Returning to the temple town of Ayodhya after nearly 30 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, clad in a traditional golden coloured dhoti-kurta, performed the ‘bhoomi pujan’ of the proposed Ram Mandir, saying centuries of wait had ended.
Addressing the gathering after the foundation stone laying ceremony, PM Modi said a grand temple would now be built for “our Ram Lalla who has been living under a tent for many years” as chants of ‘Jai Siya Ram‘ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai‘ reverberated in the air. Follow LIVE Updates
“A grand temple will now be built for our Ram Lalla who had been staying in a tent. Today Ram Janmabhoomi breaks free of the cycle of breaking and getting built again – that had been going on for centuries,” PM Modi said.
Sharing the dais with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Trust chief Nritya Gopaldas Maharaj, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, PM Modi said the proposed Ram temple would become the modern symbol of our traditions.
“It’ll become a symbol of our devotion, our national sentiment. This temple will also symbolise the power of collective resolution of crores of people. It will keep inspiring the future generations,” PM Modi said.
Calling the construction of Ram temple construction “an instrument to unite the country”, PM Modi, who spent nearly three hours in Ayodhya, said, “Despite efforts to eradicate existence of Lord Ram he still lives in our heart and is basis of our culture. Ram is everywhere, Ram belongs to all.”
The ceremony, curtailed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, marks the culmination of decades-long movement that catapulted the BJP to the political center stage. The event comes 10 months after the Supreme Court, in a historic verdict, paved way for the construction of the temple.
Incidentally, August 5 also marks one year of the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation and downgrade of the state of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories. Article 370 and the Ram temple were the twin ideological planks core to the BJP.
At the event, CM Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said PM Modi’s foresight and wisdom paved the way for peaceful resolution of the Ram temple issue and fulfilling the dream.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said the outfit and other like-minded organisations worked for nearly 30 years to fulfill the resolve of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. “Our country believes in ‘Vasudev Kutubhkam‘ i.e. World is One Family. We believe in taking everyone along. Today is a new beginning of a new India,” Bhagwat said.
After touching down in Ayodhya, Modi, along with CM Adityanath, offered prayers at the Hanuman Garhi temple, where the head priest presented the PM a silver ‘mukut‘ and a stole. From there, he went to the Ram Janmabhoomi and performed ‘sashtang pranam’ to Ram Lalla.
PM Modi also planted a Parijat sapling, considered a divine plant, before taking part in the ground-breaking ceremony along with other seers. The ceremony started with the head priest chanting Sanskrit ‘shlokas‘.
A 40-kg brick made of pure silver was used for the bhoomi pujan. The soil was brought in from more than 1,500 places, while holy water collected from 2,000 places was used. Bricks engraved with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ were also used in puja.
On Wednesday, Ayodhya turned into a fortress even as a celebratory mood gripped its residents. Festoons lined all its roads, flags of every shade of saffron fluttered from rooftops. Road-facing houses were splashed with a coat of bright yellow as hoardings of every size jostled for space to welcome the Prime Minister.