The Delhi Development Authority on August 10 had the Ravidas Temple Demolished after the Supreme Court Orders and fueled a huge protest from the side of Dalit community who worship the Saint as their god. Yesterday, thousands of Dalits from several parts of the national capital were seen protesting on the roads of Delhi, especially the area between Ramlila Maidan and Jhandewalan Metro.
The protest against Ravidas temple demolition united a number marchers from all age groups who appeared in blue caps with flags and started marching from AmbedkarBhawan and blocked traffic in major areas of the city.
Why Did DDA Raise An Issue On Ravidas Temple?
According to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Temple was had been built in the Tughalabad Forest which is a protected area, and according to the rules, no one can build property in a protected area. That is the reason they have demolished the 500 years old Ravidas Temple Demolished.
The protesters came from nearby states and were shouting the slogans such as “Jai Bheem” in the memory of B. R. Ambedkar as they had come from different states including Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, etc. They are agitated at the demolishment of Saint Ravidas Temple and wanted the govt. to reconstruct the temple at the same plot.
The religious issue has now taken a political form as some of the politicians including AAP members have joined the protest to rebuild the temple. They are protesting to fulfill the following demands:
- They want the DDA to return the land to the Ravidas JayantiSamarohSamiti
- They want the government to rebuild the temple
The DDA has also offered to allot a different plot for the temple, but the association, on the other hand, asked them to first-order RRS leave the Ayodhaya Plot for BabriMaszid and build the Ram Mandir on a different plot. The Tughlakabad forest for Ravidas Temple Demolished is as significant as Ayodhya for Ram Temple as the saint had preached sermons at the same plot.
संत रविदास मंदिर को नहीं तोड़ा जाना चाहिए था। pic.twitter.com/Tg1rqsWOiP
— VijayGoelOffice (@VijayGoelOffice) August 20, 2019
The protesters include some of the eminent personalities including Delhi’s Social Justice Minister, Bhim Army Chief, and other Dalit leaders. According to them, they are not against the Supreme Court, but the increasing injustice against a specific community. Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam asked the authorities:
“I am here as a representative of the community and not as a Delhi minister or politician. We respect the Supreme Court order, but the government should answer why only temples of the Dalit community and statues of BR Ambedkar are being demolished across the country?”
A protester compared the issue with the Ram Mandir dispute. He raised his voice against the injustice and said:
“They are asking us to construct the temple at an alternative place. Why don’t they shift the Ram Mandir to some other place? Everything happened in the blink of an eye. We didn’t even get to know of the SC order. Are we not citizens of India?”
Everyone was shocked after the news of Ravidas Temple Demolish because everything happened with the bat of an eye. The DDA should have sent notice before taking a major action.
History of Ravidas Temple
Saint Ravidas is considered as a luminary during the Bhakti Movement and is widely known for his challenging the class system as he was born in a Harijan Family.
Ravidas has been credited for his contribution in Indian literature as his works inspired people to prioritize God over earthly desires. That is the reason Dalits see him as a divine figure who called for a society without social inequalities.
Meerabai, who is the epitome of devotion, considered herself as a pupil of Saint Ravidas.
According to historical facts, the saint once visited Tughalakabad forest and preached his sermons at the same location in 15th century, during the reign of Sikandar Lodhi, who gifted the land to Ravidas after being impressed with his words. The land belongs to Saint Ravidas, and the association has all the valid proofs; even the bricks are dated before 1905.The situation in Delhi is getting intense as the protesters have warned a hunger strike if the authorities do not rebuilt the temple on the same plot.