Bharat Express

From Rath Yatra to Bharat Ratna; A Sneak Peek Into L .K Advani’s Journey

BJP benefited from Advani’s Rath Yatra in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, and the party’s seats reached 120. In 1992, the Ayodhya movement started gaining momentum.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi apprised the nation through social media platform X on February 3 that BJP stalwart and former deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani (aged 96) will be conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award.

Expressing his joy, PM Modi articulated on the micro-blogging platform, “I am very happy to share that Shri LK Advani Ji will be conferred the Bharat Ratna.”

Take a look:

Lal Krishna Advani’s journey from a humble background to the 7th Deputy PM.

Mr. Advani was born on November 8, 1927, in Sindh province (Pakistan). He studied at St. Patrick’s School, Karachi, and his patriotic fervour inspired him to move towards Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Advani could not even celebrate the country’s independence in 1947 because, within a few hours of independence, he had to leave his native place and escape to India.

Advani’s father’s name was Krishnachand D. Advani, and his mother’s name was Giani Devi. During the time of partition in 1947, his family came to Mumbai, where he studied law. Advani joined the Sangh when he was 14 years old. He did not let the partition affect him as he had a resolve to unite this country in his mind. As he result, he continued working as an RSS pracharak in Rajasthan. In 1957, Advani was asked to leave Rajasthan and come to Delhi so that he could help Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the newly elected MPs. After working in an office in Delhi for about 3 years, Advani started a new chapter of his life as a journalist, and in 1960 he took over as assistant editor at Organizer.

L.K Advani changed the course of Indian politics.

Advani joined the Jana Sangh, founded by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in 1951. Joined the Janata Party in 1977 and founded the BJP in 1980. Advani changed the course of politics with the BJP. Advani experimented with the politics of Hindutva in modern India. His experiment was successful. In the 1984 Lok Sabha elections held in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the BJP won only 2 seats. In 1989, the BJP started giving formal support to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. The BJP benefited from this in the Lok Sabha elections. Hence, the number of seats won by the party increased from 2 to 86. Between 1980 and 1990, Advani devoted all his time to making the BJP a national-level party. The party’s position reached 121 seats in 1992 and 161 in 1996. For the first time after independence, Congress was out of power, and the BJP emerged as the party with the largest number.

In 1990, Advani gave a new direction to the Ram temple movement by taking out the Ram Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya. Advani had written in his autobiography ‘My Country, My Life’ that what I did was not a sacrifice. That resulted from a logical assessment of what was right and what was in the interest of the party and the country. Lal Krishna Advani was the only leader who has remained the president of the BJP for the longest time since the formation of the party in 1980. He first became president of the party in the years 1986–1990, then from 1993–1998. He also became the party president between 2004 and 2005. After playing a long innings of 3 decades as an MP, Advani first became the Home Minister and later became the Deputy Prime Minister in Atal Ji’s cabinet (1999–2004).

Rath Yatra, high-voltage speech and arrest

Mr. Advani joined the Ram movement with full vigour and force. On September 25, 1990, he took out the Ram Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya for the construction of the Ram temple. With this Rath Yatra his popularity graph increased manyfold in the Hindi belt states. Mr Advani gave a high-voltage speech here and took the oath of the Ram mandir’s construction. The slogan was raised to build the temple there itself. During the Rath Yatra, a feeling of communal disharmony flared up between the Hindu-Muslim community in India. The Rath Yatra moved ahead and reached Bihar. Lalu Yadav, who became the CM of Bihar seven months ago, was a political youth at the time.42-year-old Lalu Yadav made a plan to stop Advani’s Rath Yatra. Lalu sent two of his officers on this mission. As soon as night fell, the administration shut down the city’s telephone exchange. On the intervening night of October 22–23, Advani stopped the Rath Yatra and stayed at Samastipur Circuit House.

At quarter to five in the morning, there was a knock at his door, and Advani was told that he was being arrested. Advani asked for papers from the officers, he wrote a letter to the President of India and announced the withdrawal of support from the VP Singh government at the Centre. Advani was arrested. The central government fell.

Accused of involvement in Hawala scam and clean acquittal

The BJP benefited from Advani’s Rath Yatra in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections. BJP’s seats reached 120. In 1992, the Ayodhya movement started gaining momentum again. Kar Kesav was again announced in December 1992. CM Kalyan Singh gave an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that his government would not allow any damage to the mosque. But on December 6, 1992, lakhs of workers from other Hindu organizations, including VHP, Bajrang Dal, and Shiv Sena, demolished the disputed structure, uprooted the mosque brick by brick, and built a temporary temple on the debris. During this time, Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were present nearby. In 1995, Advani surprised everyone by calling Vajpayee a contender for the post of PM. In 1996, Advani was accused of being involved in the Hawala scam; even before the opposition could point a finger at him, he had resigned from the membership of Parliament. Later, he was acquitted in that case. No doubt his contribution to the extraordinary rise of the BJP and his political expediency and acumen proved to be very fruitful to the whole Sangh Pariwar fraternity. It is very difficult to predict that history will judge him better than his critics anticipate.

Also Read: Kejriwal Accuses Delhi Police of Theatrics, Faces ED Scrutiny Over Excise Policy Case