral support, then through Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The yatra started to receive more national news coverage as the level of popular mobilization in each state exceeded what the press had initially predicted. “Garv se kaho, ham Hindu hein!” (Say with pride that we are Hindus!) was one of the slogans created by the followers, according to an editorial in a national newspaper.

Advani’s arrest In Ram Rath Yatra

The yatra left a wake of escalating unrest, which compelled the government to take action against it. To lessen the impact of the yatra, the organizers repeatedly made the decision to ignore administrative restrictions. According to Sumanta Banerjee, all of the individuals detained during the rath yatra had already decided to break the law.

Advani stopped the yatra in Delhi for a few days, defiantly daring the central government to detain him—a threat it refused to take. But on October 23, the Indian Prime Minister V. P. As the procession crossed the border into the state of Uttar Pradesh, Singh gave the go-ahead for Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to detain Advani.

Advani was given preventive custody. After being imprisoned, Advani was housed in the opulent Masanjore Guest House, a government facility. After being freed, he claimed that the rally’s success demonstrated how the people’s power had triumphed over the state’s. Ashok Singhal, the leader of the VHP, was also taken into custody but managed to escape after only one day. Other activists who were detained were frequently mistreated in detention or permitted to flee.

FAQs: Ram Rath Yatra

Who started Ram Rath Yatra?

Advani, then the president of the BJP, announced the yatra on 12 September 1990. The Ram Rath Yatra began on 25 September 1990, seeking to capitalise on the massive protests across north India against the reservation bill.

Who are the 3 chariots of Ram Rath Yatra?

The three chariots of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are newly constructed every year with wood of specified trees like phassi, dhausa, etc. They are customarily brought from the ex-princely state of Dasapalla by a specialist team of carpenters who have hereditary rights and privileges for the same.

Which is the 2nd oldest Ram Rath Yatra in India?

The Ram Rath Yatra of Mahesh (Bengali: মাহেশের রথযাত্রা) is the second oldest chariot festival or Rath Yatra in India (after Rath Yatra of Puri) and oldest in Bengal, having been celebrated since 1396. It is held in Mahesh, a historical locality within Serampore in the Indian state of West Bengal.

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