As the grand inauguration of the Shri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22 approaches, numerous miscreants from several Jammats have made inappropriate appeals to Muslims, urging them to stay indoors and avoid train travel. Despite such actions, it’s crucial to recognise that these misguided appeals don’t reflect the united sentiment of the country, as the Supreme Court’s decision has been embraced peacefully by the people.
The upcoming inauguration is anticipated to draw over 7,000 guests globally, followed by 3-5 lakh daily visitors for at least a month. This surge in pilgrims presents lucrative opportunities for various businesses. PM Modi will conduct the rituals around 12:15 pm, at the Nagara-style temple, spanning 2.77 acres, featuring pink sandstone construction and a notable Shaligram stone representing Lord Ram. The three-floor structure includes dedicated spaces for Lord Ram and Hanuman, a museum, a yajnashala, a community kitchen, and a medical facility, spreading over 67 acres. The temple’s history involves its demolition by Babur in the 16th Century, the subsequent mosque construction, and the 1992 demolition, settling the Ayodhya dispute in favour of constructing the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, overseen by the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust formed by the Indian government.
The Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi dispute, spanning 495 years, originated in 1528 with the contested construction of a mosque on a site believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace. Communal tensions escalated, prompting the British to erect a fence in 1859, granting limited access to both Hindus and Muslims. The dispute intensified in 1949 when idols were discovered inside the mosque, leading to legal battles and the eventual 2019 Supreme Court verdict allocating 2.77 acres to Hindus. The contentious events of December 6, 1992, saw the demolition of the mosque, triggering widespread communal riots. In 2010, the Lucknow Bench Allahabad High Court divided the disputed land among the Sunni Waqf Board, Ram Lalla Virajman, and the Nirmohi Akhara. The Supreme Court stayed this decision in 2011, urging an out-of-court settlement in 2017. However, with no resolution, the court commenced daily hearings in 2019, culminating in a historic verdict favouring the Ram Janmabhoomi on November 9, 2019. In 2020, after 28 years, the idols were relocated, and on August 5, construction began. Finally, the consecration of the grand temple of Ram Lalla on January 22, 2024, marks the conclusive end to this prolonged and contentious chapter in India’s history.
The Supreme Court’s role as the ultimate judicial authority in the country demands widespread acceptance of its decisions, irrespective of whether they favour any specific religious community, be it Hindus or Muslims. In the case of the Ram Mandir decision favouring the Hindu community, everyone must embrace the verdict with respect, understanding that the Supreme Court’s judgment is the final word in our legal system. Unsubstantiated rumours of potential riots should be dismissed unequivocally, as fostering a peaceful atmosphere is paramount. It is imperative to recognize that the same respect and acceptance would be necessary if the decision had favoured the Muslim community. In a diverse nation like India, upholding the sanctity of the judiciary is essential for societal harmony.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) minority morcha has unveiled a heartwarming initiative called ‘Deepotsav’, planning to illuminate 1,200 dargahs and mosques nationwide with earthen lamps ahead of the consecration ceremony of the idol of Lord Ram inside the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22. Scheduled from January 12 to 22, this program symbolises a beautiful gesture of unity and inclusivity. BJP’s minority wing head, shared, “We have identified 1,200 small/big mosques, dargahs, and other Muslim religious places across the country where we will light diyas”. In Delhi alone, 36 significant places, including the Jama Masjid and Nizamuddin Dargah, will participate.
The Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi dispute, spanning 495 years, originated in 1528 with the contested construction of a disputed structure on a site believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace. Finally, the consecration of the grand temple of Ram Lalla on January 22, 2024, marks the conclusive end to this contentious chapter
During his visit to Ayodhya on December 30, PM Modi called for lighting diyas on January 22, turning it into a nationwide Diwali celebration. He encouraged cleanliness drives at pilgrimage sites and temples from January 14 to 22. This thoughtful initiative, aimed at fostering communal harmony, reflects the BJP’s commitment to bringing people of diverse religions, cultures, and ethnicities together. As the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony of Lord Ram unfolds, marking a monumental event, the nation collectively celebrates the spirit of unity, brotherhood, and harmony. In acknowledging and respecting all religions, we embrace the true ethos of India, symbolising the values that unite us all.
Amid the historic Shri Ram Mandir consecration ceremony, members of the Hindu community must exercise responsibility and uphold the values of communal harmony. While celebrating the culmination of a long-standing aspiration, it is crucial to remain sensitive to the sentiments of their Muslim brethren. On this momentous occasion, it becomes essential for the Hindu community to refrain from any actions that might hurt the feelings of their Muslim counterparts. Falling into any provocative narratives or succumbing to divisive agendas should be avoided, as the strength of a nation lies in its unity amidst diversity. By upholding these principles, the Hindu community contributes not only to the success of the Shri Ram Mandir ceremony but also to the broader vision of an inclusive society that respects the beliefs and sentiments of all its citizens. This responsible approach ensures that the historic event becomes a symbol of unity rather than a source of division.
“All religions should be respected”, many Urdu poets have conveyed messages of tolerance, unity, and harmony among diverse communities. Poets like Allama Iqbal and Faiz Ahmed Faiz often emphasised the importance of coexistence and mutual respect. Their poetry carries themes of unity beyond religious boundaries, promoting the idea of embracing diversity. While the exact phrase may not be directly attributed to a single poet, the broader sentiment of respecting all religions is encapsulated in the spirit of many Urdu literary works that advocate for communal harmony and understanding.
Allama Iqbal, a renowned Urdu poet and philosopher, transcended religious boundaries in his poetic expressions, eloquently eulogising figures beyond the Islamic tradition. In one notable instance, Iqbal revered Lord Ram, referring to him as the “Imam-e-Hind” or the spiritual leader of India. This epithet reflects Iqbal’s recognition of the cultural and spiritual richness embedded in India’s diverse heritage. Through such poetic expressions, Iqbal sought to emphasise unity and shared spiritual values, encouraging a sense of collective identity that goes beyond individual religious affiliations. This acknowledgement of Lord Ram as a significant spiritual figure demonstrates Iqbal’s profound respect for India’s pluralistic ethos and the synthesis of various religious traditions within its cultural tapestry.