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Ayodhya decked up for Ram temple ceremony, PM to perform bhoomi pujan

Ayodhya decked up for Ram temple ceremony, PM to perform bhoomi pujan

Saying its attention was drawn to various "interpretations" of the remarks, Nepal had said its Prime Minister Oli also did not mean to "debase" the significance of Ayodhya or its cultural value.

Over 300 individuals, including activists, lawyers and members of the National Federation of Indian Women, have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not attend the foundation ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday. A wooden Kodand Ram Statue was presented as a souvenir to Prime Minister by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. He is then expected to visit the makeshift Ram Lalla temple made of wood and glass, where he will be given chandan and prasad after he offers flowers to the deity.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust head Nritya Gopal Das were on the dais along with the PM, consecrating the very first bricks that will go into building the temple.

The Prime Minister performed the "bhoomi poojan" before laying the stone. "Today Ram Janmabhoomi breaks free of the cycle of breaking and getting built again that had been going on for centuries", PM Modi said.

He listed the Ramayanas popular in countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Nepal. "This temple will not only be the epitome of Lord Ram's greatness but of India's too".

He said the construction of the temple is the result of centuries long sacrifice, struggle and penance of the innumerable devotees of Lord Ram.

There are so many countries in the world where Lord Ram is worshipped and people consider themselves attached to him.

A lengthy legal battle ensued, but in November, in a major victory for Modi's BJP party, India's top court awarded the site to Hindus, allowing a temple to be built.

Modi said references to Lord Ram are also found in Iran and China, and "Ram kathas" are popular in several countries.

Modi wore a traditional outfit of a gold Kurta, a long shirt and a white Dhoti - a loose cloth wrapped around his waist - along with a face mask. "We can't forget that for over 400 years Babri stood in Ayodhya & it was demolished by a criminal mob in 1992", the tweet says. Deccan Herald, an English daily widely read in southern India, carried an article on Wednesday titled - "Inappropriate for a PM to be associated with the stone laying ceremony".

Earlier, at the Hanuman Garhi temple, Modi was gifted a headgear, a silver crown and a stole with the name of Lord Ram printed on it. The entire temple premises was sanitised before Modi's arrival.

He also released a postage stamp to mark the event, an occasion which is also being seen as an ideological victory of the BJP over its rivals.

Only 175 people were at the venue itself and the scaled down attendance was due to the spike in Covid-19 cases.