Updated: January 16, 2021 4:18:03 am
As the donation campaign for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya commenced in Guj-arat on Friday, various busines-spersons, industrialists, and politicians from Surat and Ahmedabad stepped forward with hefty amounts as Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel urged the public to make Gujarat the highest donor for the temple in India.
Among the donors, self-styled godman Morari Bapu donated the highest amount of Rs 18.61 crore followed by Rs 11 crore from Govind Dholakia, a diamond businessman from Surat.
According to Hitendrasinh Rajput, Gujarat Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) spokesperson, a total of Rs 14 crore was collected in Ahmedabad and Rs 30 crore in total from North Gujarat at the VHP headquarters in Paldi of Ahmedabad on Friday.
“Gujarat has to be number one in making contributions to the cause of Ram Janmabhoomi mandir construction in Ayodhya, in the same manner in which Gujarat is number one in many other things (sic),” said Patel at the fund raising event at VHP office in Ahmedabad.
Patel said that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the country’s first home minister, who built the Somnath temple will be remembered, while Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister, who “remained secular” has begun to “fade” from public memory.
“Sardar Vallabhbhai constructed the Somnath temple. He became immortal after doing good work. Jawaharlal Nehru never constructed a temple. He remained secular (Bin-sampradayik) and slowly his began to fade (from public memory). Nobody remembers him,” said Patel.
He further said that industrialist Jugal Kishore Birla will be remembered because he made a temple- Birla Mandir in Delhi.
In his speech, Patel also spoke about the issue of “love-jihad”.
“Why do we have to bring laws (to counter) love jihad. Why do our sons and daughters venture out of our culture. Why do people of other religion keep an evil eye on our girls. This is a matter that needs contemplation. At this time, we can do many things. We are trying as well,” Patel said.
He later told mediapersons that representations have already been made before Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to bring a love-jihad law similar to the one in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
“Some narrow minded people who think that nobody should survive in the world except them; those who think their religion should be the only surviving one in the world; this will not work any day. Till the time there is Mother India and the saffron flag exists, nobody has the strength to remove ‘bharatiya sanskriti’ from the world,” Patel further said.
Other major donors from Ahmedabad were Vatva-based Shankar Patel (Rs 51 lakh) BJP’s veteran leader Surendra Patel, BJP vice-president Gordhan Zadaphia (Rs 5 lakh), BJP MLA Babu Jamna Patel (Rs 21 lakh).
Later, state Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja attended another fund raising event of the VHP in Vatva where he said, “Today’s function reminds me of the 1989 Ram Shila Pujan which was going on in Gujarat and across India which resulted into an awakening among the people and turned into a public movement. The Indian culture is alive due to Lord Ram and his teachings.”
Besides Dholakia, several other diamond merchants in Surat also made donations for the Ram temple
Jayanti Kabutarwala director of Surat based Colourtex company, gave a cheque for Rs 5 crore, Lavji Badshah a real estate businessman, donated Rs 1 crore.
Dholakia said, “We are going to organize a fundraising program in Surat on Saturday and we hope that Surat will be on the top in the state in terms of donation.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines