The construction of holy Ram Mandir in Ayodhya that had been delayed for decades is finally taking place. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, ordered to clean all the temples and lit with light on August 4 & 5 following the Foundation Stone Laying ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the most awaited temple construction.
The Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust is incharge of the construction of the temple. The trust has cordially invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone of the temple and conduct ‘bhoomi pujan’ (land worship). The dates considered for the ceremony are carefully chosen based on the calculation of movements of stars and planets. Either 3rd or 5th of August will be finally blocked for the foundation stone laying ceremony for the holy Ram temple in Ayodhya.
While the invitation for carrying out the Foundation ceremony has already been sent to PM Modi, Shiv Sena demands the invitation be sent to Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray, too. Shiv Sena’s Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Pratap Sarnaik, has written a letter to the Chief Trustee of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra and has asked the authorities to send a formal invitation to Uddhav Thackeray to present himself as the Chief Guest at the Foundation stone laying ceremony.
Sarnaik exphasized that Shiv Sena founder, Late Bal Thackeray, stood at forefront during the temple construction movement. He underlined that Uddhav Thackeray had been the only political leader to repeatedly demand construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. “It was the Sena which had laid the foundation for the construction of the temple” Sarnaik was quoted as saying.
In his letter, the Ovala-Majiwada constituency representative in Thane, Sarnaik, has written about who will be invited in the stone laying ceremony of Ram Mandir. “In the backdrop of (COVID-19) pandemic, the function in Ayodhya will be held in the presence of a few invitees. It is learnt that those organisations and political parties which directly or indirectly made efforts for (the temple cause) may be invited for the function.” wrote Sarnaik stressing the role played by Uddhav Thackeray in the entire process.
Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha’s Member of Parliament (MP), Sanjay Raut, gave his party the credit for the auspicious Ram Mandir construction. He went on to say that his party played a major role in overcoming roadblocks in the way of the construction of the Ram Mandir and that Shiv Sena was not in it for the politics but for the belief and faith.
“Uddhav Thackeray always goes to Ayodhya. He went (to Ayodhya) when he was not chief minister (of Maharashtra), he went there after becoming chief minister too. The ties of the Shiv Sena and Ayodhya are intact. It is not a political relation. We do not go to Ayodhya for politics and did not go there (for politics in the past too).” Raut was quoted as saying.
PM Modi is likely to visit Ayodhya on August 5 to attend the Foundation ceremony, however, Maharashtra CM, Uddhav Thackeray, suggested to hold an e-Bhoomi Pujan ceremony.
“An e-bhoomi pujan can be done. The ground-breaking ceremony can be held through video-conference. This is an event of joy, and lakhs of people would be interested in attending the ceremony. Will we allow the spread of coronavirus?” said Thackeray in an interview published in the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, Saamana, on Sunday, July 26.
अनलॉक्ड मुलाखत (भाग -2)
मुख्यमंत्री उद्धव ठाकरे यांची दै.सामनाचे कार्यकारी संपादक संजय राऊत यांनी घेतलेल्या घणाघाती मुलाखतीचा पहिला भाग जबरदस्त गाजला.वरील लिंक ही मुलाखतीचा दुसरा भाग सर्वात आधी पाहण्यासाठी उपलब्ध करून देण्यात आली आहे. https://t.co/t2jIFTJhul
— Saamana (@Saamanaonline) July 26, 2020
“This is not an ordinary temple. Today, we are fighting the coronavirus pandemic and religious gatherings are prohibited. I can go to Ayodhya for the ceremony, but what about lakhs of Ram bhakts. Will you stop them? You can do e-bhoomi pujan through video-conference.” Maharashtra CM Thackeray suggestively added.
Thackeray recalled the time he had visited Ayodhya in the initial stage of the Coronavirus spread and was stopped from performing aarti at the Saryu River as a precautionary measure. “Before that I had seen huge crowds on the river banks. Ram Mandir is a matter of faith. How can you stop people from going there?” Thackeray, reportedly, asked.
अनलॉक्ड मुलाखत (भाग -2)
मुख्यमंत्री उद्धव ठाकरे यांची दै.सामनाचे कार्यकारी संपादक संजय राऊत यांनी घेतलेल्या घणाघाती मुलाखतीचा दुसरा भाग . @OfficeofUT @rautsanjay61 @CMOMaharashtra https://t.co/t2jIFTJhul
— Saamana (@Saamanaonline) July 26, 2020
With this, he also confirms his trip to Ayodhya to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony in the interview in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, Saamana. “I went to Ayodhya, offered my prayers, I got respect even when I was not the Chief Minister. Now I’m the CM of a state and I will go to Ayodhya to offer my prayers.” he added.
Celebration may be in queue but so are the differences. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) lambasted at the Central Government and questioned its priorities given the pandemic situation across the country that has affected 14 lakh people and has swallowed almost 32,000 lives. The party strains the practicality of holding a ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of holy Ram Mandir amidst the current circumstances.
In conversation with TimesNow, NCP leader and Maharashtra Minister, Jayant Patil, said that the primary priority today is to control the spread of the lethal virus. All the prayer centres are shut and healthcare workers and doctors are gods. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi should prioritise the coronavirus situation in the country and not some mosque or temple. Ram Mandir can be made at a later date also, there is no urgency for it. Coronavirus outbreak should be the priority and it must not be ignored.” he stated.
Less than a week ago, NCP leader, Majeed Memon, pointed fingers at Maharashtra CM, Uddhav Thackeray, saying, “Uddhav Thackeray is among invitees for bhoomi pujan of Ram Temple. He may participate in respecting COVID-19 restrictions in his personal capacity. The head of a secular democracy should refrain from promoting a particular religious activity.” indirectly accusing him of showcasing partiality and promoting a particular religious activity.
Senior executive leader and supremo of NCP, Sharad Pawar, when the news of the preparation of the Foundation ceremony broke out, lost his calm and attacked PM Modi for planning to hold a bhoomi pujan amidst coronavirus pandemic. According to Pawar, PM Modi is trying to battle the Chinese Coronavirus by building Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
“Eradication of COVID-19 is the priority of the Maharashtra government, but some people think constructing a temple will help in its mitigation.” Pawar was quoted as saying in media reports. While Pawar tried to come at BJP with an unrealistic outlook, Balasaheb Thorat, accused the BJP-led Government of trying to shift the public’s focus from its unsuccessful attempts at dealing with the outbreak to the Foundation Ceremony.
The Foundation ceremony will, in all possibilities, be held on August 5 with over 200 guests and social distancing norms is assured to be strictly followed. The foundation will consist of 5 silver bricks to mark the planets according to the Hindu beliefs, said Nritya Gopal Das. A time capsule will also be placed about 2000 ft. below the construction which will consist of facts and history related to Ram Janmabhoomi to avoid any disputes in future, reported the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust member Kameshwar Chaupal. He told ANI that the time capsule will benefit whoever wishes to study the history of the temple.
The struggle for Ram Janmabhoomi with its long drawn case in the supreme court is a lesson to not only the current generation but will also hold interest of the future generations to come. The capsule will be placed under in a copper plate.