30-ft-high Ram temple part of ‘Dilli ki Diwali’
Kejriwal to perform puja on the stage at Thyagaraj Stadium
The Delhi Government has started building a replica of Ram Mandir — the one under construction in Ayodhya — at the Thyagaraj Stadium Complex as part of its ‘Dilli ki Diwali’ celebrations.
The 30-foot-high and 80-foot-wide replica is part of the stage where the Deepavali puja will be performed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on November 4, the day of the festival, an official source told The Hindu.
The total height of the stage, including the lights, will be around 60 feet.
“The construction work is being done as per the directions from the Deputy Chief Minister’s (Manish Sisodia) office. An event management company was selected and a work order has been issued,” the source said.
There have been several references to Lord Ram by Mr. Kejriwal since the Aam Aadmi Party came back to power in Delhi last year.
In March this year, the Chief Minister had said in the Delhi Assembly that he was trying to establish the model of “Ram Rajya” in the city. “All of us worship Lord Ram... He was the king of Ayodhya. During his rule, people were content as they had access to all basic facilities. This was called the ‘Ram Rajya’… We have been constantly striving to establish this model in Delhi for the last six years,” he had said.
Eye on U.P. election
AAP will contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, which is due early next year, and several senior party leaders, including Mr. Kejriwal, have visited Ayodhya in the last two months.
On Wednesday, the Delhi Cabinet also took a decision to add Ayodhya to the list of pilgrimage sites.
The ‘Dilli ki Diwali’ programme was started in 2019 when the city Government organised a four-day cultural event, including laser shows, at Central Park, Connaught Place. The event was organised with the aim to encourage people to not burst crackers and attend the event instead in the evenings.
In 2020, a “grand puja” was performed by the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister and other AAP leaders at Akshardham Temple on November 14, the day of Deepavali, and it was telecast live on TV channels.
This year, the Government is preparing to organise a live telecast of Deepavali celebrations at Thyagaraj Stadium. Advertisements for the event, in which Mr. Kejriwal invites citizens to join him remotely from their homes, have been playing out on various media, including radio and TV news channels.
Preparations under way
On Thursday afternoon, workers were busy at Thyagaraj Stadium, making a frame of metal pipes.
“The Ram Mandir will be part of the stage. It will be built on a metal frame and will have plywood over it. The exterior of the temple will be made of thermocol,” a worker said. Work on the temple replica began on Tuesday and is expected to be completed by Sunday.
One of the football goalposts at the ground has been removed, officials said.