With the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya scheduled for August 5, many in Punjab too have placed advance orders for laddoos, lighting arrangements and diyas.
Yashdeep Puri of the RSS Punjab unit, said, “RSS pracharak from North India has gone for this occasion, rest no one is going. We all will be praying here itself.”
Narinder Singh, president of the Punjab Halwai Association and proprieter of Kays Lovely Sweets said, “I have got advance orders for laddoos which people want to distribute tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. Small packages of four ladoos each have been ordered by some while others have ordered 11-21 kg ladoos. Some on the spot buyers may also come.”
Singh has decorated his laddoo stall with stickers of ‘Ram’ and has also hung a photo of the Hindu god behind the stall.
Harish Kumar, owner of Haqiqat Sweets, said, “I have not made any extra arrangements but some stock is always ready with a sweet shop owner. Hence, we will do over the counter sale. I will be doing deepmala in my shop and poojan at home as well as in the shop.”
Dwarka Prasad, owner of Dwarka Sweets in Mansa, said, “2-3 quintals of sweets are ready with us and we have also displayed a ‘Jai Shri Ram’ flag outside our shop. Such flags can be seen outside many shops of Mansa. I am hopeful that people will buy sweets tomorrow.”
Anil Sareen, spokesperson of BJP, Punjab unit, said, ”This is a proud moment for everyone who has belief in Lord Rama and hence people from all walks of life will be praying and doing deepmala in their houses. This occasion should not be mixed with politics.”
Varinder Mittal, Balbir Gupta and other members of Durga Mata Mandir, Jagraon Bridge temple, said, “We have decorated the temples. This year Janamasthmi falls on August 12, but we have done light arrangements a week ahead and it will remain till Janamasthmi now. On Wednesday, Durga Mata Mandir will be fully lit at 7pm .”
Tribhuvan Thaper, a wholesale cracker dealer said, “I have not got any orders yet. People have no money to buy crackers these days, recession has hit us hard. However, we will be doing pooja at Ram Darbar temple inside our home and will be doing deepmala.”
Near Pakhowal Road, Arya College, people could be spotted buying diyas while Kiran Kumar, a resident of Model town area, said, “I will be switching on all the lights of the verandah Wednesday evening and will be making prasad at home.”
Meanwhile, messages on social media are being circulated not only by VHP, BJP or RSS workers but others with no party affiliations as well, saying that they are happy for the occasion.
‘BJP trying to take political mileage’
Meanwhile, Sukhdarshan Natt member of CPI (ML), said, “We condemn the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to go to the Bhoomi Pujan of Ram Mandir. The PM of a secular country should stay away from religious activities. We appeal to the Sikh Jathedars to stay away from this event.”
AAP leader and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema said, “It is a religious event but BJP is trying to take political mileage out of it. If people are praying or doing anything else, it is their individual decision.”
Meanwhile, in many colonies of Ludhiana, boards have also been displayed with a message asking people to do deepmala on Wednesday. Many mohalla committees are doing it on an individual level. In many areas, pictures of local BJP leaders can also be seen on these hoardings. Appeal has been made to light ‘ghee ke diye’ on bhoomi poojan day. Such hoardings were seen in Ludhiana, Abohar, Mansa, Bathinda, Muktsar etc.
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