× Close
poll position

As BJP talks of a Ramayan Museum at Ayodhya, sidelined Vinay Katiyar reminds party of Ram temple

A senior party leader points to the contradiction in the BJP wanting to revive the Ayodhya issue ahead of the UP elections but continuing to ignore Katiyar.

On Tuesday, around the time Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma was inspecting the site for a proposed Ramayan Museum in Ayodhya, Vinay Katiyar, another Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian, hit out at the Narendra Modi government, calling its initiative to build the museum in the temple town a “lollipop”.

“We should be trying to build a Ram temple,” Katiyar told reporters in Delhi. “We won’t be happy with this lollipop.”

He added: “Wherever I go in Ayodhya, saints ask me when the Ram temple will be built. It is good that I didn’t go (to Ayodhya) today.”

Although Katiyar, a BJP member of the Rajya Sabha and a resident of Ayodhya, has been sidelined ever since Narendra Modi took centre stage in the party, his comments on the Ram temple issue cannot be brushed aside by the saffron outfit ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections since he was the face of the violent Ayodhya movement in the 1990s.

Sidelined leader

Katiyar was at the forefront of the Ayodhya movement since 1984, when the Bajrang Dal was formed as the militant youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad with the objective to mobilise Hindus for the construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site.

Katiyar’s stature in the Sangh Parivar grew further during the 1990s when the movement catapulted the BJP to power in Uttar Pradesh. Even during the following years, the BJP leadership used to consult him on every major issue related to the Ram temple and Ayodhya.

However, for the last three years, Katiyar has been living in total oblivion, completely cut off from the leadership. Not only was he kept out of the campaign during the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, the party went to the extent of fielding his arch rival, Lallu Singh, from Faizabad constituency, which Ayodhya is a part of.

“It would be stupid to pretend that everyone is happy in the party,” said a senior BJP leader, who is sidelined himself, and is considered to be sympathetic to Katiyar. “Katiyar could not have let this opportunity go. And why should he? On the one hand the party wants to revive the Ayodhya issue and on the other it is keeping Katiyar on the margins. There is a huge contradiction in it, and that is bound to come out in public.”

‘Ram temple for votes’

Mahesh Sharma’s trip to Ayodhya on Tuesday was expected to take forward the electoral plank that Narendra Modi set forth for the party on October 11 when he repeatedly shouted “Jai Shri Ram” – the central slogan of the Sangh Parivar’s Ayodhya movement – during his Dussehra speech in Lucknow.

Although Sharma insisted that the proposed museum – which will be built just 15 km from the disputed site – was not a political gimmick and was intended to boost tourism, the BJP could not hide the fact that it is desperate to rake up the Ram temple issue ahead of the Assembly elections in the state early next year.

“Ayodhya becomes active at the time of every election and then the BJP forgets it,” said Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest of the makeshift temple of Lord Ram at the disputed site in Ayodhya, over the phone. “This time the BJP is even more desperate to activate Ayodhya because Modiji has nothing to show to the people. He could not keep any of the promises he made during the Lok Sabha elections and doesn’t know how to face voters of UP.”

Moreover in Uttar Pradesh, there are several BJP leaders who are sulking and many who feel that what is being done in the run up to the state elections is much below their expectations. That is why the party has struggled to finalise a chief ministerial candidate, and that is also now coming in the way of the BJP’s bid to firm up a winnable poll plank for itself.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BULLETIN BY 

As corporate India changes from strait-jacketed to stylish, here’s how you can stay on-trend

For men and women, tips to make your office style game strong.

Office wear in India tends to be conservative. For men, the staple blue or white shirt and dark trouser arranged in a monotonous assembly line has been a permanent feature of the wardrobe (a tactic shrewdly administered to ensure minimum time is spent shopping). For women, androgynous work wear has been ever reliable and just as dull.

But camouflage is of no use in the corporate jungle anymore. The Indian office is no longer a place for dull, unthinking conformity, it is a place that expects vibrancy in thought and action. With a younger workforce and a greater mix of multinationals and jobs, there is a greater acceptance of edgier trends. Men are stepping away from their blues and greys and women are reshaping their workwear to be more interesting and distinctly feminine. As corporate India is proving its mettle on the global stage and to itself, it’s also growing confident in expressing individuality and style in the formal work environment. From clothing to office décor and fashion accessories to work tools, the workplace is becoming a place to display merit as well as taste.

Work clothes have shed their monochrome and moved into the light of technicolor. Bright colours have steadily become popular as Pantone’s annual colours of the year show us. For the corporate warrior who wants to be stylish here is our pick of trends worth considering.


