Modi 1st Indian Prime Minister To Visit Ram Janmabhoomi

Modi 1st Indian Prime Minister To Visit Ram Janmabhoomi

Aug. 5, 2020, 11:27 a.m.

The last time PM Modi visited Ayodhya when he was convenor of the Tiranga Yatra, campaign led by Murli Manohar Joshi to scrap Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns to Ayodhya today after 29 years. In 1992, he had taken a vow that he would return to the holy city in Uttar Pradesh only when a Ram temple was built.

The last time PM Modi visited Ayodhya when he was convenor of the Tiranga Yatra, campaign led by Murli Manohar Joshi to scrap Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Today also marks a year since the government decided to abrogate Article 370 and convert Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

Last year, PM Modi visited the border of Faizabad-Ambedkarnagar to address a rally ahead of the national election but he did not visit Ayodhya.

According to the Uttar Pradesh government, PM Modi is the first Prime Minister to visit Ram Janmabhoomi, which many believe is the birthplace of Lord Ram. He is also the first Prime Minister to visit Hanuman Garhi, the shrine to Hanuman, the UP government said.

The Ram Temple is central to the ruling BJP's ideology and core election promises.

The "Bhoomi Pujan" ceremony holds special significance for PM Modi, who in 1990 was one of the organizers of a nationwide campaign to build a Ram temple to replace the 16th century Babri mosque on the site. PM Modi never made a visit to the site and largely avoided mentioning the issue in his rallies.

The temple campaign marked the emergence of the BJP as a national force in the 1990s.

The razing of the Babri mosque in December 1992 by Kar Sevaks led to riots across the country and changed India's political discourse. Several top BJP leaders - LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti - continue to faces charges for their alleged role in the events.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 50 VIPs including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will attend "Bhoomi Pujan" or groundbreaking ceremony for a Ram temple at the site that was disputed for decades until the Supreme Court handed over ownership to Hindus last year. The grand event meets a decades-long political promise core to the ruling BJP's ideology.

PM Modi will return to Ayodhya after 29 years today for the Ram Temple groundbreaking ceremony. The Uttar Pradesh government said that PM Modi is the first prime minister to visit ram janmabhoomi.

A 40-kg silver brick, which will symbolize the beginning of the construction - is at the heart of today's ceremonies. Images released on Monday showed the proposed temple will be a grand three-storey stone structure with multiple turrets, pillars and domes. The temple will be 161 feet tall and almost double the size of what was originally planned, its architect said.

The guest list for the grand event has been severely trimmed in view of coronavirus. Besides PM Modi, 50 VIPs including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will attend the ceremony.

BJP veteran LK Advani -- who was the face of the movement to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya in the 1990's -- will attend the ceremony virutally. "Destiny made me perform a pivotal duty in the form of Ram Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya in 1990 which helped galvanise aspirations, energies and passions of its countless participants," he said.

Last year, the Supreme Court gave a go-ahead for a temple to be built by a specially appointed trust. The Centre was asked to give Muslims land elsewhere in Ayodhya for a mosque.

Yoga guru Ramdev greets UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at grand veremony venue.

The invitations are only for residents of Ayodhya. The first invite went to Iqbal Ansari, one of the Muslim litigants in the Ayodhya case, according to news agency ANI. "It is Lord Ram's wish," he was quoted as saying.

Source: NDTV

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