Hindus in Mauritius with active support from Mauritius Government have built a Ramayana Centre in the capital city Port Louis to restore human values and peace
Even as the Hindus in India struggle hard to get permission for building Sri Ram Temple in Ayodhya and they are branded communal when talk about Sri Ram or Ramayana, the Hindus in Mauritius with active support from Government of Mauritius have built a grand Sri Ram Temple and Ramayana Centre in the capital city Port Louis. The Government has not only provided land for the Centre by duly passing an Act in the Parliament but also bears the recurring expenses, which is hard to think in India. The roots of the project lie in the beginning of a Ramayana programme at Mauritius Radio in 1982 under the title ‘Manthan’. This Hindi programme continues even today. In the beginning it was 15 minutes duration, but now its duration has been increased to 30 minutes.
The foundation for the project was laid on August 15, 2002 by the then Prime Minister of Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth. In the first phase, a learning complex comprising of a library and office on the ground floor, classrooms and a multipurpose hall on the first floor and guest rooms on the second floor were built. The first phase was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam in 2007. The second Phase, comprising of a Spiritual Complex, was inaugurated by President Shri Rajkeswur Puryyag.
The Mauritius Parliament had passed the Bill for Ramayana Centre in 2001 with the object of moral, intellectual and spiritual advancement of the Hindu society and the society at large. The basic Ground floor Plan is in form of a Tortoise, which has high regards in Mauritius. The government provided 1.5 acre land near Airport and the funds were raised by people collectively. “In the Learning Complex classes are conducted on Ramayana every day. There is a big hall with the capacity of 1,000 people. On top floor of the building Sri Ram Temple has been built. Now the construction work of the temple is at final stage and it is expected to be inaugurated by early next year. We are carrying idols from India to be installed there,” says Shri Rajendra Arun who has been associated with the project since beginning. Shri Arun was in Delhi to participate in the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas panel discussion.
Formerly a Panchjanya and Rashtradharma staffer Shri Rajendra Arun shifted to Mauritius in 1973 as editor of Janata, the weekly newspaper run former by PM the late Ramghulam. Shri Arun convened a Ramayana conference there in 1998 which was attended by the present Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi along with many other senior leaders from India including the late Baleshwar Agrawal. During his recent visit to Delhi Shri Arun called on Shri Modi and requested him to inaugurate the temple. He also met Foreign Affairs Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj and Tourism Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma.
“The values enshrined in the Ramayana lead mankind on the path of peace, happiness and universal brotherhood. Thus only can we secure a safe and sound future for our coming generations. This is a responsibility which we have to bear, so that we leave to posterity a legacy worthy of a humanity that we seem to have lost, and that Ramayana can help us to rediscover,” adds Shri Arun’s whose wife Smt Vinoo Arun is working on developing a ‘Ramayana Circuit’ to connect people from world over to the places associated with Ramayana in India.