New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Ayodhya on Wednesday after a gap of 28 years.
Modi is the first-ever Prime Minister to visit Ram Janmabhoomi. Also, this is the first instance, when a Prime Minister has visited Hanuman Garhi to seek Lord Hanuman’s blessings. And, Modi has become the first Prime Minister to participate in the ‘bhumi pujan’ program of a temple that is a symbol of preservation of the cultural heritage of the country.
Modi had visited Ayodhya in 1992 and had also addressed a gathering along with Murli Manohar Joshi at the GIC ground in Faizabad (Ayodhya). Thereafter, they had also visited Ram Lalla. Modi was the convenor for the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ led by the then BJP President Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi which had begun in December 1991 and reached Ayodhya on January 18, 1992. This Yatra was organised to demand the abrogation of Article 370. Wednesday also marks one year since article 370 was scrapped in J&K.
In his speech Modi, on Wednesday after the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ ceremony in Ayodhya said “Ram is for everyone, Ram is within everyone”.
He said that a grand temple will now be built for the Ram Lalla deity who had been living under a temporary tent for many years. “Every heart is illuminated; it is an emotional moment for the entire country… A long wait ends today,” said the Prime Minister. The event sets the ball rolling for the construction of a grand Ram Temple, a key electoral promise of the ruling party.
However, the message the Prime Minister tried to drive home was larger. “This day is proof of the truth of the resolve of crores of devotees. This day is a unique gift of a just, fair India to truth, non-violence, faith and sacrifice,” he said.
He said Ram is present in different cultures, in different areas. “Thousands of years ago, in the Ramayana of Valmiki, Lord Ram was guiding ancient India, in the Middle Ages, Ram was pushing India through Tulsi, Kabir and Nanak, the same Ram was present in Bapu’s hymns as a force of non-violence and satyagraha during the freedom struggle,” said the Prime Minister, while sending out a powerful message.
It was a speech, however, not without a subtle dig. He said, “Ram is carved in our mind, mixed with us. You see the amazing power of Lord Ram — buildings were destroyed, every attempt was made to eradicate his existence. But he still remains in our mind.”
But, at the end, the Prime Minister sent a larger message that Lord Ram stands for modernity, development and fairness and those are the aspects all Indians should aspire for, in the name of the deity, he suggested.