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Ram statue, Ramayana museum and more in CM Yogi Adityanath’s Ayodhya blueprint

Amid all this, the UP government has been stepping up efforts to revive a Hindutva identity for Ayodhya.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Ayodhya | Updated: October 23, 2017 4:05 am
Yogi Adityanath, BJP manifesto for UP, UP polls, BJP, Ram Temple, Ayodhya temple, Ramayana museum, Navya Ayodhya, India news, Indian Express Part of a celebration that saw 1.70 lakh diyas lit in Ayodhya. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has promised an even grander Diwali in future. (Express Photo/Vishal Srivastav)

In its manifesto for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls that it released on January 28, the BJP had promised to explore all possibilities within the Constitution for building a Ram temple in Ayodhya. On May 31, two months after he was sworn in, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Ayodhya and stressed the need to find a solution to the title suit of the disputed site through talks, and assured support from the state government should talks be held to resolve the issue. He made similar remarks on his next visit to Ayodhya, on July 26.

Amid all this, the UP government has been stepping up efforts to revive a Hindutva identity for Ayodhya. The government has been focusing extensively on development and cultural activities in Ayodhya that revolves around Ram, the Ramayana, the Saryu river and other places across the town.

The latest step in promoting this idea is the plan to build a “grand statue” of Lord Ram on the banks of the Saryu, as part of a plan to showcase “Navya Ayodhya”. Sources said that the plan of building the proposed 100-metre statue needs the nod of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and that, therefore, options of building the statue inside the city too are being explored, in case the NGT denies construction near the Saryu river.

According to a UP government official, the Union Ministry of Tourism recently has sanctioned more than 50 development projects worth a total Rs 133.30 crore for Ayodhya and also released 20% of the budget. These projects include site development with other facilities at the Ram Katha Gallery, a memorial to Queen Heo (a legendary figure with an Ayodhya connection), a multipurpose hall at Digambar Akhada, illumination of the façade of Ram ki Paidi, landscaping, development of Guptar Ghat with landscaping and park development, works at Laxman Qila ghat, solar lighting at five ghats and 10 other places in the city, eight police booths, CCTV cameras at 30 locations, development of drainage and a solid waste management system in the city, and development of pedestrian streets from Chowk Ayodhya Road to Hanuman Garhi, Kanak Bhawan and Dasharath Bhawan.

Over the last fortnight leading to Diwali, ministers and officers of the UP government, especially from the CM’s Office, toured Ayodhya frequently and held meetings with Faizabad district administration regarding celebration of the festival in Ayodhya on Wednesday in the form of Deepotsav. The celebrations began at 7 am with a heritage walk in the city. At 1 pm, a Shobhayatra was taken out from Saket College to depict the arrival of Lord Ram in Ayodhya after winning the war against Ravana. When the Shobhyatra reached Ram Katha park, CM Yogi did a symbolic rajyabhishek (coronation) of Lord Ram. On the same site, the CM laid the foundation stone for a number of projects for Ayodhya. Other events included aarti at Saryu ghat, the lighting of 1.71 lakh earthen lamps at Ram ki Paidi, and Ram Leela performed by artistes from Indonesia and Si Lanka.

UP Governor Ram Naik, Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma were present on the occasion, along with a number of ministers of the UP government, as well as tourists and religious personalities. Ram Katha was displayed through a laser show. All these events were held at a distance of 2 to 5 km from the disputed site.

yogi adityanath, ayodhya, deepotsav, diwali, diwali 2017, yogi adityanath diwali, up cm yogi adityanath, adityanath in ayodhya, ayodhya deepotsav, bjp, diwali, ram rajya, lord rama, happy diwali, up, uttar pradesh, up diwali festivals, ayodhya diwali, indian express, india news, latest news, up news The site where the foundation stone was laid for a memorial to Queen Heo and Ram Katha gallery. (Express Photo/ Lalmani Verma)

Another activity that has gathered pace ever since Yogi became CM is the arrival of stone blocks from Rajasthan for the proposed Ram temple. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders have been claiming that arrival of stones had stopped during previous non-BJP governments, before resuming in June this year. Around 50 blocks of stone have so far reached Ramsevakpuram, the workshop of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, a body formed to oversee carving of stones and other works for building the proposed Ram temple. While the Nyas is stockpiling stone blocks, however, on site there has been only one artisan with a supervisor for over 10 months to carve the stones and design them for the temple. Carving of stones had begun in 1990 with more than 150 workers, but at present there is only the sole artisan.

