Dipped in devotion, jubilant Jammu turns saffron ahead of consecration ceremony

Saffron flags containing pictures of Lord Rama at shops in a market of Jammu on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Saffron flags containing pictures of Lord Rama at shops in a market of Jammu on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Sanjeev K Sharma

JAMMU, Jan 21: Dipped in devotion, the jubilant Jammu has turned saffron ahead of the much awaited consecration ceremony of Shri Ram Ji temple in Ayodhya and saffron flags with pictures of the sprawling Ram temple have been fixed at the entrances and top of almost all the houses, shops and other complexes of business establishments in the city while the vehicles plying on roads including two wheelers too have these flags fixed to join the festivities.
Emotions are running high from rich to poor and among all others while some even lacked words to express their heart.
R.A Yadav, 49, a scrap buyer from Bihar had fixed the flag of Lord Rama on his bicycle while he moved from street to street to buy old newspapers, iron and plastic scrap etc from households to sell the same to some dealer for earning a meagre amount to eke out a livelihood.
“Tomorrow on Praan Pratishtha (consecration) ceremony, I will not work and will offer my services at some temple in facilitating the ceremonies there,” he said.
The busy markets at Shakti Nagar, Bakshi Nagar, Rehari, New Plot, Janipur, Old Jammu City and almost at all other places too were also busy in completing the decorations while the saffron flags, strips of buntings containing photos of Lord Rama, Hanumana and the Ram Janam Bhumi (birth place of Lord Rama) temple in Ayodhya were seen fixed in these markets.
“Flags of Bhagwan Ram and his Janam Bhumi temple have been fixed throughout our market and tomorrow we will distribute about 108 kg Halwa Prasad among all to celebrate the consecration ceremony of Ram temple,” said Anil Kohli, president Apsara Road Market Association adding: “Fire crackers shall also be busted, earthen lamps will be lit at our shops in the evening and music system will also be put in place to play the devotional songs in the praise of Bhagwan Ram.”
“The decorations are still incomplete and we are busy to complete them by this evening,” Sanjeev Gupta, 56, a shopkeeper running a provisional store in the beautifully decorated market at New Plot area informed.
He further said that a big LCD screen shall be fixed in the market tomorrow to facilitate everyone to watch live the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla at the holy city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
Ram Temple flags, badges, shoulder cloth with picture of Lord Rama and Hanumana etc were selling in the markets like hot cakes with price for the flags ranging from Rs. 150-200.
Enthusiasm was also high in the political circles and this was reflected from the words of Sobat Ali-a Gujjar leader from Chowadi area of Jammu who has recently joined the newly floated Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP).
“Flags of Lord Rama have been fixed at many places in Bhatindi-Sunjwan-Chowadi area and tomorrow we will have celebrations,” Ali said.
“Emotions are attached with the consecration ceremony of Ram temple as a long wait of five centuries has come to an end,” said Reema Padha-BJP J&K women wing leader after participating in cleanliness drive at a temple on the bank of Ranbir Canal in Shakti Nagar.
Temples in Jammu are also being beautifully decorated and special programmes are planned for the consecration ceremony.
The historic Raghunath temple of Jammu has organised a three day function in this regard which shall culminate on January 22 with the consecration ceremony at Ayodhya.
Sources informed that police has put adequate security arrangements in place to thwart any untoward incident on this occasion.
While there will be Langars at different places, Prabhat Pheris are being organised daily wherein devotees of Lord Rama move through the streets reciting devotional songs.
Social media posts too mostly remained consecration ceremony centric and the extraordinary and unprecedented scenario which is being witnessed perhaps for the first time in the history of India has united all the Indians irrespective of their religious differences and beliefs wherein a Muslim girl of Pahari community from Kashmir has gone viral on social media after she recited a devotional song in her melodious voice in the praise of Lord Rama which even fetched her commendations from PM Narendra Modi.
Similarly viral videos are making rounds on social media platforms wherein some Sikhs can be seen expressing their willingness to serve Langar at Ayodhya claiming their devotion towards Lord Rama.