Playback legend Lata Mangeshkar lauded the historic Bhumi Pujan performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the proposed Ram temple site in Ayodhya on Wednesday and posted a note on Twitter to express her joy.
"The dreams of several kings, several generations and the devotees of Lord Ram from across the world, which they have been nurturing over the ages, is being fulfilled today. After years of Vanvaas, Lord Shri Ram's temple is being rebuilt in Ayodhya today, the foundation stone is being laid," Mangeshkar tweeted Hindi.
"A huge credit goes to honourable Lal Krishna Advani ji who performed Rath Yatra across the country to raise awareness among people about this. Credit also goes to honourable Balasaheb Thackeray ji. Today, a lot of arrangements have been made for the foundation stone, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and several other respected personalities will be present," she added.
"Maybe lakhs of devotees of Lord Ram will not be able to be physically present over there due to the corona pandemic, but they will be praying and submitting their hearts at Lord Ram's feet. I am happy that honourable Narendrabhai will be performing the ceremony with his own hands. Today I and my family are very happy. Our every breath and every heartbeat is chanting Jai Shri Ram," Mangeshkar concluded.
The playback legend also pulled out a gem from Doordarshan's archive and shared the video of her Ram Bhajan 'Shri Ram Chandra Kripalu Bhaj Man'.
"Hi. Today during the Shri Ram Mandir Bhoomipujan ceremony in Ayodhya, this song was echoing in my mind while watching the speech of all the distinguished speakers on television," she tweeted in Hindi.
Did you know Lata Mangeshkar had recorded a Ram Bhajan for Advani's Rath Yatra?
Lal Krishna Advani took out a Rath Yatra from Somnath after former VHP leader Ashok Singhal gave a clarion call for 'Kar Seva'. Advani is considered a key figure in the Ram Janma bhoomi movement as he had undertaken the 'Ram Rath Yatra', in 1990 as the then BJP president, to mobilise the masses for building a Ram temple at the Ayodhya site where believers hold that Lord Ram was born. Though it was Vishwa Hindu Parishad under late Ashok Singhal which conceptualised the Ram Janm bhoomi movement in 1984 and began mobilising sadhus and Hindu groups nationwide, the issue gained political currency like never before after the L K Advani started his 'Ram Rath Yatra'.
Advani launched his famous 'Rath Yatra' from Somnath temple in Gujarat, drawing people in thousands as his chariot rolled through the country's heartland, at times triggering communal riots as well, while the movement gained momentum. Slogans of "Jai Shri Ram", "Saugandh Ram ki Khate Hain Mandir Wahin Banayenge" and "Jo Hindu Hit Ki Baat Karega Wahi Desh Pe Raj Karega" followed the 'yatra' wherever it passed.
According to a report by Open magazine, Lata Mangeshkar recorded a bhajan and Manoj Kumar recorded messages, which were both played on loudspeakers during the rath yatra.
The plan was to end the 'yatra' in Ayodhya after passing through Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. But it ended prematurely at Samastipur in Bihar on October 23, 1990 with Advani's arrest.
It is also believed that Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Ramayan’ on Doordarshan back then had an impact on the country's consciousness. The serial was originally broadcast from January 25, 1987 to July 31, 1988. Then, every Sunday, at 9.30 a.m. the show was aired on TV.
From 1987 to 1988, 'Ramayan' became the most watched serial in the world. The show was a game-changer for Indian television, hooking the nation to the show. The impact was such that the actors associated with the show, continue to live under the shadow of their characters, with people remembering them for the roles they played in the show, which narrated the life story of Lord Rama and Sita.
The role of Ram was played by Arun Govil, Sita played by Deepika Chikhalia, Lakshman was played by Sunil Lahiri, Hanuman by late Dara Singh, and Ravan by Arvind Trivedi. It also featured Sanjay Jog, late Vijay Arora, Sameer Rajda, late Mulraj Rajda and late Lalita Pawar.
(With inputs from agencies)