The CM has announced that a two-lane road, Ram Janaki Marg, will be developed by the Centre to connect Ayodhya with Janakpur. He has also announced a Saryu Mahotsav in Ayodhya and development of roads in Ayodhya at a cost of Rs 50 crore. Following his directive, staging of Ram Leela has restarted on the premises of Ayodhya Research Institute under its aegis. Ram Leela in Ayodhya had ceased in the last several years.

Among the various projects, the UP government has decided start a helicopter service to connect places of religious tourism, including Ayodhya. On July 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off a weekly train, Shraddha Sethu Express, that links Ayodhya and Rameswaram

In another significant decision, the Yogi government has merged the municipal boards of Ayodhya and Faizabad to create the Ayodhya Nagar Nigam. For the first time, a mayor will be elected for Ayodhya in the urban local body polls likely to be held next month.

On April 4 this year, Mahesh Sharma met Yogi in Lucknow and discussed a Ramayam Museum project in Ayodhya. That Rs 154 crore project will showcase the life of Ram and the epic Ramayana through videos and laser shows. In October last year, Sharma had visited Ayodhya and inspected two prospective sites for the proposed Ramayana Museum project.

Among the various plans...

* Stone stockpiling for Ram temple
* Lord Ram statue
* Ramayana Museum @ Rs 154 crore
* Ram Leela revival
* Ayodhya Nagar Nigam, merging Ayodhya, Faizabad municipal boards
* Saryu Mahotsav
* Multipurpose hall at Digambar Akhada
* Illuminated façade for Ram ki Paidi
* Solar lighting at 5 ghats, other places
* Pedestrian streets from Chowk Ayodhya Road to Hanuman Garhi, Kanak Bhawan, Dasharath Bhawan
* Ram Janaki Marg between Ayodhya and Janakpur
* Queen Heo memorial
* Ram Katha gallery

