Ram temple bhoomi pujan | Symbol of modern Indian culture, says Narendra Modi

Prime Minister launches construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, terms it modern symbol of Indian culture.

August 05, 2020 02:40 pm | Updated August 06, 2020 09:02 am IST - Ayodhya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs Bhoomi Pujan rituals for the construction of the Ram Mandir, in Ram Janmabhoomi premises in Ayodhya.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs Bhoomi Pujan rituals for the construction of the Ram Mandir, in Ram Janmabhoomi premises in Ayodhya.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday formally launched the construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya , saying the temple would serve as a “modern symbol of Indian culture” and with it, the country was creating a golden chapter for itself.

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The Ram Janmabhoomi, the birthplace of Lord Ram as believed by Hindus, had today been liberated from the cycle of “breaking and rising up again” that had been going on for centuries, Mr. Modi said, terming it a “historic” moment.

“The centuries of wait is getting over today,” he said after performing the ‘bhoomipujan’ for the temple here in a tightly-arranged event held amid COVID-19.

A grand temple would be built for “our Ram Lalla” who had to live under a tent for years, the Prime Minister said, stressing that crores of people could hardly believe this was happening during their lifetime.

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‘Eternal faith’

Mr. Modi emphasised the word “modern,” and said the Ram Temple would become a symbol of “our eternal faith,” national sentiments and collective willpower of crores of people.

“This temple will inspire the coming generations about faith, reverence and resolve,” he said, adding that the temple would not only augment the grandeur of Ayodhya but also change the economy of the entire region. New opportunities would come up as people would come for a darshan of Lord Ram and Mata Janaki from world over, the Prime Minister said.

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The formal start of the temple’s construction comes almost 28 years after the Babri Masjid was demolished by a mob of ‘karsevaks’ on December 6, 1992. Following a protracted legal dispute and aggressive Hindutva politics over it in the last three decades, the Supreme Court last November permitted the construction of a Ram Temple at the site, where the Mughal-era mosque stood for four centuries and where Hindus believe Lord Ram was born. The Ram Temple has long been a poll promise of the BJP which claimed power in Uttar Pradesh and at the Centre following the temple agitation since mid-1980s.

‘History repeats’

“With this temple, not only is new history being scripted, history is repeating itself,” Mr. Modi said.

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Mr. Modi, who visited Ayodhya town for the first time since becoming Prime Minister, started his speech with the chants of ‘Jai Siyaram’ and ‘Siyavar Ram Chandra ki Jai’, in sync with the local tradition and departure from the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans popularised by advocates of the Ram Temple movement, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad since the 1990s.

Just like August 15 was commemorated as the day of sacrifice and the will to be free displayed by many generations of Indians during the Independence struggle, the start of the Ram Temple construction on August 5, 2020 was a “symbol of penance, sacrifice and resolve” of many generations that struggled for it for centuries, he said.

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Mr. Modi said Lord Ram was “embedded in our hearts” despite attempts to wipe out his legacy.

“Buildings were destroyed. What not happened. All attempts were made to wipe out the existence. But Ram is still in our hearts. Ram is the basis of our culture,” the Prime Minister said.

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Offers prayers

After landing in Ayodhya, Mr. Modi first offered prayers at the Hanumangarhi temple before paying his obeisance and offering aarti before the idol of Ram Lalla at the Ram Janmabhoomi site, the first Prime Minister to do so. He also planted a ‘Parijat’ tree at the site and released a postage stamp on the temple.

Mr. Modi equated the construction of the temple to an instrument to unite the “rashtra” and connect its present to the past.

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“This day is testimony to the truth of the crores of Ram bhakts. This day is an incomparable gift of truth, non-violence, faith and sacrifice to peace-loving India,” he said.

While referring to the different traditions of Lord Ram and versions of the Ramayana in various languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Bangla and Odiya, and from countries like Indonesia and Cambodia, Mr. Modi said “Ram is everywhere, Ram is everyone’s.”

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“Ram is the thread of India’s “unity in diversity,” he said, adding that Mahatma Gandhi had dreamt of a Ram Rajya through the values of Lord Ram.

Among those on stage with Mr. Modi were RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, the trust formed by the government for the construction of the temple, which is expected to be completed in 3.5 years.

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