Rajat Sharma


akbThe historic, spectacular inauguration of Ram Mandir by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not only watched by thousands of devotees in Ayodhya, but also by millions of Indians on big screens across India and abroad. Bells tolled in almost all the major temples, as Modi performed the Pran Pratistha of Lord Ram’s exquisite idol in the presence of dignitaries, film and sports celebrities, industrialists and heads of Hindu religious sects. This was followed by nightlong celebrations in cities and towns, with people lighting ‘diyas’ outside their homes amidst fireworks. It was a sort of second Deepawali, the day when India celebrates the homecoming of Lord Ram after spending 14 years in exile. The day after, on Tuesday, when the doors were opened, nearly three lakh devotees flocked to the shrine to watch the ‘aarti’ causing security issues. In one of his most powerful speeches, Prime Minister Modi in his 36-minute address exhorted the young generation to come forward to lay the foundation for building a new India for the next one thousand years. “Yahi Samay Hai, Sahi Samay Hai”(This is the time, the right time), he said. In phrases, loaded with emotion and political message, Modi said: “Ram is not fire, he is energy.” He said, “some people were warning that the construction of Ram temple will start a firestorm. I want to tell them, Ram is not fire, Ram is energy. Ram is not Chinta (worry), but Chintan (thought), Ram is not dispute, Ram is Samadhan (solution)”. In a voice choked with emotion, Modi said, “Aaj Hamaare Ram Aa Gaye Hain” (Our Lord Ram has finally arrived). He will no longer stay in a tent, he will reside in a grand temple…. A thousand years from now, people will discuss this date, this moment….January 22, 2024 is not just a date on the calendar. It marks the beginning of a new Wheel of Time (Kaal Chakra). Today, we have been rewarded for centuries-long patience. ..This nation will now write a new history.” RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, in his speech, called for “shunning ego and staying united to make India the Vishwaguru (world leader).” Indians living in the United States, United Kingdon, Russia, Australia, Denmark, Mauritius, Singapoire, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka watched Modi’s speech preceded by the consecration ceremony. The new idol of Ram Lala (Lord Ram as a five-year-old boy) was decked with meticulously crafted ornaments studded with emeralds, diamonds, rubies and other precious stones. The chest of the Ram idol was adorned with ‘Kaustubh Mani’ gemstone. The consecration ceremony was conducted by Acharya Laxmikant Dixit and his disciples. UP governor Anandiben Patel and chief minister Yogi Adityanath were present at the ceremony. Conch shells were blown and the air was rent with shouts of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ after the ceremony was over. IAF helicopters showered flower petals on the assembled devotees. Among those present were Reliance group chief Mukesh Ambani, mega stars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth, Swami Ramdev, Rambhadracharya, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Ritambhara, top actors from Mumbai film industry, and other celebrities. The level of participation of the common people in the festivities in Ayodhya and in almost all major cities of India were clearly an eyeopener for those who were opposing the consecration event and its timing. IN Karnataka, chief minister Siddaramaiah, a leading Congress leader, opened a new Ram temple in K R Puram, Bengaluru, while Congress leader Deependra Hooda opened another Ram temple in Patauda village of Jhajjar, Haryana. Himachal Pradesh former CM Late Virbhadra Singh’s son and state minister Vikramaditya Singh attended the consecration event in Ayodhya, disregarding the official Congress line that it was Modi’s “political event”. In Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party leaders took part in Ram processions, havans and bhandaras (food distribution). In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray prayed at Kalaram temple in Nashik with his family. In Kolkata, chief minister Mamata Banerjee took out a rally with priests of several religions, and addressed a public meeting where she targeted BJP for trying to garner votes in the name of Lord Ram. For people who think on political lines, the natural question that arises is: how much will this event affect the forthcoming general elections and whether Modi will be able to garner advantage. I think the picture is quite clear. There is religious fervour among people cutting across all castes and communities, and almost the entire nation is now in deep devotion of Lord Ram. Naturally, Modi is going to gain advantage. In his speech, Modi spoke about the ardent tribal female devotee Shabri and the boatman devotee Nishad Raj. Modi explained the significance of Lord Ram to the young generation. He showered petals on the workers who built the Ram temple in Ayodhya. These are messages which are going to have effect on national politics and on the forthcoming elections. Opposition leaders do understand the significance of these messages. They had been questioning why Modi is in a hurry to perform the consecration ceremony in a partially built temple, why he took up the responsibility of being Mukhya Yajmaan, why Modi is trying to corner the devotional topic of Lord Ram. But opposition leaders realized soon that such questions have no effect on common people. Even the Shankaracharyas who were raising questions on the event, have now changed their tune. Leaders like Siddaramaiah, Arvind Kejriwal and others went to temples to offer prayers to Lord Ram and took part in religious events on Monday. They not only did this, but also shared their pictures on social media handles. Most of the leaders have now realized that they will have to seek the blessings of Lord Ram, whatever may be the official party line. There is a popular Hindi proverb – “Ab Pachhtaye Hot Kya, Jab Chidiya Chug Gayi Khet” (meaning: There’s no use crying over spilt milk). When the man on the street finds the original Ram devotee in the form of Narendra Modi, why should anybody bother to go to duplicates? I have not an iota of doubt that the Pran Pratistha ceremony has infused new life in BJP. Leaders opposing Modi are now finding it difficult to save their political Vase. The biggest losers will be Rahul Gandhi and his Congress party. In their blind opposition to Modi, they opposed the Ram temple. The Congress party has a large number of leaders and workers who are real devotees of Lord Ram. Several of these leaders went to Ayodhya to attend the event. A large number of Congress supporters lighted diyaas on Monday night. They feel that Sonia Gandhi and party president Mallikarjun Kharge should have visited the consecration event. The policy of boycotting the event was not the right one. On the other hand, BJP policy is quite clear. People may ask why no top BJP leader was seen at Ayodhya event, except Modi and Yogi. Top leaders like Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, J P Nadda were busy attending events in several temples across India, and they are going to lead thousands of party supporters in the coming days to visit Ayodhya for ‘darshan’ of Lord Ram. The din is not going to die down. The coming weeks and months will see thousands converging on Ayodhya to visit the Ram Mandir. This was the reason why Modi said: “Ram is the samaadhan (solution). This is the time. The right time.”

Get connected on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Comments are closed.