Kancha Ilaiah’s opinion piece in Sakshi Newspaper ( Official Newspaper of Y.S.R. Congress Party).
Title- Modi’s Rama is the Rama of everyone.
( It needs to be said that titles are generally given by the people on the desk and not always the preferred title of the author is retained.)
( This entire piece of Ilaiah is based on Modi’s speech during the foundation stone laying ceremony in Ayodhya)
Gist of the piece- Modi salvaged Rama from the aggressive caricature of the RSS/BJP. There is no doubt that Modi violated the principle laid down by the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s government that the Prime Minister of a secular country should not be participating in a religious ceremony. However, Modi by recasting the virtuous Rama as someone who takes care of the downtrodden and oppressed secularized Rama. This new Rama of Modi is the Rama who is invested in the welfare of everyone irrespective of one’s socio-economic location in this society. I would leave it to the Muslim intellectuals to debate on the impact of this temple on the lives of Muslims. RSS/BJP had been saying that this temple will be the equivalent of Vatican and Mecca. I think Muslim and Christian religious scholars who are adept in doing comparative analyses of religions should now integrate this fact into their comparative analyses of religions.
The speech of Modi in Ayodhya is providing a new base to go beyond Reservations and pass a Caste Annihilation Law. However, this new act should be able to solve the conflict between the people who cling to the discriminatory aspects of Hindu spirituality and the people who are striving towards Modern Hindu Spirituality. The Rama Modi was speaking of was the Rama who stood on the side of Social Justice. Also, according to Modi Rama is the person who is sensitive to changing times and the one who embraced Modernity. Hence, if Social Justice has to become a reality Caste Annihilation Act is necessary.