As anticipation grows for the installation of the Ram Lalla in Ayodhya’s sanctum sanctorum on January 22, 2024, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) is embarking on an extensive nationwide campaign to engage communities and invite them to be a part of this historic event. Volunteers from various regions will visit Ayodhya in batches, starting from February 13, 2024, and the campaign includes a door-to-door outreach, temple visits, and a congregation of seers.
According to Govind Shende, the head of VHP’s Vidarbha Prant, volunteers are set to reach Ayodhya in groups of at least a couple of thousand each day, starting from February. To manage the influx, careful scheduling has been implemented, ensuring that each Prant has a designated day to visit the temple town. Shende emphasised the need to avoid overcrowding, stating that each group will exit the city before the next one enters.
In a symbolic prelude to the campaign, VHP workers conducted a ceremony at the historic Poddareshwar Ram Mandir, marking the arrival of volunteers with sacred rice (akshat) from Ayodhya in 33 urns. The outreach initiative will see VHP volunteers visiting 15 lakh homes in Vidarbha from January 1 to 15, covering even the remotest villages. Each home will receive a leaflet inviting them to congregate at local temples on January 22 for the installation of the Ram idol, accompanied by a detailed description of the temple’s architecture.
The engagement strategy involves VHP activists interacting with families, explaining the significance of the Ayodhya temple, and inviting them symbolically by placing akshat at their doorstep. A photo of the temple will be left at each home, with the aim of making every village feel like Ayodhya in its own right. To enhance the immersive experience, people will be encouraged to light lamps in the evening. The timing of the VHP campaign has been carefully planned to conclude before the Ayodhya ceremony is telecast.
Moreover, a congregation of seers below the age of 45 is scheduled at Shegaon from December 1 to 3. This unique gathering aims to bring together religious influencers from various sectors, who will be briefed about VHP’s activities. Recognizing the impact these individuals have on society, the VHP hopes they will play a pivotal role in carrying forward the organisation’s message to the masses.
As the nation awaits the momentous occasion of the installation of the Ram idol in Ayodhya, the VHP’s multifaceted campaign reflects a concerted effort to engage communities, create a sense of unity, and ensure widespread participation in this historic event.