On January 2, Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, inaugurated a Ram Rath in Mumbai. This chariot, organised by BJP leader Shweta Shalini, aims to mobilize people door-to-door to celebrate the consecration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya at their local areas. Fadnavis proudly identified himself as a Karsevak and noted his attendance at all three Karsevaks for Ram Mandir.
Expressing his pride, Fadnavis recalled his presence in Ayodhya during the demolition of the disputed structure at Ram Janmabhoomi, seeing it as the removal of what he termed Babur’s imposed blot on Indian culture.
Devendra Fadnavis remarked, “The consecration of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple is scheduled for January 22. Currently, there’s a wave of enthusiasm for Bhgawan Ram across India. However, not everyone can visit Ayodhya presently. To facilitate this, the ‘Ram Rath’ has been created here in Mumbai. I extend my congratulations to Shweta Shalini for this beautiful initiative. Rohit Shetty, Girish Mahajan, and I are here for the inauguration, and we will officially start the Ram Rath after the Puja rituals. This chariot will bring the Darshan of Ram Darbar door-to-door for those unable to visit Ayodhya.”
He further expressed, “Bhagwan Ram’s significance transcends belief; everyone is welcome to worship him. This event holds immense importance. After 500 years of struggle, Bhagwan Ram’s temple is being constructed. We are striving to erase the stigma imposed by Babur. The temple will house the revered idol of Bhagwan Ram, a symbol of our nation. Using this occasion for politics is undignified. It’s time to set aside differences and pay respect to Bhagwan Ram, witnessing how the entire nation unites with Ram.”
🕗 7.55pm | 2-1-2024 📍 Mumbai | संध्या. ७.५५ वा. | २-१-२०२४ 📍 मुंबई.
— Devendra Fadnavis (Modi Ka Parivar) (@Dev_Fadnavis) January 2, 2024
Devendra Fadnavis highlighted, “It’s fitting to conduct puja ceremonies in 150,000 temples across Maharashtra on the day of the consecration as only a few can visit Ayodhya then. For us, every temple is our Bhagwan Ram’s abode; each temple represents our Ayodhya. We’ll witness Bhagwan Ram’s Darshan in these temples, not just in Maharashtra but across the nation. There won’t be a single temple in the country where the consecration ceremony of the Shri Ram Janamabhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya won’t be celebrated. It should be commemorated in every state across Maharashtra and the entire country.”
Reflecting on the Karseva and the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992, he expressed, “I disregard those who criticize us for the Babri structure’s demolition as they were concealed in their homes during the Karseva. None of them participated. Why should I engage with them? We are Karsevaks, and we take pride in it. I attended all three Karsevas and was even jailed in Badaun. I proudly affirm that I was present in Ayodhya when that disputed structure, which was a stain on us, was brought down. Some individuals are envious because they didn’t have the courage to be there at that time, remaining safely indoors. I don’t feel obligated to address criticism from such individuals.”
Devendra Fadnavis emphasised that, “The temple of Bhagwan Ram stands as a symbol of faith and the nation’s identity. This occasion transcends any particular party or ideology. It belongs to the entire nation, to every Hindu, to everyone who upholds Indian culture—regardless of their religious beliefs. The stain on Indian culture has been erased. It’s about reaffirming our identity. Those who politicise this moment display a narrow understanding. I’m not interested in addressing their limited vision. It’s a celebration for everyone—anyone who identifies as Indian, as Hindu, who acknowledges this victory for our identity will rejoice in this festival.”
The consecration of the Shri Ram Mandir at the Shri Ram Janambhoomi in Ayodhya is scheduled for January 22, 2024. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will conduct the Puja rituals and install the idol of Bhagwan Ram in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum on this significant day.