The long-awaited Ram Mandir in Ayodhya was consecrated today in an extravagant ceremony attended by prominent personalities from across India. The event marked the culmination of a decades-old movement to build a grand temple for Lord Ram on the disputed Babri Masjid site.
Years of Controversy and Court Battles
The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute has been one of the most controversial religious issues in India. In the 16th century, the Babri Masjid was built on a site that Hindus believe marks the birthplace of Lord Ram. The dispute arose in the 1850s when the first pleas by Hindus to build a temple on the site were made.
Over the years, the issue became a major flashpoint between Hindus and Muslims. In 1949, the mosque was partially damaged and idols of Lord Ram appeared inside. In the 1980s, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) launched a movement demanding the construction of a Ram temple.
This led to nationwide tension and violence. In 1992, the mosque was demolished by Hindu kar sevaks, triggering widespread communal riots.
Since then, the issue remained sub judice. In 2019, the Supreme Court handed over the disputed land for temple construction while ordering allocation of an alternative site for a mosque.
Grand Celebrations Across Ayodhya
Table: Prominent Personalities Attending the Event
|Union Home Minister
|Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
The consecration ceremony saw attendance by prominent personalities spanning politics, business, sports and entertainment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief guest at the event. Other VIPs included Home Minister Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, industrialists Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani and celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth and Lata Mangeshkar.
Elaborate preparations have been underway in Ayodhya for over a week. The entire city has been decked up with flowers, lights and posters of Lord Ram. Makeshift tents to accommodate over 10 lakh devotees have been set up around 31 hectares on the banks of Saryu river. Cultural events, religious discourses and processions are being held across the temple town.
The highlight was a grand roadshow today morning carrying sand from prominent teerths across the country for rituals. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath participated riding an open jeep.
Milestone Moment as Deities Installed
The main event was the installation of idols of Lord Ram and other deities in the sanctum sanctorum by priests, marking the formal consecration of the temple.
As chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ rent the air, the idols were carried in a palanquin from the makeshift temple in which they were housed for the past few years. The installation was telecast live across the country on giant screens.
The construction of the temple in record time is being seen as a testament to efficient governance. The temple trust overcame several obstacles like the pandemic and lockdowns to complete and open the temple in less than three years.
The grand celebration has brought delight to countless devotees of Lord Ram who view Ayodhya as a holy city. However, some minority groups have expressed dismay over the loudness of the festivities.
What Next After the Mega Celebration
With the consecration done, focus will now shift towards completing the remaining construction work and making arrangements for regular worship and visits by devotees. The current structure is symbolic and work is underway to build a grand temple as per plan.
By next year, construction of the main temple, museum, archives and priest residences are targeted to be completed. The onset of regular rituals and offerings by devotees will also generate huge revenues for temple authorities. It remains to be seen how smoothly long-term management plays out.
There is hope that communal tensions related to Ayodhya will now subside with resolution of the temple-mosque conflict. However, some underlying issues remain unaddressed, so lasting peace will depend on continuing efforts by all groups. For now, the country is celebrating a milestone moment in its political and cultural history.
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