As India celebrates the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, there have been several people behind the movement which has changed the Indian politics forever.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, would be the chief guest for the Bhoomi puja ceremony in Ayodhya today. However, there are many other leaders who contributed to the Ram Mandir movement.
Lal Krishna Advani
The current senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party who was once tipped to become the Prime Minister of India is the original architect of the Hindutva movement in mainstream politics. He carried out a massive rath yatra from Somnath temple in Gujarat to the Ram janmabhoomi in Ayodhya.
Murli Manohar Joshi
Regarded popularly as “professor” of the BJP in the 1980s and 1990s, Murli Manohar Joshi was with Advani when the Babri Masjid was brought down in the year 1992.
The veteran Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Ashok Singhal, is considered as the chief of the Ram Mandir movement. He devoted all his resources to the movement. He passed away in the month of November 2015.
The then general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Pramod Mahajan, advised Advani to take the infamous rath yatra. He was the planner behind the strategy that led to the power of BJP and also the success of the rath yatra and the temple movement.
The current vice-president of the BJP and a union minister in the Narendra Modi government, Uma Bharti was perhaps the most influential woman leader of the movement. She was indicted by the Liberahan commission for her role in the demolition.
Kalyan Singh was the chief minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh when the Babri Masjid was brought down on the 6th of December 1992. He strongly advocated against any actions against the Karsevaks by the UP police.
The only woman who was next to Uma Bharti in terms of popularity, Sadhvi Ritambara was famous before the Babri Masjid phase when her speech cassettes were sold widely around the country.
The Bajrang Dal which was founded in 1984 to boost the movement had its first president in the form of Vinay Katiyar. Post the Babri demolition, he grew to be popular among the BJP cadres. He went onto become a member of both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.
Another explosive leader of the Ram Mandir movement, Praveen Togadia had built his image through his aggressive speeches during the movement.
Vishnu Hari Dalmiya
Originally an industrialist, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya had a deep interest in Hindutva politics. He played a vital role in the demolition and was hence named as the co-accused in the demolition case.
Source: India Today