Addressing the 7000 devotees after the ‘pran pratistha‘ rituals at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, ‘Our Ram has finally arrived.
‘I have come before you are witnessing the divine consciousness in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum. There’s so much to say but, but there’s a lump in my throat. After unprecedented patience, innumerable sacrifices and penance, our Lord Ram has arrived. I congratulate the country on this occasion,’ the Prime Minister said.
Ram Lalla, the PM said, will ‘no longer live in a tent,’ calling the moment of consecration ‘ a blessing from Lord Ram.’
PM Modi also said January 22 is ‘not a date on a calendar, but the dawn of a new era.’
Equating the consecration ceremony with breaking free of a mindset of slavery, PM Modi called it a blessing that we are alive to witness this historic event.
‘Even after thousands of years, people will remember this date, moment. It is Ram’s supreme blessings that we are witnessing it,’ he said.
The PM also sought forgiveness from the deity and said there ‘must have been some lapse because of which it took so long to reach this point.’
Saying that ‘Ram’s existence was questioned,’ the Prime Minister said, ‘In India’s Constitution, in its first page, there’s Lord Ram. I thank the Supreme Court for maintaining the dignity of law.’
Addressing detractors, he said some people had warned the construction of the Ram Temple will light a fire.
‘Such people could not understand the purity of India’s social consciousness. The construction of this temple of Ram Lalla is also a symbol of the Indian society’s peace, patience and mutual harmony. We can see this has not given birth to a fire, but an energy,’ he said.
‘Ram is not a fire, he is an energy. Ram is not a dispute, he is a solution. Ram is not just ours, he is everyone’s,’ the Prime Minister said, adding, ‘Today, we did not just see the pran pratishtha of Ram Lalla’s idol, but also the of the unbreakable unity of India.”
Laying down a vision for India’s future development ‘ the Prime Minister said, ‘Ram’s temple has been built. Now what? Every citizen’s consciousness should extend from dev (god) to desh (country) and from Ram to rashtra (nation).’
Mixed reactions in Opposition alliance
The Congress, CPI(M) and TMC hit out at the BJP for ‘politicizing’ the consecration event, but other Oppostion parties like the AAP, SP and NCP joined celebrations across the country.
TMC chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee labelled the BJP as ‘anti-women’ for ‘omitting’ Goddess Sita from their discourse and only focusing on Lord Ram.
In a statement, CPI(M) leader and Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the ‘line that demarcates religion and state seems to be getting thinner and thinner.’
‘As our first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru has often opined, Indian secularism means the separation of religion and state. We even have a strong tradition of maintaining that separation. However, of late, the line that demarcates religion and state seems to be getting thinner and thinner. This is a major departure from the times when our constitutional office bearers have been cautioned from taking part in religious events, as it would cast aspersions on our credentials as a secular state,’ Vijayan, whose party was amongst the first to decline the invitation for the ceremony, said.
Vijayan added ‘we have come to a point in time when the inauguration of a religious place of worship in the country is being celebrated as a state event.’
Vijayan called on the public to remain committed to the Constitution’s secular credentials by declining to participate in the celebrations.
‘Most of us have been invited to participate in the rituals, by the trust in charge of it. As those who have pledged to preserve and protect our Constitution, let us reaffirm our commitment to its secular character, by declining to participate in the event, upholding our Constitutional responsibilities,’ he exhorted.
Congress leader and Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah criticised the BJP for ‘politicizing’ the event and said the Congress is also ‘devoted to Lord Ram.’
‘There should not be any politics on Ram because Sriramachandra belongs to everyone. He is not God to the BJP alone. He is every Hindu’s God,’ Siddaramaiah said.
Others in the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) alliance were more congratulatory.
‘Hearty congratulations and best wishes to all of you on this sacred occasion of the installation of Maryada Purushottam Lord Shri Ram in the grand temple. Hail Siya Ram,’ AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal said in a post on X.
‘I’m so glad that Ram Lalla’s idol has been consecrated. Last week, we conducted Sundarkand recitations at many places in Delhi. From now onwards, we will organize Sundarkand recitals on the first Tuesday of every month,’ Kejriwal said.
‘Everyone will follow the path of Ramrajya which was envisioned by Maryada Purushottam ji, where the poor do not remain sad, the youth are happy, move ahead and everyone is happy,’ SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said in Lucknow.
