National

PM to visit Ayodhya tomorrow to lay foundation stone for Ram temple

Poornima Joshi New Delhi | Updated on August 04, 2020 Published on August 04, 2020

Proposed model of Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya   -  -

Apart from fulfilling its election promise, BJP has made cultural nationalism the dominant theme of political discourse

Ahead of the foundation-stone laying ceremony for the construction of the Ram temple, Ayodhya looked all decked up on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting the city to participate in the bhumi pujan function, which also marks the symbolic adaptation of cultural nationalism as India’s political mainstream.

The ceremony on Wednesday also marks the culmination of a long legal and political battle that had had raged since 1883 when the Deputy Commissioner of Faizabad refused to allow the construction of a temple at the site believed to be the birthplace of Lord Rama.

The Supreme Court allowed the construction of the temple last year on November 9, 2019 and within the year, the ruling BJP has delivered on its ideological promise of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya. Exactly a year back on August 5, the BJP had scrapped Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, yet another core ideological promise of the ruling party, in addition to the Ram temple and a Uniform Civil Code.

The Prime Minister is expected to spend three hours in Ayodhya during which he will participate in the symbolic laying of the foundation for the Ram temple at 12.40 pm. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat has already arrived in Ayodhya for the function for which invites have been extended to 175 others including Iqbal Ansari, the son of the oldest litigant in the Ayodhya case from the Muslim side.

Of the 175 invitees, 135 are from 36 religious orders across India and Nepal. Senior members of the VHP who are part of the Shri Ramjanmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust which will oversee the construction of the temple, have apologised for limiting the number of invitees because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We would have liked to invite all devotees of Lord Ram. But the circumstances prohibit that,” said Champat Rai, VHP leader and member of the Teerth Trust. He also said that senior leaders of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement – LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharati — were not invited for the grand occasion due to the “age factor”.

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Published on August 04, 2020
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