As Ayodhya celebrated its fourth-ever Deepotsava, creating a world record by lighting more than 5.84 lakh earthen lamps (diyas) at one place, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said people of the city had suffered a lot of “injustice and humiliation” to get a grand Ram temple built. He promised to put Ayodhya on the map “as a Vedic City”.
“There has been a lot of injustice and humiliation for Ayodhya, which gives salvation to both birth and life. But now this will not happen. Ayodhya will get its long lost pride. We will make it glorious on the world map as a Vedic City,” Adityanath said in his address to Hindu saints and Ram devotees after the symbolic coronation of Hindu deity Ram amid chants by priests.
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The chief minister said his government would re-establish every holy place in the city. This was the first Deepotsava festival since the start of the construction of the Ram temple. Adityanath claimed that earlier people hesitated to visit Ayodhya and there was a time when even taking the name of the city “was like an abuse”. Now, everyone wants to visit the city, he added.
In the evening, more than 5.84 lakh diyas were lit at Ram ki Paidi — a series of ghats on the bank of the Saryu river — as the government broke its own Guinness world record set in previous years. Thousands of volunteers from the Department of Tourism, the Ayodhya district administration, and the RML Avadh University lit the earthen lamps. Adityanath announced that next year the administration would aim to light more than 7.51 lakh diyas.
Expressing a desire to connect the event with the entire country and the world, Adityanath said every Indian celebrates Diwali, and every Sanatan Hindu connects with the festival and Deepotsava.
“Several generations ended and they all had just one desire that if they get to see the construction of Lord Ram’s temple, their life will be obliged…Till last year, whenever I used to come to Ayodhya, I used to come to connect it with development works. But there was always just one voice that I should not talk about work, but only construct the temple in Ayodhya. PM Modi has fulfilled that oath of the country,” said the chief minister.
Earlier in the day, Adityanath visited the Ram Janmabhoomi temple and prayed to the deity of Ram Lalla. He also launched a special cover made collectively by the state postal department and the RML Avadh University. A small film on the Deepotsava event was also played by the information department.
He said the Deepotsav was an effort to carry forward the concept of Ram Rajya, which he said was a symbol of a society without discrimination. .
Adityanath said Ram had to suffer a lot on the Van Gaman Path — the path that devotees believe the deity took while on his way to a 14-year exile — and added that his government is now working to improve facilities on the “Ram Van Gaman Path”. Soon, people will be able to travel from Ayodhya to Chitrakoot in three-and-a-half hours, he added.
Governor Anandiben Patel, also present at the event, said Ram was a symbol of Indian identity.
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