Bengaluru: The Supreme Court judgement on the Ayodhya dispute has special significance for Karnataka as over 10,000 people from the state are believed to have participated in the Kar Seva at the site, with the Ramjanmabhoomi issue evoking a better response here than in other southern states.
A RSS functionary, Giridhar Upadhyay says that by 1990, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ( RSS) had strong roots both in Mangaluru and Bengaluru and this translated into good support for the Ramjanmabhoomi movement in the state when it started.
“By then, we had a good number of active RSS workers, who worked hard to garner a good response to the movement in the state. Tamil Nadu, because of historical reasons, did not respond so well and in Andhra Pradesh, the late BJP MLA, Tiger Narendra, from Himmat Nagar, managed to motivate some people, though smaller in number than in Karnataka, for the Kar Seva ,” he observed.
Social activist, Vadiraj believes the Ayodhya movement received a good response in Karnataka also because it is home to many places that are of significance to the Ramayana. Even politically , the BJP has fared better here than in other southern states, he notes.
To begin with the party was on shaky ground, with only 18 seats in the state assembly in 1983 and was left with even fewer, only two seats in 1985 after the late Chief Minister, Ramakrishna Hegde, is said to have gunned for it on being elected with a simple majority in the mid-term polls that year.
The party fought back with the Rama brick and Rama Jyothi programmes that were taken to every nook and corner of the state and came back with a thumping 40 seats in the 1994 assembly elections, he recalls.
Among its leaders who took part in the Ayodhya movement from the state were present Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, and senior leaders, Ramachandra Gowda and Suresh Kumar besides the late Union minister, Ananth Kumar, who played a big role in building the party in Karnataka, which has also since been elected to power a few times in the state, unlike in other southern states that have turned their backs on it....