The Modi Years: What has happened to the Ayodhya dispute in the last five years? – By Shoaib Daniyal
Narendra Modi’s career till 2014 was painted heavily in the colours of Hindutva. As chief minister of Gujarat during the 2002 pogrom, Modi had made sure to take a hard Hindutva line in the assembly elections that followed. As he prepared to make a bid for prime minister in 2014, however, Modi changed gears, focussing far more on a narrative of governance and development. In fact, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 2014 manifesto did not even use the word “Hindutva” once.
In this change, the BJP’s core issue of building a Ram temple at the site of demolished Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was put on the backburner. The issue was buried under “Cultural Heritage” as part of the party’s 2014 manifesto and Modi did not mention it while campaigning.
The first crack in this narrative came as the BJP geared up for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections towards the end of 2016. In October, 2016, Union Culture and Tourism minister Mahesh Sharma visited Ayodhya in order to purportedly inspect the site for a proposed Ramayana museum. The Ram Mandir issue was mentioned in the BJP manifesto for the elections with chief Amit Shah making sure to promise that the party would see it built.…
- ‘Mediation’ in Ayodhya title suit: Routine idea that has got new SC push – By Seema Chishti (Feb 28, 2019, Indian Express)