First brick laid for Ram temple in Ayodhya
Prabhat Ranjan Deen
AYODHYA, Aug 5: The wait of centuries has ended, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after performing the groundbreaking ceremony here for a temple at the spot where many devout Hindus believe Lord Ram was born.
Across the country, people remained glued to their television sets as Modi performed the bhoomi pujan at the Ram Janmabhoomi, the site of a bitter Hindu-Muslim conflict that lasted decades before being settled by the Supreme Court last year.
Beginning his speech with “Jai Siya Ram”, the Prime Minister told the gathering that a grand temple will now be built for “Ram Lalla”, the infant Ram, who had been living in a temporary tent for years.
“Many people made sacrifices for the Ram temple. I pay my respects to all of them,” he said in the speech that followed the laying of the foundation for the Ram temple.
He also released a postage stamp to mark the event, an occasion which is also being seen as an ideological victory of the BJP over its rivals.
Some leaders of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, including former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani were not at the venue, where the organisers had invited only 175 people, keeping the guest list short because of the threat of COVID-19.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust head Nritya Gopal Das were on the dais along with the PM, consecrating the very first bricks that will go into building the temple, possibly over the next three years.
Sending out the message that “Ram is everywhere, Ram belongs to all”, Modi said the temple symbolises India’s rich heritage and will be an inspiration to all of humanity.
Despite efforts to eradicate Lord Ram’s existence, he lives in our hearts and is the basis of our culture, Modi said.
Citing Lord Ram’s message, Modi said the more powerful India gets, the more it will be loved and remain peaceful.
“Social harmony was the core principle of Lord Ram’s governance,” the Prime Minister said.
The construction of the Ram temple is an instrument to unite the country, he said, adding that it will lift the economy of the entire region.
“We have to join stones for the construction of Ram temple with mutual love, brotherhood,” he said, asserting that everyone’s sentiments have to be taken care of.
Welcoming the Prime Minister and other guests, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the resolve of 135 crore Indians is being fulfilled today after five centuries. The temple is being constructed with democratic ways & methods in the country. Many generations have passed by waiting for this glorious time. Yogi said that due to the understanding and efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the resolution is being fulfilled today. We started the Deepotsav program in Ayodhya three years ago, today it is being proven. The Chief Minister of UP said that the work of Ramayana Circuit was started on behalf of the government, as well as development work is going on in full speed in Ayodhya.
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat said on the occasion that today is a moment of joy, when our pledge is fulfilled. Bhagwat referred the then RSS chief Bala Saheb Deoras when he had said that 20 to 30 years of marathon effort will only pave the way to build Ram Mandir. And today, work has started in the beginning of the 30th year. Many people could not come due to the corona epidemic, even Lal Krishna Adwani has also not been able to come, but he must be seeing this historical event. Now work is on to make the country self-sufficient, today after the epidemic, the whole world is looking for new paths.
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust said that people used to ask us when will the temple be built? We used to say that when Modi is on one side and Yogi on the other, then why the temple will not be built! Now people should get involved in the construction of temple with body, mind and wealth and work should go ahead. This was the desire of every Hindu living in the world. The construction of the temple is the construction of a new India, it should be completed as soon as possible, he said. There were only five person on the dais including PM Modi, UP Governor Anandiben Patel, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Nritya Gopal Das, President of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra Trust. Only 175 distinguished guests attended the event.
Before this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed Bhoomi Poojan. The head of priest of Bhoomi Poojan Pandit Jayaprakash Upadhyay, a scholar from Kashi along with his associates Arun Dixit of Kashi, Senapati Shastri of Kanchi Math, Pandit Indradev Mishra of Ayodhya and Chandrabhanu Sharma of Delhi performend the poojan. Ayodhya became ‘Ramamay’ before arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Buildings, houses and temples adorned with yellow & saffron color everywhere indicated the new sunrise of faith in Ayodhya. In the streets and lanes of Dharmanagari, the ‘chaupais’ of the Ramcharit Manas were echoing. Saryu coast was also different and grand. The devotees, saints and local people who arrived for a bath in the river since morning, were delighted to see the beginning of the construction of Ram Mandir.
Resentment over invitation letter
There was deep anger among the people of Ayodhya about the distribution of invitation card. The way the cards were distributed, people saw a new kind of ‘religious-mafiyagiri’ is taking a fresh form in Ayodhya. New type of ‘dabang-sadhus’ have emerged. Respectable figures from all walks of society should have been invited. But this was not done. Iqbal Ansari, who fought a lawsuit against the Ram temple, was invited, but respected people of the society were not invited.
Sadhus who have cases of serious crime such as murder were also invited. There are many sadhus like Rajkumar Das Vedanti, Girish Das, Janmejaya Sharan and Ramji Das who were invited to attend the Prime Minister’s program. An official of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said the invitation card revolved among members of the quartet of Nrityagopal Das. Nritya Gopal Das’s ‘Chhoti Chhavni’ dominated to get the invitation. Even Raghunath Das, the chief Mahant of the ‘Badi Chhavni’, was not invited. Even the administration did not provide ‘diyas’ to ‘Badi Chhavni’, while other temples were given.
Spiritual Guru Murari Bapu, who donated Rs 5 crores to the trust for the construction of the Ram temple, was also not invited. Senior BJP leader Murali Manohar Joshi, who was associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, was also not invited. Bindu Gadyacharya, the Mahant of Dasharatha Peeth, was not given a card. Rama’s father Dasaratha’s ‘peeth’ was not invited.
The priests of the Ram temple were replaced due to COVID infection. The three priests of Ram Mandir Prem Das, Pradeep Das and Santosh Das have got COVID infection. Hence the chief priest Satyendra Das (82) was also stopped to attend the function. The chief priest is angry for being kept away from the PM’s program.