Bengaluru: Sitting at his office in Bengaluru, Mr Ramakrishna, dwarfed by the large portraits of revolutionary freedom fighters hung around his office, was anxious as the time ticked closer to 10.30 am on Saturday, when the SC was expected to pronounce a verdict on the Ram Mandir.
Since his teenage years, Mr Ramakrishna, a hardcore Kar Sevak and founder president of Rashtra Gaurava Samrakshana Parishath has been waiting for the day that a judgement would be delivered that cleared the path towards building a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
“While all these years, the SC judgement did not make me happy, the judgement on Saturday made me emotional,” he said. “In our country, right from the Himalayas till Rameshwaram, the name of Lord Rama is an integral part. For Hindus, Rama is always considered the ultimate ideal personality and one of the most revered Gods and his birthplace Ayodhya is one of the 'Moksha' places very sacred for Hindus,” he added.
Mr Ramakrishna whose life work is chronicling the history of revolutionary freedom fighters travels extensively to places associated with India's freedom struggle and every time he visits places outside India, he says he is pained to see the importance people from different countries give to Lord Rama while at his birthplace Ayodhya, there is no temple to his name. “When I visited Ayodhya, there was heavy security. We were frisked and were given just a few minutes to offer our prayer to Lord Rama. This shouldn't be the case. People who come with pure bhakti should not undergo this,” he says, recalling the first time he visited Ayodhya.
“I still remember my first year B.Com days. I was 17 years old and studying at the Government College Kolar when we participated in the 'Upavasa Sathyagraha' (Fasting Sathyagraha). I am now 52 years old and in all this fight for Ram Mandir, I felt that my life would end before seeing the temple built. But the recent SC judgement has given me hope and I now feel I will only die after the seeing the temple built,” he says, confidently.
“We, as Kar Sevaks went on a door-to-door in areas like Kamanahalli, N R Colony, Shankarpuram and other areas to collect bricks and money and handed it over to the Vishwa Hindu Parishat office at Shankarpura. We also took signatures for the signature campaign and sent it to the President and PM demanding a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya,” says the Ram bhakt.
He says many women took part in the campaigns and would write and chant Lord Rama's name all through the day. In 1990, the Ram Rath Yatra reached Humnabad at Bidar in Karnataka from Maharashtra. Leaders of the BJP like Mr Ananth Kumar and Mr B S Yediyurappa among others took a Upa Ratha Yatre (an offshoot of the Rath Yatra) that travelled all over Karnataka, Mr Ramakrishna recalled, adding how he still has the paper cuttings of the reports published then. "With Ayodhya verdict, we also wish that the other two 'Moksha places of worship' at Kashi and Mathura also be handed over to the Hindus,” Mr Ramakrisha said, in an indication that the battle was far from over....