‘Today in Srikshetra Ayodhya, the idol of Lord Sri Rama is being worshipped. In this background, the festival is being celebrated across the country today,’ Nationalist Congress Party’s Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil said.
Ayodhya city lit up by diyas, fireworks after Ram temple inauguration
Monday evening saw thousands of residents and visitors spill onto the city’s narrow streets, chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as temperatures dipped and a fog set in, illuminating the temple town with hundreds of thousands of diyas (lamps).
A laser show enthralled gathered devotees on the Ram ki Paidi ghats along the Sarayu river.
Celebrations spanned across India in an almost second Diwali-like fervour with Lord Ram chants, posters, saffron flags, diyas, and firecrackers being set alight.
‘We have waited for 500 years for this day. Finally, the day has arrived and now Ram Lalla has been enthroned in his rightful place (sanctum-sanctorum) of the temple,’ said Satyendra Das, head priest of the Ram Temple.
The popular Lata Mangeshkar Chowk was decorated with lights and flowers.
Special rituals were also carried out at Dashrath Mahal, where Lord Ram’s father King Dashrath is said to have lived.
PM Modi meets Ram Temple construction workers
‘Aap sabne punya ka kaam kiya hai (you have done an auspicious job),’ said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, to a group of over 400 people representing the workforce of 5,000 men, who are currently building the temple.
As a gesture of gratitude, Modi, after the rituals of idol consecration were over, showered rose petals on each worker, ranging from artisans to project managers.
The group included 150 workers and 150 staff members of Larsen & Toubro and 50 staff members of Tata Consulting Engineers.
BJP will look to build on Ram temple inauguration momentum
The BJP has planned a series of rallies of PM Modi in Uttar Pradesh commencing from Bulandshahr on January 25 to take the Ram temple campaign among the masses.
While the decades-long movement has culminated in the installation of the idol in the holy city, the event will be seen as a major fillip to the BJP in the political arena, leading up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The grand scale of momentum that has been planned by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), rolling on from January 25 means the ruling party wants to build on the fervour and goodwill generated from the consecration event.
The BJP had launched a series of activities across Uttar Pradesh prior to the consecration, including the distribution of ‘Pujit Akshat (uncooked rice offered to the Lord)’ to households, cleanliness drives in temples and community spaces in in villages, distribution of booklets, bhajan-kirtan and community feasts (bhandara) in all districts.
Senior BJP leaders, ministers, MPs and MLAs all joined the drive with the party cadre to reach people across Uttar Pradesh
Along with PM Narendra Modi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, top leaders of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other affiliates were present in Ayodhya during the consecration ceremony.
This has sent a clear message to the opposition parties that the BJP is firmly in the driver seat of its campaign for 2024 from Ayodhya as its base.
The Ram temple movement has been at the centre of the BJP’s strategic agenda, when it first formed the government in Uttar Pradesh in 1991.
The party entered the national stage, coming to power at the Centre in the 1998 and 1999 Lok Sabha elections.
The construction of Ram temple will strengthen its Hindutva agenda and a ‘Ram Dharshan Yatra’ that will pass through the entire country before reaching Ayodhya, will seek to galvanize the masses for a re-election bid later this year. T
UP Chief minister Yogi Adityanath will visit Ayodhya along with his cabinet ministers for a viewing of Ram Lalla on February 1.
Ayodhya is also slated to be a big part of the budget session commencing from February 2 as the UP state government has planned to announce launch of new projects for the holy city.
Planning to turn Ayodhya into a holy pilgrimage site a la the Vatican in terms of religious tourism, the BJP expects the city to host 10 times more tourists and pilgrims than what it sees right now.
Adityanath said ‘ The consecration ceremony will pave way for the establishment of Ram Rajya. Large number of devotees will visit Ayodhya to seek blessings of Lord Ram. The pilgrims visit to holy city will be comfortable. They will move on the parikarma marg with ease. They will not be harassed as under the previous government. The party workers should facilitate the visit of the pilgrims.’
UP Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said, ‘The BJP has set the target of winning all 80 LS seats in Uttar Pradesh. While voting, people will not forget the firing on karsewaks by the Samajwadi Party government and the BJP’s efforts to shift Ram Lalla from a tent to a grand temple.’
‘The BJP government has launched a series of welfare schemes and without discrimination, people from all castes and communities are getting the benefit of these schemes. They will definitely support the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha election,’ Maurya added.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius