Rajat Sharma


AKBAs Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, on Saturday and listened to recital of verses from Kamban Ramayana, a wave of religious fervour has gripped the temple town of Ayodhya, where the PM will perform the consecration ceremony of Ram idol on Monday. Groups of devotees have come from different corners of India, along with several groups from abroad. The priests of Sri Ranganathswamy temple gave a basket containing ornamental dresses to the PM to be taken to Ayodhya for Lord Ram’s idol. Modi is on fast since last several days since he is the Mukhya Yajman of the consecration ceremony. He is visiting several temples in southern India linked to Lord Ram. On Friday, Modi while addressing a public meeting in Solapur while distributing keys of Pradhan Mantri Awas houses to poor families, he became emotional for sometime while reminiscing his childhood which was spent in poverty. Ayodhya has been decked with flowers and lights to celebrate the auspicious occasion. The entire town was lit on Friday night with diyas and other lamps. Hindus have been waiting for nearly 500 centuries for the restoration of Lord Ram’s temple in his birthplace. This was aptly described by Sadhvi Ritambhara, one of the firebrand leaders of Ram Janmabhoomi movement since Eighties, who recited poems in praise of Lord Ram, Ayodhya and Sanatan parampara (tradition). Sadhvi Ritambhara was present in my show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’, which will be telecast on Saturday and Sunday nights and on Sunday morning on India TV. She recounted those horrible days of 1990, when police had been asked to round up every Ram devotee. Ritambhara revealed how she had to hide inside a car, and travel incognito in trains by cutting off her hair. She also disclosed how she had to spend up to 10 to 12 hours at airports before she was permitted to travel. Sadhvi Ritambhara disclosed how Hindus and devotees like her had to face insults and beatings and the Hindu community was made the butt of jokes. She used to address 22 rallies on a single day. The most spine chilling disclosure was about how police, on instructions of the then CM Mulayam Singh Yadav, threw bodies of dead kar sevaks in gunny bags, tied them with stones and threw them into the Saryu river in Ayodhya. In 1990, Narendra Modi was the charioteer of BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani’s Somnath to Ayodhya yatra. I have seen the video of how Modi was looking after all arrangements, when Bihar police came to arrest Advani, on orders of then CM Lalu Prasad Yadav, in Samastipur. Modi had then vowed that he would visit Ayodhya only when a grand Ram temple will be built. His vow is going to be fulfilled after more than three decades on January 22. Modi becomes emotional when he reminisces about what happened during Advani’s Rath Yatra. Millions of Indians are also waiting for the auspicious moment when Lord Ram’s idol will be consecrated at the holy site.

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