New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Senior BJP leader Satyapal Singh on Saturday quoted from Jawaharlal Nehru's "tryst with destiny" speech, saying the country's long-suppressed soul found utterance on January 22, when a grand Ram temple was consecrated at Ayodhya.
Initiating a discussion in the Lok Sabha on "the construction of historic Shri Ram Temple and Pran Pratishtha of Shri Ramlala", Singh also slammed the Congress for questioning the existence of Lord Ram, which he said has pushed the party to the opposition benches.
The short-duration discussion during the last scheduled sitting of the 17th Lok Sabha began with the DMK members trying to raise the issue of Tamil fishermen and urging the chair to admit an adjournment motion. They walked out of the House after Speaker Om Birla disallowed the notice for the adjournment motion.
Singh, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who represents the Baghpat constituency in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha, said it was a historic moment to witness the inauguration of the Ram temple and the "pran pratishtha" (consecration) of the idol of Ram Lalla in the present times.
"Shri Ram does not belong to Hindus alone, he belongs to everyone. Bhagwan Ram is our ancestor as well as our inspiration," the former Union minister said, adding that the temple is not a "communal" issue as some people perceive it.
At the same time, he slammed the previous Congress government for giving an affidavit in the court stating that "Ram Setu" was not a man-made structure and that Lord Ram was imaginary.
"Where there is Ram, there is religion. Those who murder dharma are killed and those who uphold dharma are protected. The Congress is in this situation today because it rejected Lord Ram at that time," Singh said.
The two-term Lok Sabha member said to deny the existence of god is akin to rejecting one's culture, tradition, civilisation and heritage.
He recalled that on August 15, 1947, Nehru had delivered a speech in which he had said "a moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance".
"With the construction of the Ram temple, the long suppressed soul of the nation has awakened," Singh said.
Participating in the debate, Congress member Gaurav Gogoi said Lord Ram forms part of the everyday life in several parts of the country where people greet each other by saying "Ram Ram".
He said the definition of "Ram Rajya" means an era when everyone is happy and no one is unhappy.
Gogoi, the deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, wondered whether the oppressed, backward classes and minorities of the country are happy in the present times.
He said crimes against the Scheduled Castes (SCs) are on the rise and the Other Backward Classes (OBC) are demanding a caste census because they feel discriminated against when in comes to education in universities and share in government jobs.
Intervening in the discussion, Union minister Niranjan Jyoti said the credit for organising the agitation for the Ram temple should go to late Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal who toiled hard to gather seers for the purpose.
Referring to a remark by Gogoi that the Congress does not believe in opening fire on people, she questioned as to why the opposition party never expressed regret for the deaths of "kar sevaks" in police firing in Ayodhya during the tenure of then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Without naming the Samajwadi Party, she said the Congress is a constituent in the INDIA opposition bloc.
Continuing her attack on the Congress, Jyoti said objectionable words were used against Prime Minister Narendra Modi at public meetings.
She also credited Modi with ensuring food and jobs for the needy to overcome the hardships faced by them during the COVID-19 crisis. PTI SKU NAB RC