No pressure from BJP, PM belongs to everyone: Ram Temple Trust chairman

Q: Have all preparations for the August 5 ceremony done?

A. Almost everything has been done. Vedic scholars from Kashi and Delhi have already arrived in Ayodhya. Pandal is getting the final touch now.

Q. Many seers have questioned the timing of the event saying there is no muhurt (auspicious day) for ‘bhoomi pujan’ on August 5.

A. For the service of Lord Ram, everyday is auspicious. Whatever is happening, is happening due to Ram’s blessings only. It is not right to create controversy over it.

Q. Common devotees of Ram can’t attend the ceremony. What are your directions to them?

A. Considering today’s situation (pandemic), devotees can worship at home. A ‘bhakt’ can reach the God only by ‘puja’, ‘archana’ and ‘tapa­sya’. People should pay tributes to Ram Lalla from their home only.

Q. A senior Trust member Kameshwar Chaupalji had last week said about putting “Time Capsule” in the foundation. The next day, another trustee Champat Rai dubbed it as “fake news”. Do you agree the row had dented the image of the Trust?

A. I have no idea about it. There are ways to tell future generations about the 500-year-old history of this temple. We would explore each.

Q. Congress alleges BJP is influencing the Temple Trust and it was the BJP which pressured the trust to go back on the Time Capsule proposal.

A. BJP is doing its own work and seers and saints are doing their own. There is no pressure from the BJP over the Trust. Be it Congress or any other party, all indulge in political gimmicks. The trust would do whatever it deems fit.

Q. Many people including NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray have questioned the bhoomi pujan timing amid pandemic. Do you think it is the right time for the ceremony?

A. We had deferred the foundation stone laying ceremony several times due to the corona pandemic. We can’t leave our religious traditions in the scientific age. All rules laid down by the administration would be followed. Very few people would attend the rituals. Had things been favourable, every village would have been represented in Ayodhya today. We have urged devotees to lit 5 diyas at home and 5 at the temple on the bhoomi pujan day.

Q. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has said the PM of a secular country should not attend the Ayodhya ceremony. What is your opinion?

A. People should read the history of liberation of Somnath Temple and its construction. Not only the deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel, even President Dr Rajendra Prasad had attended the event, along with his wife, and worshiped there.

The PM belongs to everyone. The court has delivered its verdict. Muslims in India and abroad have welcomed the court decision and urged the temple construction should begin as early as possible. The Prime Minister has respected all religions from time to time. Now, it’s the time for ‘bhakts’ of Ram Lalla. How is the so-called secularism violated here?

CEREMONY SNIPPETS

-- BJP has found a new poster boy of “Hindutva” in UP CM Yogi Adityanath. With the BJP's original Hindutva mascot Kalyan Singh slipping into political retirement, Yogi has emerged as much younger and stronger Hindu icon.

-- Two brothers aged over 70-year-old carried water from over 150 rivers to Ayodhya on Sunday. Radhey Shyam Pandey and Shabd Vaigyanik Mahakavi Triphala have been collecting water from 8 rivers, 3 seas, and soils from 16 places of Sri Lanka since 1968.

-- Bachcha Lal, a handloom weaver in Varanasi, has made a special mask with silk and cotton for PM Modi. The 72 inches long and 22 inches wide mask has ‘Jai Shri Ram, Ayodhya Pavitra Dham’, embroidered on it. Meanwhile, the Ayodhya railway station is ready for a Rs104.77 crore makeover.

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