Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend a public function on laying of the foundation stone of 'Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir' at Ayodhya on Wednesday. Prior to the function, the prime minister will take part in 'pooja' and 'darshan' at Hanumangarhi, a statement by the PMO said on Tuesday. PM Modi will unveil a plaque to mark the laying of the foundation stone and also release a commemorative postage stamp on 'Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir'.
The beginning of the construction of a grand temple in Ayodhya is an ideological victory for the ruling BJP over its rivals with even many opposition leaders welcoming the development. Prime Minister Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be the main political presence at the ground-breaking event, as both are known for their uncompromising commitment to the Hindutva cause.
Incidentally, the ground-breaking ceremony by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the temple's construction, in the presence of leading lights of Hindutva movement including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, will be conducted on Wednesday which coincides with the first anniversary of the annulment of Article 370, another key ideological plank for the saffron party.
Modi as a national office-bearer in the BJP played an important role in L K Advani's 'Ram Rath Yatra' in 1990 while Adityanath's late guru Mahant Avaidyanath headed the group of sadhus and Hindu organisations that was formed in 1984 to spearhead the temple movement.
If the Supreme Court's verdict in November, 2019 in favour of building the temple at the site, where believers hold that Lord Ram was born, put a legal closure to the historical dispute between Hindu and Muslim groups, the beginning of its construction is likely to further consolidate Hindutva sentiments.
Last November, the apex court paved the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the site in Ayodhya.
A day before the beginning of the temple's construction, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hoped that the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya becomes a "marker" of national unity, brotherhood, and cultural harmony. She said for ages Lord Ram's character had served as a source of unity for the entire Indian sub continent.
Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath on Tuesday hosted a 'Hanuman Chalisa' recital at his residence here and announced sending 11 silver bricks for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, on the eve of the "bhoomi pujan" ceremony. Nath said the silver bricks were bought from contributions made by members of Congress. "We will send 11 silver bricks for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya on the behalf of citizens of Madhya Pradesh," the former chief minister told reporters.
Though the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the BJP, both members of the larger saffron family, had been at the forefront of the Ram temple movement, it was the Sangh, as the ideological fountainhead of the family, that remained the guiding force in the struggle. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's name being imprinted on the invitation for the 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the guest of honour, establishes the significance of the saffron organisation in the movement.
(With inputs from PTI)