Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar hit the nail on the head when he said some people think the coronavirus will go away after the temple is constructed.
He was referring in an ironic vein to reports that the Ram Janmabhubhi Mandir Trust was planning to begin construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya from August 3 to 5 and that it was planning to invite Narendra Modi to the event.
A seasoned politician, Sharad Pawar knows how parties set their agenda. He has also seen how pandemic Covid-19 has left Indians in misery.
It is the serious challenge that India has faced since Independence the coronavirus, economic disruption and Chinese aggression, all of them have visited the nation simultaneously.
These are no simple threats; each one is so lethal it can derail the nation’s progress. Together, their firepower multiplies manifold. It calls for building a national consensus if India were to survive the triple assault.
A government worth the name would be concentrating on building such a consensus; for the lack of it could make us a fragmented, defeated people.
It is not a surprise that a seasoned politician like Pawar can see through the design of the ruling dispensation using the temple project as a façade to hide its embarrassment at not being able to rise to the challenge.
Several crucial assembly elections are scheduled in the coming months; to start with in Bihar in November, followed by West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
A government that has not yet shown the grit to address serious national issues would find a comfortable cover in the temple project. All that Pawar has done is to call it out.