Narendra Modi at Ayodhya Ram Mandir LIVE Updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to seers and other guests on the occasion of 'Bhoomi Poojan' said that many efforts were made over the centuries, buildings were destroyed in an attempt to try and eradicate Rama's name but he still lives in our hearts.
Narendra Modi at Ayodhya Ram Mandir LATEST Updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to seers and other guests on the occasion of 'Bhoomi Poojan' said that many efforts were made over the centuries, buildings were destroyed in an attempt to try and eradicate Rama's name but he still lives in our hearts.
Modi said that lord Rama was a deity who can inspire even modern humans in all aspects of their lives.
"For Rama, all his people were same and equal. But he had a special spot for the downtrodden and poor among all. He was the epitome of inclusive growth and development. Perhaps that is the reason why despite so many things, even when buildings were destroyed that carried his name, he continues to live on in our hearts," Modi said.
Modi said, "With the construction of this temple, not only history is being made, but is being repeated."
"I know many Indians are emotional today, many cannot believe that they are seeing this day in their lifetime. But I am sure entire India is joyous today as a centuries-old dream has been realised."
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat remembered LK Advani who headed the temple construction movement and other devotees who contributed to the cause.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath remembered all devotees whose efforts, he said, were bearing fruit today. He also said that it was under the leadership of Modi that these difficult goal was achieved in a constitutional manner.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay a silver brick in the temple foundation. The brick weighs 22.6 kg and is worth Rs 15 lakh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers prayers to Ram Lalla at the site and also took part in the prayer ceremony before the bricklaying ceremony.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath reviewed the preparations on Monday and instructed officials to ensure that health ministry guidelines on COVID-19 prevention are strictly followed. Adityanath spent hours reviewing the arrangements for the ceremony at the Ram Janmabhoomi, where the temple will be constructed following the go-ahead last year by the Supreme Court. The ceremony will be broadcast live by Doordarshan.
Meanwhile, the religious rituals are already underway since Monday. Twelve priests on Monday conducted prayers dedicated to Lord Ganesh. This was to be followed by prayers to the deities of the dynasties of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. On Tuesday, prayers were offered at Ayodhya's Hanumangarhi temple.
The city has been decked up and sanitised for the prime minister's visit. Business Insider reported that the Ram Janmabhoomi site is given a fresh coat of yellow paint with plans to depict various characters of the Ramayana on them. While life-size sketches of both Lord Ram and Sita have been painted on the helipad at Saket College, sketches and drawings of Ramayana characters have been painted on the building walls on both sides of the roads leading to the temple site.
Artist’s rendition of planned architecture of Ayodhya Ram Temple. News18
Borders sealed but no restriction on movement of city residents
The borders of the city of Ayodhya were sealed on Tuesday ahead of the prime minister's arrival on Wednesday.
Deepak Kumar, deputy inspector general (DIG) of Ayodhya range, talked about the elaborate security arrangements in the temple town before and during the bhoomi pujan ceremony.
"Barricades have been set up at 12 places across Ayodhya. Protocols for the security of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be followed during his visit to Ayodhya. COVID-19 protocols are also being followed," Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Kumar said that more than five people will not be allowed to gather but added that all shops will be allowed to remain open in the city.
"We are continuously keeping a watch across the VIP routes via drones. No restrictions on movement for the people residing in Ayodhya. I urge people not to step outdoors to contain COVID-19. We will not let outsiders enter the city," he said.
A Zee News report, however, said that the locals will be required to carry identification cards while stepping out of their homes to keep a tab on outsiders in the city.
UP's deputy general of police had earlier informed the press that the inner ring of the venue will be secured by the elite Special Protection Group while the rest of the security arrangements will fall upon the state police. He said that police personnel, who have tested negative for the coronavirus disease and are below the age of 45, will be deployed in Modi's security detail on the day.
"The inner security ring will be handled by the Special Protection Group (SPG) officers. But police personnel, who have tested negative for the infection as well as those kept in reserve in complete isolation, would preferably be deployed closer to the inner security ring of the PM," UP DGP Hitesh Chandra Awasthy was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
175 invitees to attend ceremony
The Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra general secretary on Monday said 175 eminent guests have been invited for the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The invitation list has been prepared only after "personally discussing" with BJP veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, lawyer K Parasaran and other dignitaries, the trust's general secretary Champat Rai told reporters.
He said 175 eminent guests, including 135 seers belonging to as many spiritual sects, would be present at the programme, adding that some eminent citizens of the temple town have also been invited.
Salil Singhal, the nephew of late VHP leader Ashok Singhal, will be the "yajmaan" (ritual patron) at the ceremony. Hindu seers from Nepal have also been invited as Janakpur has relations with Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Ayodhya, Rai said.
Iqbal Ansari, the chief litigant in the Ayodhya dispute has also been invited to the event and he has expressed his willingness to attend the ceremony.
There were, however, some allegations that the invitee list deliberately kept Dalits away from the ritual.
Apna Dal (S) MLA Chowdhury Amar Singh made the claim while talking to reporters on Monday. "Dalits and backwards have been deprived of attending the Ayodhya bhoomi pujan event. The haste which PM showed for the temple should also be shown for giving house and pension to poor," the MLA from Apna Dal (S), an ally of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, said.
"The face of those who struggled for the temple is not seen. They are being ignored. The trust constituted for the construction of the temple does not have people from backward, SC and ST communities. It is a 'Ved Pratha trust' and seems that Lord Ram is only of the BJP," he said.
Rai, however, dismissed the allegations by saying: "Seers have no caste. Once they achieve sainthood, they are above caste," the Apna Dal (S) MLA said.
Rituals already underway in Ayodhya
The puja ceremony has already begun in Ayodhya since Monday with the offering of special prayers to Lord Hanuman at Hanumangarhi temple as a part of an old tradition of 'Nishan Puja', Zee news reported.
A four-phased Ramarchan puja started Tuesday morning to invoke the major gods and goddesses who consider Lord Ram as their 'Ishth' (the god of worship) at 10:30 am with Vedic saints conducting the prayers facing Ramlalla on his temporary seat.
Ramcharan Das, one of the seers conducting the puja told ANI, "This Ramarchan Pujan will be conducted in four phases. First will be of regular gods and then we will enter Ayodhya and second phase worship will be of Ayodhya and also of Lord Ram's soldiers and generals like Nal, Neel and Sugreev. In the third phase, Dashrath with his wives will be worshipped and then all three brothers, as well as their wives and Hanuman Ji, will too be worshipped. In the fourth phase, Lord Ram will be worshipped."
On Wednesday, the state government will release a postal stamp, which is based on the temple design. The prime minister will plant a 'parijat' (coral jasmine) tree in the premises.
At 12:30 pm, the bhoomi pujan will begin when Modi will lay the foundation stone. He will lay the stone at around 12:40 pm after which the puja ceremony will go on till 2 pm. An inscription of the temple will also be inaugurated, ANI reported. The Prime Minister will leave for Lucknow at around 2:30 pm.
With inputs from agencies