Ram bhakts at the door and the dog-whistles

Ram Mandir donation
Image - Prathap Ravishankar

The last time a bunch of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members had come knocking at Anir Saha’s door, he was a college boy in Assam. More than 30 years later, Saha, who now lives in Delhi, recalls how his ‘Kaku’ (father’s brother) went out with his new-found ‘friends’ and never really returned home.

The year was 1989. All that Saha’s uncle—a fresh VHP recruit—would talk about those days was ‘kar seva’. Later that year, Kaku and his friends made a journey all the way to faraway Ayodhya to donate bricks collected from every nook and corner to construct a Ram temple at the site where a masjid stood.

For the next few months, Kaku remained mostly missing from home making unscheduled travels to places his family had little inkling of. By the spring of 1990, uncle was dead—under mysterious circumstances. But that’s another story. No one in the Saha family ever since participated in any such ‘social activity’. Nor did they see any of kaku’s friends after that.

Saha had almost forgotten about all that until February 4 this year.

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