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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Republic Day Ram Mandir and Kedarnath temple tableaux vandalised in Red Fort complex by ‘farmers’

More details are emerging about yesterday’s unprecedented attack on Delhi by protesting ‘farmers’ while the nation was  celebrating Republic Day. Shockingly, one of the targets of the hooligans who had stormed the Red Fort and hoisted a Sikh a religious flag, was the Republic Day tableaus (floats) parked in the Red Fort complex after returning from the parade.

In particular, the fanatical religious extremists targeted state of UP’s tableau which had a replica of the under construction Ram Mandir at Ayodhya amd Uttarakhand’s tableau which displayed the Kedarnath temple. The rioting mob broke the shikhara of the Ram Mandir temple, i.e.the rising tower over the garbhagriha chamber where the presiding deity is enshrined.

A video clip of news channel Aaj Tak shows a reporter talking to a Delhi police personnel about the vandalism.

Note: the ignorant reporter calls the part which was broken as gumbad (dome), but it is actually the temple shikhara. The policeman says that the tableau had returned to the Red Fort area after completing the parade in good condition. The rioting mob targeted the Kedarnath temple structure and the tower of the Ram Mandir tableau. There were some security personnel stationed there who managed to save these 2 temple structures to a large extent, else they might have been completed destroyed.

Two separate clips have been in circulation ever since Tuesday, one showing a man hoisting a Sikh flag on a flagpole within the Red Fort complex while throwing away the tricolor handed to him by someone in the mob. Another video shows a man atop one of the domes of the Red Fort, where he hoists the Sikh flag – if you watch the full video of the second clip which was live recorded by  ‘Daily Post’ Punjabi channel, you will hear the breathless Sikh reporter shout excitedly when the Sikh flag is hoisted at the spot where the tricolor is usually hoisted…at one point he even says Khalistani flag, before quickly correcting himself to say Khalsa flag has been hoisted!

Apologists of these farmer protests have been trying to defend the actions of the rioters, with claims that the tricolor was not dishonoured or that it was only the Sikh religious flag that was hoisted and not a Khalistan flag. However, the bigotry driving the mob which stormed the Red Fort was clearly to establish their religious supremacy (‘Raj karega khalsa’ i.e. ‘Khalsa will rule’ has been an oft-heard chant during these protests). Now, the targeting of the UP and Uttarkhand temple tableaux just confirms the anti-Hindu nature of the mob. The significant presence of Khalistani extremists during these months-long protests and the open death threats to the PM was swept under the carpet by the English-language mainstream media, but that hate  has now taken control of these protests.

It is time for the nation, and especially the Sikh community, to acknowledge that anti-Hindu bigotry has taken deep roots. One just has to view the statements of the highest Sikh religious bodies like Akal Takht and SGPC (Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee) which have been anti-CAA, pro-Khalistan, anti-Ram Mandir among other things.

Meanwhile, farmer leaders like Rakesh Tikait who were breathing fire before Republic Day, are now trying to deflect the blame by spinning conspiracy theories implying that as police did not open fire on the rioters, the government was behind the events of Red Fort to ‘defame’ the farmers. Sadly, in today’s India, there will be takers for even such nonsense. But the truth is that the likes of Tikait, Satnam Pannu, Darshan Pal, Joginder Ugrahan, Yogendra Yadav et al deserve rigorous imprisonment, and their properties confiscated, for the events of 26th January 2021. Repeat rumour mongering and violence inciting journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai would also be facing jail-time if we had a fully functioning law & order system.

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