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The Rath Yatra – a foundational thought of Ram Janm Bhoomi

When we are celebrating the foundation stone laying ceremony (Bhoomi Poojan) of our most awaited temple of Bhagwan Shri Ram today on August 5th, 2020 at his very birth place in Ayodhya then we should also be grateful to our elders and ancestors who have struggled throughout their life to make this dream of Bharat into a reality. In post independent India, we remember few most deserving socio-political leaders like Shri Lal Krishna Advani Ji and Late Shri Ashok Singhal Ji etc. and also discuss chronology of key incidents like Ram Lala appearance in 1949, the doors of the disputed structure opened for offerings to Ram Lala in 1984, Ram Rath Yatra in 1990 and Kar Seva in 1992 and so on. In addition to this, we should also express our sincere thanks and acknowledgements to our unsung or less-sung heroes who are the hidden foundational stones beneath the glorious accomplishment.

The Model of Shri Ram Temple to be built at birthplace of Ram Lala in Ayodhya.

However, the Ram Mandir movement strategically conceptualized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad in 1984 under the leadership of Late Shri Ashok Singhle Ji but this movement was geared up strong momentum across the country in 1990 when Ram Rath Yatra, lead by Shri Lal Krishna Advani Ji, the then President of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) was organised with the help of Sangh Pariwar starting from Somnath, Gujrat (Sep. 25th, 1990) via Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, New Delhi, and Bihar to ending up at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh (Oct. 29th, 1990). Interestingly, it was not the original road map. The original plan of Rath Yatra was far bigger than the biggest one that the world has witnessed. Unfortunately it didn’t materialize.

The original idea was that the Ram Janmbhoomi Ratha Yatra will start from four directions of the country and it will end at Ayodhya with Kar Seva. Advani Ji will lead the Ratha Yatra from Kanyakumari; the southern corner of India. Atal Ji, having legacy of Dr Shyama Prasad Mukharji, will lead another Rath from Jammu and Kashmir; the northern location of India. Similarly, being a lady, Raj Mata Smt. Vijaya Raje Shindia Ji will lead the Ratha from the Kamakhya (Assam) and Sikandar Bakht Ji from Bombay; the East and West directions of the country respectively. The key planner of this four dimensional Rath Yatra was none other than the Shri K N Govidacharya Ji; one of the most acclaimed thinkers of the Sangh Pariwar and BJP. Govindacharya Ji is the man who has already played key role in getting Jay Prakash Narayna (JP) close to the Sangh Parivaar and in organizing JP movement right from its beginning. Advani Ji was very well convinced with this plan and has given responsibility to Govindacharya Ji to talk to three other leaders for the same. Sikandar Bakht Ji and Raj Mata Ji have expressed their limitations of health to lead this grand Ratha Yatra from Mumbai and Kamakhya respectively. Also, Atal Ji was not earlier convinced for this Ratha Yatra therefore Advani Ji has decided to lead alone and directed Govindacharya Ji to organize this Yatra from Smonath Temple of Gujrat. Govindacharya ji pays credits to his thought of organizing four dimensional Yatra to the Ekatma Yatra of Ganga Ji organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) which started from four directions of the country and merged at the Nagpur earlier. The responsibility of planning and execution of the Ram Janmbhoomi Yatra has been assigned mainly to Govindacharya Ji, Arun Jaitaly Ji and Pramod Mahajan Ji. From New Delhi, Govidacharya Ji along with Arun Jaitaly Ji were responsible for daily drafting and media briefing, followup and coordination with the state co-coordinators for each destination of the Ratha where it had to reach. Whereas, Pramod Mahajan Ji was taking care of execution part in Ratha during the Yatra. Further details of this story is described in the book titled Rajneeti Ki Lok Sanskriti edited by Shri Ram Bahadur Rai Ji. Shri Rai Ji is the most reliable authority to make such remarks since he was very close to the then top leadership of the BJP.

Shri K N Govindacharya Ji

Ram Rath Yatra was the biggest mass movement of post independent India which has successfully changed the entire socio-political spectrum and narratives of Indian polity. This Yatra was a start to an era of Hinduism and end of the era of so-called socialism and secularism. If the impact of this unidirectional single Rath Yatra was so big and enduring then imagine what would have been the result if it was organised with its fourfold capacity using four Ratha from four directions of the country; as per the original plan. Govindacharya Ji says construction of Ram Mandir is just a beginning and we should next focus on establishing the Ram Rajya.

It is more than worthy to express gratitude to the much deserving living legend Shri K N Govindacharya Ji in this auspicious occasion for his exceptional contribution through his divine wisdom that touches the core values and the collective consciousness of the Bharat.

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