Ram temple consecration | Do you need to be invited to visit Lord Ram, asks Congress

Congress claims four Sankaracharyas are not attending the consecration ceremony as it is not being done as per proper Hindu traditions

Updated - January 12, 2024 09:16 pm IST

Published - January 12, 2024 04:59 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress Chairperson Social Media and Digital Platform Supriya Shrinate and party leader Pawan Khera address a press conference, at AICC headquarters, in New Delhi on Januarty 12, 2024. 

Congress Chairperson Social Media and Digital Platform Supriya Shrinate and party leader Pawan Khera address a press conference, at AICC headquarters, in New Delhi on Januarty 12, 2024.  | Photo Credit: ANI

In a strong pushback against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s criticism of its leadership for declining the invitation to attend consecration of Lord Ram’s idol at Ayodhya on January 22, the Congress on January 12 asserted that it was not a religious but a political programme.

Addressing a press conference at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters, the party’s media and publicity chief Pawan Khera and head of social media wing, Supriya Shrinate, pointed out that the Sankaracharayas of four maths/peeth (monasteries) too declined to take part in the pran pratishtha (consecration ceremony) of Lord Ram’s idol as it was being not done as per proper Hindu tradition.

“Is this a religious event? Is the pran pratishtha taking place under the supervision of the Sankaracharyas? All the four Sankaracharyas and the four peeths have said that consecration cannot take place in an incomplete temple. If this is not a religious event, then it’s a political one,” Mr. Khera alleged.

“Do you need to be invited at all to visit your Lord? Have you ever heard a political party handing out invitations? I don’t need a middleman between me and my God,” added the Congress leader.

Mr. Khera claimed that the Sankaracharyas were in favour of holding consecration ceremony during Ram Navami but it was not agreed to because of “political reasons”.

“Now, the BJP is trying to divide even Sanatana Dharma,” alleged Ms. Shrinate.

Ms. Shrinate informed that the leaders of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Congress will be visiting Ayodhya on January 15 and the party hasn’t stopped anyone from visiting the temple.

Only their top leaders including party president Mallikarjun Kharge, parliamentary party chief Sonia Gandhi and Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have declined to attend the January 22 event, she said.

Separately, senior leader and Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor took to X (formerly Twitter) to share a 1999 speech of Ms. Gandhi at Ramakrishna Mission to argue that the Congress’s association with with Hindu liberalism is a long-held conviction.

“25 years ago today, then Congress President Sonia Gandhiji delivered this thoughtful address at the #NationalYouthDay function at the Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi on 12th January 1999. It is hard to imagine a more effective message about Swami Vivekananda’s teachings today,” Mr. Tharoor said.


“And good to recall that @INCIndia’s identification with Hindu liberalism is not a reaction to events in the last 10 years, but a long-held conviction,” the Lok Sabha member from Kerala added.

In her speech, recalling the Gandhi family’s association with Ramakrishna Mission, Ms. Gandhi had said, “…one of the very first decisions taken by Rajiv Gandhi after being elected Prime Minister was to declare that Swami Vivekananda’s birthday would be celebrated as National Youth Day”.

Ms. Gandhi, without naming anyone, went on to allege how Swami Vivekananda has been appropriated by certain sections.

“It is tragic that Swami Vivekananda who admired, appreciated and swore by India’s pluralistic and composite heritage has been over the years sought to be appropriated by certain sections of our society who spread the politics of hate and antagonism, who reject the secular foundations of our ancient civilisation and who seek to distort the very message of Hinduism — that of tolerance, harmony and understanding of different faiths,” Ms. Gandhi had said in the speech shared by Mr. Tharoor.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.