Rajat Sharma


rajat-sirWith less than a fortnight remaining for the historic consecration ceremony to be performed at the grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that he has begun a special 11-day ‘anusthaan’ (fasting ritual) to prepare himself for the event. In an audio message released before going to Nashik to perform prayers in Panchavati, on the banks of river Godavari, Modi said, “God has made me an instrument to represent the people of India…I am overwhelmed with emotions..This emotional journey of my inner self cannot be expressed, it can only be experienced…Even though I want to, I am unable to express in words the depth, expanse and intensity of my feelings…This historic moment is a blessing of Almighty, a culmination of over 500 years of enduring patience, and countless instances of sacrifice and penance…The fervour of Ram Bhakti has swept the country in the runup to the Pran Prathistha ceremony…We have to awaken divine consciousness in our self for yagna and worship. Fast and strict rules have been prescribed in the scriptures, which have to be followed before consecration. From today, I have begun my 11-day special ‘anusthaan'(rites) for this purpose.” At the Kalaram temple in Nashik, Modi played cymbals and chanted shlokas in praise of Lord Ram. Panchvati, where Kalaram temple is located, is the place where Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman stayed most of the time during their 14-year-long exile. Modi used a broom and a pail full of water, to sweep the floor of the temple. Later, at the National Youth Festival, held to celebrate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Modi appealed to people to take part in ‘Swachchata Andolan’ (cleanliness movement) and keep all pilgrimage spots and temples clean on January 22. “India”, he said, “is proud of its rich heritage and the people of India want development. Our youths are free from the slavery mindset and they should now join politics in large numbers. This will put an end to dynastic politics which has caused much harm to our nation”. The words that Modi used in his audio message heralding the beginning of 11-day fasting, reflect the feelings of millions of Indians. Devotees of Lord Ram spread across the world are eager to visit the Ram temple in Ayodhya to watch the Ram Lalla idol and pay obeisance. It is true, a historic moment has arrived after nearly 500 years when the Ram Janmasthan temple will be inaugurated. Ayodhya, for every Ram devotee, is not a city of war, battles, barbaric attacks, atrocities or injustice. The birthplace of Bhagwan Ram is a symbol of brotherhood, spirituality, Sanatan culture and Ram Rajya. After five centuries, Ayodhya has regained its magnificence back. This is a moment of pride for every Hindu. It is also a matter of pride that the leadership of this country is in the hands of a leader who not only understands Sanatan tradition, but also respects and follows it. Modi observes fast twice a year during the Durga Navratra (nine-day fasting). He is now undergoing 11-day fasting rituals before consecrating Ram idol in the temple at Ayodhya. One thing to note is that as Prime Minister, Modi will continue to attend meetings and official work, despite observing 11-day fast. He will not stop working. This will make his “special anusthaan” harder. On the other hand, Congress leaders are questioning who authorized Modi to perform the consecration ceremony? Why is he acting as the Yajmaan (main performer)? Why are BJP leaders so active for making the consecration event a grand success? These were the questions raised by two Congress spokespersons on Friday. They said, BJP is making a ‘tamasha’ out of a religious event and Modi is launching his 2024 poll campaign from Ayodhya. Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “Modi is going to commit a sin by performing Pran Pratistha in an incomplete temple”. Another spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, Congress leaders cannot be part of a “political tamasha” organized by BJP, to divert people’s attention from price rise and unemployment issues. Congress leaders have the right to accept or decline the invitation to attend the Ayodhya event, but to raise question about Modi’s intentions, using words like “dalaal”, “bichouliya”(middleman) does not behove the dignity of India’s oldest political party. For those questioning Modi’s connections with Ram temple, they should reach what veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, considered the pioneer of Ram Janmabhoomi movement, said on Friday. In a magazine article, Advani wrote, “Destiny has chosen Narendra Modi to fulfill the long-cherished dream of building a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. “It was a journey that led me to re-discover India, and in the process re-understand myself…Narendra Modi was with me throughout the Rath Yatra. He was not very famous then, but at that very time, Lord Ram chose his devotee (Modi) to rebuild the temple. At that time, I felt destiny has decided that one day a grand Ram temple will definitely be built in Ayodhya. Now, it’s only a matter of time.” Narendra Modi will represent every Indian at the consecration event. Building of a grand Ram temple was part of BJP manifesto since several decades. Modi was personally involved in speeding up the construction of Ram temple. He is the elected Prime Minister who has the trust of millions of Indians. If Modi was invited to perform the Pran Pratistha of the temple, why should the Congress object? Actually, this objection is not on religious ground. Congress has nothing to do with the fact whether the temple is fully constructed or partially. Congress should not be concerned at all whether religious rituals are being followed or not. The only problem Congress has is that this grand consecration event will help Modi electorally and the Congress is deeply worried. There are several experienced leaders in Congress who are trying to convince the leadership that the more Congress opposes or boycotts the consecration ceremony of Ram temple, the more political damage it will have to face. But the Congress leadership is blindly opposing Modi. It is unable to understand the real feelings of millions of Indians. Congress is following a policy of opposing and/or questioning everything that Modi does. It is asking why shankaracharyas are not attending the event, why the President was not called to inaugurate the new Parliament building. The party boycotted both events. It is clear that the Congress party is only making excuses. The party leadership should listen to the advice of those leaders who are saying that it would be unwise to boycott the Ayodhya event. They should at least listen to their veteran leader Dr Karan Singh, the former ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, who revealed that he had donated Rs 11 lakhs for building the Ram temple. Dr Karan Singh wanted to attend the event but his poor health is not permitting. On January 22, he is organizing a special function at his residence. Dr Karan Singh’s family trust is organizing a big event in Jammu’s famous Raghunath temple on January 22. Dr Karan Singh said, when the temple has been constructed after the Supreme Court verdict, why should the party hesitate or decline attending the event.

Get connected on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Comments are closed.