How many of us know about KKK Nair, Swami Vamdev, and Vishnu Hari Dalmia? They should have been household names among Ayodhya Ram Mandir supporters, but sadly most people don’t even know their names. This is a story about bravery, devotion, and sacrifice.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, several ascetics and leaders were instrumental in organizing campaigns and yatras for the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. While most academic debates have limited the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi movement to the high politics of VHP, BJP, and most significantly to the Rath Yatra, they deliberately neglect the contribution of common people and their passion for the movement.
KKK Nair: The Forgotten Warrior
KKK Nair, often dubbed as “the man who stopped Nehru from throwing out Ram Lalla”, was an Indian Civil Service officer, was the District Magistrate of Faizabad. Despite instructions from his seniors, Nair refused to remove the idol of Ram Lalla that had been placed in the disputed Babri Masjid in 1949. His refusal was based on the fear of communal riots. Even after his transfer, Nair continued guiding the pujaris at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple. His contributions upheld the continuance of pooja at the disputed site.
Swami Vamdev: The Spiritual Guardian
Swami Vamdev, an ascetic, was deeply committed to the cause of cow protection in Ayodhya. He played a crucial role in bringing together various Hindu religious and spiritual leaders at an all India-level meet in Jaipur in 1984. More than 400 Hindu religious leaders brainstormed for 15 days to put together the future roadmap of the movement.
Swami Vamdev led the kar sevaks from the front in 1990 in Ayodhya when several of them were killed in police firing ordered by Mulayam Singh Yadav’s government.
Despite his old age, he was present in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished. His leadership guided and inspired many.
Vishnu Hari Dalmia: The Visionary Supporter
Vishnu Hari Dalmia was a prominent member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Born into the Dalmia Group of industries, he played a significant role in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. He helped organise the 1984 dharma sansad where the VHP resolved to liberate Ram Janmabhoomi. Dalmia also led the first batch of kar sevaks who entered the Babri Masjid premises on December 6, 1992. He was a co-accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case. His strategic support furthered the movement.
The Collective Impact
The collective efforts of these three unsung heroes – KKK Nair, Swami Vamdev, and Vishnu Hari Dalmia – contributed greatly to the overall success of the Ayodhya movement. Along with numerous ascetics, leaders and common devotees, their bravery and devotion shaped the course of this historical event.
Next time someone tries to reduce the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi movement to high politics while dismissing its widespread social base, ask them to visit Shaheed Gali near Hanuman Garhi in Ayodhya. This alley commemorates the ascetics and devotees who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Ram Lalla. As the Shri Ram Mandir opens its gate for the general public, we must remember those who made this dream a reality. Their passion rang loud in the slogan – “Ram Lalla Hum Aayenge, Mandir Wahi Banayenge”. Jai Shri Ram!