On 30 October and 2 November in 1990, 16 kar sevaks were shot and killed in Ayodhya.
Ram & Sharad Kothari were grandsons of Lt. Badri Das ji Kothari, & Son of Lt. Hiralal ji Kothari. They were born on 27th July 1968 & 14th October 1970. As they grew older their attachment with the nation kept on achieving new heights. Whilst they were pursuing their graduation course, they joined RSS.
Sharad aged 20 & Ram aged 22, both unmarried, had cleared two of the RSS post exams, and were to give the final examinations. In the mean time in 1989, the RAM JANAM BHOOMI LIBERATION MOVEMENT took momentum.
In the September of 1989, both these brothers, left the materialistic comforts and the love of blood relations for a higher cause. Together they made some of the most difficult & aggressive campaigns for the RAM JANAM BHOOMI liberation successful.
After the victory, the twosome even managed to arrange Shri Ram Jyoti Puja at more than 100 places!!. This was the beginning of their journey to serve their nation, their religion & their relations.. they were completely aware of the ath they are taking and its consequences. Throughout their Journey, they wore a coloured cloth on their heads, which read “KAFAN”; this act in itself speaks volumes about their audacity, courage & “do or die attitude”.
Ram & Sharad Kothari were spearheading the sacred work of SHRI RAM MANDIR NIRMAAN. They dedicated themselves whole-heartedly for the cause. They left no stone unturned to make it happen. The twosomes were the first to get registered for the RAM JANAM BHOOMI agitations. When RSS asked them, that among the brothers only one should go, they insisted saying, “WE ARE AS RAM & LAXMAN WE CANT STAY SEPERATELY WE WILL GO AND ACHIEVE SUCCESS TOGETHER”!!!!
On 22nd October 1990, among the sixty nine members, who were departing for Ayodhya, Ram & Sharad Kothari led the troop. Both were very hard working, daring & renowned members of RSS. They kept their heads tied with a saffron coloured cloth, which at the back read “Kafan”, throughout the journey. After departing from Kolkata, their group had to stop at Benaras. As the railway was barred from going further, they took a taxi to Kolapur. From there, they had to walk nearly 200 kms, to reach Ayodhya!!
Finally, they reached their destination on 30th October, at 4 a.m. Lathi charge, tear gas, bloodshed, all came in their way, but nothing could stop them! The troop lead by the two brothers was the first to enter the premises of RAM JANAM BHOOMI TEMPLE, and hosted the flag, and marked an event in the history.
After the heroic victory, they still had the urge to do something more for their religion, for their god, for their country! For this reason, they returned back to Ayodhya from Faizabad on 2nd of November and tried to voice their cause in RAMDHUNI KIRTAN. But the administration blindly open fired there, at unarmed, defenceless, innocent religious followers, killing hundreds. In this incident even the two leaders got shot dead. The lane where they laid their lives in Ayodhya started being called as SHAHID MARG.
This way on 2nd November 1990 these legends set an example of bravery & patriotism and their contribution to the motherland.
At their death, their dress had a photo of VISHWA HINDU PARISHAD, and their heads were covered with coloured cloth, on which “JAI SHREE RAM” was engraved on one side & at the back side “KAFAN” !!
Thereafter many medals were given to the family members in honour of the two martyrs”. They were awarded AMAR CHAKRA, SOURYA CHAKRA & also BALIDANI PADAK. Ram Sharad Marg was built & named so in their honour in Dhanbad & Bikaner as well. The statues of these two martyrs are there in Lucknow, & Jodhpur Maheshwari Park. Also, the bravery award by Maheshwari Sabha in Benaras is given as Sourya Puraskar, in tribute of the fact that these two martyrs were awarded & honoured by the SAURYA CHAKRA!!
This is the legend of two brave sons of Kothari family, who fought for the noble cause, they believed in, till their last breathe! Hats off to them & their family! We salute their family for making their sons what they were. In the history of Kothari family, no sons have fought this passionately for their religion & motherland, and laid their lives for the same!
Their loving mother Sumitra Devi & sister Purnima still sheds tear for their beloved sons & brothers. But at the very thought of the cause for which they had bid goodbye to this world they are filled with Pride.
The kar sevaks of Ayodhya have always played a crucial role in the issue of the Ram temple. The families of the slain kar sevaks also wish to see the temple built, and are displeased with the politics over Lord Ram, especially around the time for election.
“Despite the politics, we want Ram Mandir to be built. We are trying hard for it. All questions lead to one truth. We want Ram Mandir so that my father’s sacrifice does not go to waste.” says,
Subhash Pandey, son of deceased kar sevak Ramesh Pandey
“If Ram Mandir is not built during the BJP regime, we are sure it will never be built. If they fail to build Ram Mandir, they will never come to power again.”
Ramsurat Goud, a kar sevak says.
The Kothari brothers were killed during the firing launched at the kar sevak’s demonstration on 2 November 1990.
“When I reached there, I wanted to see my children. I wanted to hug them. The kar sevak told me that I won’t be able to see their bodies. They had bullet injuries in their head.”
Dualal Kothari, grandfather of deceased kar sevaks Ram and Sharad Kothari
Mulayam Singh Yadav was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when, on 30 October and 2 November 1990, the UP police fired at the kar sevaks, which led to the death of the 16 people.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth