Senior BJP leader and one of the chief architects of the Ram mandir movement, LK Advani, Tuesday said the PM laying the foundation for the temple in Ayodhya is “an emotional day not only for me but for all Indians”, and that he was “humbled destiny had made me perform” a pivotal role in the temple campaign.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone of Ram Mandir is a historical and emotional day not only for me but for all Indians,” Advani said. “It’s my belief that Ram Mandir will represent India as strong, prosperous, harmonious nation with justice for all and exclusion of none.”
Advani has not been invited for the August 5 ceremony in Ayodhya, on account of his age and the Covid-19 outbreak, the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra, the Trust set up to construct the temple, has said. Advani is 95 years old.
“Lord Ram is the embodiment of grace, dignity and decorum. My belief is that this temple will inspire all Indians to imbibe his virtues. I am humbled that in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, destiny made me perform a pivotal duty in the form of Ram Rath Yatra in 1990,” Advani added.
The rath yatra led by Advani had played an important role in building up sentiment for the temple, and the eventual demolition of the Babri Masjid by karsevaks in December 1992. Advani, along with other BJP and VHP leaders, is currently facing trial for the razing of the Mughal-era mosque.
He had later described the demolition as the “saddest day” of his life.
In his 2008 autobiography, ‘My Country, My Life’, Advani had described the Ram temple struggle as one between “genuine secularism and pseudo-secularism”.
“Thus, the Ayodhya issue no longer remained limited to construction of the Ramjanambhoomi temple. Rather, it became the symbol of a struggle between genuine secularism and pseudo-secularism,” Advani wrote.
(With PTI inputs)
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