Statement jacket. A statement jacket is one that doesn’t merely stand out in a crowd, but blows it open for you. How do you recognize one? You’ll know it when you see it. Most statement jackets have a non-traditional color. They could also have subtle prints on them if you want to go funky.

Technicolor socks. Multicolored socks (or hipster socks as they are known in some quarters) peek out every once in a while and brighten things up in the workplace. From polka dots and caricatures to geometric patterns, you can choose a pair to suit your mood or your workplace. A great way of telling people you don’t take fashion rules seriously (except these ones).

Plaid: Well played is well, plaid. Great for your 9-to-5 and even performs well after. Plaids, in shirts and jackets, are perhaps the most versatile tool in the corporate warrior’s armory, and straddle the fine line between formal and casual effectively. They’re also age-resistant meaning a young buck in his twenties can rock them as much as your seasoned forty-plus campaigner. Plaid, though Scottish in origin, has an Indian connection too, in the Madras checks that became popular all over the world after the World War.

Inside collars and cuffs. If you like to keep it classy but still a little edgy, nothing does it like contrast or printed insides of your collar and cuffs. After the work day, when it’s proper to roll up your sleeves, it even adds a touch of evening character.

Coloured Shoes. Alternate your staid blacks and browns with variants like burgundy, light buttery browns and ashen blues. Play with moccasins, tassel loafers and lace-ups. Go beyond leather and try suede and maybe even canvas. But do remember to take a quick course in matching.


Floral prints. Flowers are back (though one could argue that they never went out) and now they’re storming the bastion of your office. Even the traditional Indian paisley is making its way into formal wear. With the prevalence of digital printing, with a little hunting, you’ll even find beautiful florals in watercolour style.

Scarves. The first rule of wearing scarves is to rid yourself of the notion that they are to be worn only in winter. A colourful scarf paired with a monochrome top works wonders. A dozen online videos will teach you to wear it in a dozen ways. Plus, it always comes in handy when the thermostat isn’t to your liking. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw wears scarves frequently, and is a great example of how you can use it strikingly.

Pants. Yes. Pants. Experiment with different styles and you’ll be surprised how they can really spruce up a boring look. Silhouette is everything when it comes to pants. Choose from high-waisted, wide legged, pleated to ankle length pants and what not! The best part is offices rarely prescribe silhouettes, so you can always get by with some style even if your workplace demands a uniform.

Houndstooth. The houndstooth pattern is at the sweet intersection between casual and formal and can be worn to make a splash in either occasion. Whether its jackets or a dress or a simple top, a houndstooth pattern is incredibly versatile.

Chic suits. A sharp suit is a must for a modern professional’s wardrobe. And please don’t even look in the direction of black. Pastel colours or even greys with patterns are great options for suits. Uncoordinated suits are also a great option depending on how edgy you want your office attire to be.


It isn’t enough to be well-dressed in the modern workplace. A good professional is known by his or her tools and how they carry it.

Designer laptop sleeves. Your high-precision instrument deserves a cover chosen with as much care. Black Neoprene is out. Pastel monochromes, geometric patterns and bold designs are very much in. Different materials like cotton, leather and even paper are a great option.

Natural fiber or leather bags (yes kill your black synthetic one now). Briefcases are ancient and black messenger bags are done. Go for a color variant or a subtle pattern. Pay attention to the different leather finishes. Adding a few nicely done metal trims can make all the difference. But convenience and ease are top priority. If you travel a lot, get a stylish strolley and thank yourself later.

Commute pack. The urban corporate needs to be productive at all times, or at the very least, needs to be accessible. A modern commute pack should include wireless headphones, a USB battery pack (power bank) and a wire/gadget organisation pack just so that you’re always prepared.

Machine. We’ve all showed off our latest smartphones. Your work machine is way more important. And like in smartphones, a good laptop is no longer only about performance. The specifications must be top-notch but it has also become an expression of your personality. It can up your style quotient and significantly impact your experience.

Source: Dell
Source: Dell

The Dell XPS 13 is one device that achieves excellence in both form and function. With a virtually borderless infinity display that maximises screen space, and measuring a super slim 9-15mm, the Dell XPS 13 is an unalloyed delight. A sixth generation Intel® Core™ processor and the latest Intel HD graphics gives cutting edge performance for 18 hours and 14 minutes per charge—the longest battery life in any 13-inch device. The Dell XPS 13 epitomises the ethos of the modern day corporate warrior—chic and smart. To make even more of a fashion statement, you now get a free TUMI laptop sleeve worth Rs. 9000 with your XPS notebook purchase (offer valid till 31st October). For more information about the Dell XPS 13, see here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Dell and not by the Scroll editorial team.

× Close