AYODHYA(UP), Aug 5: Laying the foundation stone for the Ram temple, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asserted that people’s wait for centuries has ended as Lord Ram’s birthplace has been liberated from numerous attempts to eradicate his existence, and India is now writing a “glorious chapter” in Ayodhya.
Dressed in a golden-coloured traditional kurta and dhoti with a saffron gamcha, Modi also described Lord Ram as the common thread in India’s unity in diversity, and drew a parallel between the country’s independence movement and “centuries” of people’s struggle to build the temple at the site.
The entire country is thrilled and emotional, and crores of people would not be able to believe that they are watching this day in their lifetime, he said, stating that the grand temple will be a modern symbol of our culture, eternal faith, national spirit and inspire humanity forever as “Ram belongs to all and is in everyone”.
The construction of this temple is an instrument to unite the country, and these historic moments today will be a symbol of India’s glory eternally, the prime minister said in his over 35-minute televised speech at the ceremony attended by a select gathering of 175 people, including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Hindu saints of various orders.
Organisers kept the guest list short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Giving a call to build the temple with “mutual love and brotherhood”, Modi, the prime minister cited values associated with Lord Ram to say “we have to take care of everyone’s sentiments”.
“We have to join stones for construction of Ram temple with mutual love, brotherhood,” he said, adding the temple will be an ode to our rich heritage.
Modi started and concluded his speech invoking both Lord Ram and his wife goddess Sita, with chants of “Siyavar Ramchandra Ki Jai” and “Jai Siya Ram”. Sita is also known as Siya.
“We have to bring development to everyone with everyone’s trust and help. It should be kept in mind that progress has taken place when humanity believed in Ram but destruction has happened when we strayed from his path,” he added.
The day marked a triumphant moment in decades-long Ram Janmabhoomi movement to build the temple at a site where the Babri mosque once existed before it was brought down by frenzied ‘kar sevaks’ in 1992. Many ‘kar sevaks’ were killed in police firing in 1990.
The Supreme Court in November last year ruled the land dispute between Hindu and Muslims parties in the former’s favour, paving the way for the temple’s construction at the site where believers hold Lord Ram was born.
Drawing a parallel between India’s independence movement and “centuries” of people’s struggle to build the temple, Modi said this day signifies those sacrifices and resolve as August 15 does for the India’s freedom.
History is not only being written but also repeated, he said, adding that the temple is being constructed with everyone’s help with stones, soil and holy water drawn from across the country in the similar way as all sections of society including dalits and tribals, supported Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle and everyone played a role in Lord Ram’s victory.
“Now a grand temple for our Ram Lalla, who lived in tent for years, will be built. The birthplace of Ram has been liberated from centuries of attempts to eradicate its existence. Monuments were destroyed… But Ram continues to live in our hearts. He is the basis of our culture,” Modi said.
Noting that different versions of Ramayana have been written in various regions and languages and that Ram is revered in different countries, including Indonesia which has the largest Muslim population in world, he asserted that Ram is the thread of India’s unity in diversity.
After reaching the temple town, Modi first paid obeisance at the Hanumangarhi temple before driving down to the temple site for the ground-breaking ceremony. He laid the foundation stone at around 12.44 pm, considered an auspicious timing by saints.
In his speech, he extensively cited the values associated with Lord Ram and Ram Rajya, while underlining the need for India to be become stronger. India will be loved more and be more in peace as it grows stronger, he said.
“Without any fear, people do not love you,” he said, invoking Ramcharitmanas.
The prime minister also stressed on mutual brotherhood and social harmony, saying that this was the foundation of Lord Ram’s governance.
Modi also paid his respects to those whose struggles, he said, have resulted in the dream of the Ram temple coming true.
The prime minister ended his speech by recalling the significance of the path of ‘maryada’ (values) of Lord Ram in the backdrop of the COVID-19 situation. He said that the current situation demands the ‘maryada’ to keep distance of two yards and wear mask. (PTI)