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  1. B
    blackpower
    Oct 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm
    Uttar Pradesh has India’s largest population of children, but least teachers per student. A fourth of Uttar Pradesh’s 200 million people are aged between five and 14 years – India’s largest child population – but the state has the fewest teachers per student, the poorest transition rate from primary to upper primary school and amongst the lowest learning outcomes in the country. Worst pupil-teacher ratio India’s largest state by population has the worst pupil-teacher ratio in India, with a teacher for every 39 students at the primary level. About 23 of all elementary teacher posts in government schools in Uttar Pradesh are vacant, according to an answer given in the Lok Sabha. Uttar Pradesh also reported the second-highest teacher absenteeism (31 ) in rural public schools among 19 surveyed states in 2010, according to this 2014 study.
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      blackpower
      Oct 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm
      UP - Lakhs of children in the workforce -In Uttar Pradesh few attend school regularly – on average, only 55 of children enrolled were present on the days the ASER team visited primary schools in 2014, according to ASER data. Further, many students don’t make it through school. UP has the lowest transition rate from primary to upper primary level in the country, at 79.1 , according to U-DISE Flash Statistics 2015-16. More children are at work in UP than any other state, according to this calculation by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, based on Census 2011 data: 6,24,000 children, or 8.4 of the five-14 age group.
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      blackpower
      Oct 20, 2017 at 6:10 pm
      UP HAS 2nd HIGHEST MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE IN INDIA - 359 deaths per 100000. and yogi A wants to construct a Ram temple complex but not spend on healthcare
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        blackpower
        Oct 20, 2017 at 6:05 pm
        UP HAS WORST IMR (INFANT MORTALITY RATE) IN INDIA - Although Uttar Pradesh's infant mortality rate (IMR) improved from 73 deaths per 1,000 live births to 64 over the 10 years to 2016, other states and countries did better the state's IMR is now the same as the strife-torn west-African nation of Mauritania (65), worse than another poor, chaotic African country, Burkina Faso (61) and only just better than Afghanistan (66).
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          blackpower
          Oct 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm
          Despite being the country's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh spends Rs 452 per capita on health, 70 per cent less than Indian average. and Yogi A prefers to spend on a ram temple complex in ayodhya! it shows that he is a genocide expert thru ill conceived policies like genocide modi (of gujrat genocide fame) and thru policies - genocide thru demonetisation, genocide thru GST
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          blackpower
          Oct 20, 2017 at 5:55 pm
          Uttar Pradesh’s child death crisis: The state’s neonatal mortality rate stands at 49 deaths per 1,000 live births. Each day, 1,043 children under the age of 1 (including 751 newborns) die in Uttar Pradesh, mostly from entirely preventable causes. And Uttar Pradesh is not one single monolith. Infant mortality rates are especially high in the eastern part of the state, where neonatal deaths rates rise to as high as 97 per 1,000 live births in districts like Shravasti. For comparison, the infant mortality rate in Sierra Leone, one of the poorest countries in Africa, is only 89 per 1,000 live births. Gorakhpur is in the middling category of neonatal mortality—certainly not the worst performer in Uttar Pradesh but not the best either. Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College witnessed more than 85 of these tragic deaths but the larger question remains for the rest, who are dying of various illnesses, including malnutrition, pneumonia and diarrhoea.
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            blackpower
            Oct 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm
            We don’t have to look to developed countries for solutions. If the 5.6 million children born in Uttar Pradesh every year had been born in another state with better health systems, like Kerala or Tamil Nadu, for example, 90 of the babies who die in that state in their first year of life would still be alive. While the authorities in Gorakhpur are still trying to investigate and solve the more immediate problems of oxygen cylinder supply, it is time we acknowledge and address the backlog of long-standing health indicators, without which we would only be treating the symptoms rather than addressing the root cause.
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              blackpower
              Oct 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm
              In Gorakhpur, the issue has been perennial, with some reports claiming more than 25,000 encephalitis deaths among children in the last 40 years. Despite that, one is left wondering how a system could be caught so off-guard in an endemic region that faces the same issues year after year.
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            blackpower
            Oct 20, 2017 at 5:49 pm
            Uttar Pradesh Lags Far Behind Other States In Child Health: IMMUNISATION - The health of children is critically impacted by the quality of care during the first two years of life. The child immunisation rate is one such indicator of care. It is the lowest in UP among EAG states. The coverage of children receiving full immunisation for UP is 53 for 2012-13. The corresponding figures for Bihar, MP and Rajasthan are 70 , 66 and 74 respectively. Poor immunisation coverage means an increase in case load in hospitals for preventable diseases.
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              blackpower
              Oct 20, 2017 at 5:50 pm
              MALNUTRITION - It has been well known for at least two decades that India's child malnutrition problem is worse than that in Sub Saharan Africa. UP has the worst malnutrition rates in India. Let's look at child malnutrition based on two anthropometric indices: weight for age (underweight) and height-for-age (stunted). Children who have a weight for age below 2 standard deviations from the mean of the reference population are said to be underweight, while stunting (an indicator of chronic malnutrition) is defined as characterising those children whose height-for-age is below 2 standard deviations from the mean of the reference population. About 34 of children (age 0-5 year) are underweight in UP in 2013-14. The corresponding figures for Bihar, MP and Rajasthan are 37 , 36 and 31 percent respectively. UP has the worst malnutrition rates in India. Half of children were stunted in UP and Bihar in 2013-14. The figures for MP and Rajasthan are 42 and 36 respectively.
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                blackpower
                Oct 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm
                UP HAS THE WORST MALNUTRITION RATES IN INDIA
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