Wait of centuries has ended, Ram belongs to all, says PM Modi in Ayodhya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs bhoomi pujan at the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya on Wednesday. The PM said Ram represents the confluence of the ancient and modernity | Photo: PTI
Ram and his conduct should be the model for all Indians seeking to restore India to its rightful glory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday after he performed the groundbreaking ceremony for a Ram temple in Ayodhya. “Wait of centuries has ended,” he added.


Although the PM referred to the various “obstructions” that had come in the way of building the temple, including some questioning the very existence of Ram, he did not dwell on the riots and loss of life and property of both Hindus and the minorities that accompanied the mobilisation that led to the temple. While the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mohan Bhagwat, referred to L K Advani by name while talking about the struggles and sacrifices made by Hindus to build the temple, Modi merely referred to Hindus of all descriptions who contributed to the effort but could not be present in Ayodhya because of Covid-19.


In their speeches, Modi and Bhagwat both radiated quiet satisfaction at the start of the project that would restore the values that Ram stood for, as the bedrock of society in India. “There is no aspect of life where our Ram does not inspire us. There is no such feeling of India in which Lord Ram is not seen. Ram is in the faith of India, Ram is in the ideals of India. Ram is in the divinity and philosophy of India. Ram represents the confluence of the ancient and modernity,” Modi said.


The speeches subtly set the tone for coming elections, especially the 2022 Uttar Pradesh elections, by projecting the pantheon as an example of national integration cutting across communities and cultures.


“Ram has taught us to follow the lessons of duty, how to perform our duties. He has shown us the path of realisation even through obstruction. We have to join these bricks of Ram temple with mutual love and brotherhood,” said Modi, in an oblique outreach to minorities.


“There is a wave of joy in the entire country today. There is a pleasure about the fulfilment of centuries of hope...The temple represents self-confidence, which was lacking, today to make India self-reliant,” Mohan Bhagwat said. “The whole world is struggling to resolve the crisis after Covid-19. They have tried two paths (possibly referring to Islam and Christianity). Now they’re looking at a third. We have a third path – that we can give to the world," Bhagwat said.


Modi said the Ram temple would usher in complete economic transformation of Ayodhya and impact all the sectors. “It will open new vistas of opportunities when people from around the world will come to pay obeisance at the Lord Ram temple. It will strengthen national integration.”


The PM also used the occasion to send a subtle message to China, without explicitly taking names. He said India needed to be strong because the Ramcharitmanas says ‘bhay bin naa hoi preet’ (there is no love without fear), and said unless India was strong, there could not be a lasting peace.


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