People including members of Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad lit earthen lamps in different parts of the country to celebrate laying of the foundation stone of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, as government functionaries, irrespective of political affiliations, termed the event as a “historic moment” for every Indian.
There was mood of fervour and accomplishment as saffron group members blew conch shells at 12.15 p.m. when Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at Ayodhya for laying the foundation of the Ram Temple, and later in the evening lit earthen lamps and held special prayers for Lord Ram at their homes and offices.
BJP offices in various states were decorated and live telecasts of the bhoomi pujan were shown on big screens outside the offices. The party members raised slogans of Jai Shri Ram and Jai Siya Ram as special prayers for Lord Ram were held through public address systems. After bhoomi pujan by PM Modi, ladoos were distributed among people at several places.
Ram Temples, which were especially decorated for the occasion, witnessed huge attendance of devotees. Entire streets leading to these temples in the Hindi heartland were decorated. Throughout the day, special prayers were held at several temples.
However, rains at several parts of the country including Ayodhya on Wednesday dampened the celebrations but not the sentiments.
In Raj Bhavans in several states such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, diyas were lit and special prayers were held.
Rajasthan governor Kalraj Mishra, who held recitation of Sundarkand with his family members and lit 101 earthen lamps at the Raj Bhawan in Jaipur, said the commitment to build the Ram Temple has been fulfilled.
“The temple will be established as a symbol of cultural and national unity and with the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’,” said Mishra, who hails from Uttar Pradesh and was minister in NDA-1.
Governors of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Anandiben Patel and Baby Rani Maurya congratulated the Prime Minister saying it as the fulfilment of a big commitment. “The dream of all Hindu believers has moved towards reality today,” Maurya said.
Rajasthan chief minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot expressed hope that it would become a symbol of unity in the country.
“His life teaches us the importance of truth, justice, equality for all, compassion and brotherhood. We need to focus on establishing an egalitarian society based on the values espoused by Lord Ram,” Gehlot tweeted.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh also tweeted a congratulatory message and said the temple will bring unity and prosperity in the country.
West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, who had ordered complete lockdown in the state on Wednesday for Covid-19 management, said, “Our country has always upheld the age-old legacy of unity in diversity, and we must preserve this to our last breath!”
However, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh claimed that several party workers were arrested when they violated the lockdown restrictions to visit local temples in Bengal. At Kharagpur in West Midnapore district police resorted to lathi charge after minor clashes with BJP workers. “Mamata Banerjee is anti-Hindu,” he said.
Ruling party chief ministers such as Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khatter and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan termed the day as historic. “This happy moment is historic for every Indian,” Khatter said while his MP counterpart said the “dream of 500 years” has come true.
The Ram temple will strengthen peace and humanity in the country, said Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat said the dreams of thousands (of people) who sacrificed their lives for the construction of the temple has come true.
“There was a long and hard struggle for 500 years. But the power of Indian democratic values, judiciary and executive, under the leadership of PM Modi, has shown the world how solutions to problems can be found peacefully through democratic and constitutional means,” said UP chief minister Yodi Adityanath.
Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappa on Wednesday hailed the laying of foundation stone (bhoomi pujan) for a grand Ram Temple and said “Kashi Vishwanath and Krishna Janmasthan temples have to be liberated”.
“A beautiful temple will come up, but there are Kashi Vishwanath and Krishna Janmasthan temples which have to be liberated,” Eshwarappa said.
(With state bureau and agency inputs)