In a historic moment on January 18, members of the Suryavanshi Thakur community joyously adorned their turbans (padgdi) in anticipation of the consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. This significant event marked the fulfilment of a vow taken by the community to abstain from wearing turbans until a grand Ram Mandir was reconstructed at the site where a disputed structure, commissioned by the Mughal ruler Babur, once stood.
The prolonged wait of nearly 500 years concluded for the Suryavanshi Thakur community in the Sarairasi village of Ayodhya on Thursday, January 18.
Residing in approximately 115 villages along both banks of the Saryu River in Ayodhya and the neighbouring Basti district, the Suryavanshi Thakurs proudly consider themselves as the descendants of Bhagwan Ram. Their deep-rooted belief is based on the historical account that around 90,000 of their ancestors valiantly fought against Mir Baqi, the commander of the Mughal ruler Babur, who demolished an ancient Ram Mandir and erected a contentious structure in its place.
Speaking on this matter, 63-year-old Suryavanshi Thakur, Dayaram Singh, shared with The Print, “A total of 76 battles were fought for the liberation of the Ram janmabhoomi from Babur’s era till British rule. When our forefathers heard about Mir Baqi having brought down the Mandir, they were incensed and decided to liberate the Ram janmabhoomi.”
He continued, “As they marched towards the Ram janmabhoomi, the warriors gathered at Surya Kund where they took a vow that they would not wear a pagdi on their heads, neither wear a panahi [leather shoes] on their feet nor cover their heads with an umbrella till they liberated Bhagwan Ram’s janmabhoomi.”
During the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the 1990s, the Suryavanshi Thakurs played a pivotal role in supporting the karsevaks (devotees of Bhagwan Ram) who arrived from various parts of the country. They provided essential support such as food, shelter, and assistance, ensuring the safe passage of these devotees to the janmabhoomi site.
Shiv Singh, a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and a resident of Sarairasi village, has made a heartfelt appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to extend an invitation to at least one representative from the Suryavanshi Thakur community for the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony.