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Prayers for Ram temple fulfilled now, says M.P. IPS officer

Madhya Pradesh Additional Director-General of Police Raja Babu Singh interacting with Mahant Nritya Gopal Das of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust at his Gwalior residence.

Madhya Pradesh Additional Director-General of Police Raja Babu Singh interacting with Mahant Nritya Gopal Das of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust at his Gwalior residence.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“It was calm and quiet in Ayodhya when we arrived there,” recalls Raja Babu Singh, Madhya Pradesh Additional Director General of Police (community policing), who says he offered a brick as a kar sevak at the Babri Masjid demolition site praying that a Ram temple be built there one day.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the ceremonial cornerstone for the temple on August 5, the 1994 batch IPS officer was visibly elated. “For the entire country and people of all faiths it is a matter of pride,” he said.

A 25-year-old student of the Allahabad University then, Mr. Singh boarded a bus to Ayodhya along with other kar sevaks that was arranged by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) unit of Daraganj. He tucked a brick dipped in Ganga water to offer at the site. “There was euphoria about seeing the Ram Janmabhoomi [the birthplace of Ram], to do kar seva. So, I went there but don’t remember the date,” he said.

Reaching Ayodhya, he took a dip in the Sarayu river, offered prayers and the brick at a makeshift structure shored up atop the 16th-century mosque torn down by thousands of kar sevaks in 1992, before circumambulating it. “I neither took part in the demolition nor witnessed it,” said Mr. Singh, 53, on a two-and-a-half-month leave now.

Hosts Mahant

In February this year, he even hosted Mahant Nritya Gopal Das of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, tasked with building and managing the Ayodhya temple, at his Gwalior residence, while he was the Inspector General of Police there. “I am very close to him, and am his disciple,” he said. After a Dalit couple in July reportedly consumed pesticide while resisting an anti-encroachment bid in Guna district, under his jurisdiction, Mr. Singh was shunted out.

At his hometown in Uttar Pradesh’s Banda district, he even attended RSS shakhas while in classes 3-4. “It was just for fun and exercising with friends,” he said.

Professional conduct

When asked if recalling his participation publicly wouldn’t affect his professional conduct, Mr. Singh told The Hindu he kept his professional and personal lives separate. “I am a practising Hindu in my personal life. So, when the entire country is rejoicing, why can’t I express my happiness too?” he asked.

Stating that he was committed to the country’s secular ethos, Mr. Singh said the day he donned the uniform, he took oath of the Constitution. “I continue to remain impartial in my professional life,” he claimed. Director General of Police Vivek Johri didn’t take phone calls for a comment.

Calling the officer’s public revelation unsurprising, Bhopal-based civil rights activist Seema Kurup said, “The bureaucracy country-wide is openly celebrating and ‘coming out’ with their core political and religious affiliations, proudly asserting their personal choice of promoting Hindutva. And with senior officers justifying this transgression as a matter of personal choice only creates social and cultural complexities, and points to the deterioration of the country’s secular fabric.”

‘Against Constitution’

Meanwhile, National Secretary of the All India Progressive Writers’ Association Vineet Tiwari said such statements by officials who took oath to serve people despite caste, religion and creed went against the soul of the Constitution. “Civil servants believe they will be rewarded if they raise their communal voices to make rulers happy,” he claimed.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 2:08:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/prayers-for-ram-temple-fulfilled-now-says-mp-ips-officer/article32287646.ece

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