‘Destiny decided there would be a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, chose PM Modi for this’: LK Advani

Ram Temple. File image of LK Advani with PM Modi/ courtesy: PIB

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New Delhi/IBNS: Ahead of the grand ceremony in Ayodhya, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) veteran LK Advani said that fate decided there would be a Ram Temple in the temple town of Uttar Pradesh.

In an article titled ‘Ram Mandir Nirman, Ek Divya Swapna Ki Purti’, scheduled to release next week in a special edition of the ‘Rashtra Dharma’ magazine, Advani expressed himself as the “charioteer” who steered the controversial ‘rath yatra’ that began in Gujarat’s Somnath on September 25, 1990.

The event then culminated with the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, with  Advani being present at the spot.

Advani, who will be present in Ayodhya on Jan 22 to witness Prime Minister Narendra Modi headline the consecration ceremony, said he hoped the temple would “inspire all Indians to adopt the qualities of Lord Ram”.

“At that time (in September 1990, a few days after the yantra began) I felt destiny had decided that one day a grand Ram temple would be built in Ayodhya… now it is only a matter of time. And, a few days after the ‘rath yatra’ began, I realised I was just a charioteer. The main message was the yatra itself… that was the ‘chariot’ worthy of worship because it was going to Lord Ram’s birthplace…”

Speaking to a magazine, the BJP veteran also offered his congratulations to the Prime Minister – whom he referred to as “the devotee chosen by Lord Ram to renovate his temple” – for overseeing the construction of the building.

Reflecting on the most “decisive and transformative event of his political career”,  he said the controversial rath yatra allowed him to “re-discover India” and himself.

“… we did not know (then) that our faith in Lord Ram, with which we started the yatra, would take the form of a movement in the country,” he said recalling the huge support he received in the first leg of his journey – from Gujarat to Maharashtra – and in subsequent stages.

“During the yatra, there were many experiences that influenced my life. Unknown villagers from remote villages would come to me, overwhelmed with emotion after seeing the chariot. They would salute… chant ‘Ram’ and go away. This was a message – that many people dreamt of a Ram Temple…”

The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust will install the Ram Lalla idol at the sanctum-sanctorum of the temple at noon on Jan 22, with Prime Minister Modi, and in the presence of hundreds of Hindu seers.

Vedic rituals for the ‘Pran Pratistha’ will begin a week earlier, and Lakshmi Kant Dixit – a priest from Varanasi in UP, which is the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency – will perform the main ritual.

While invitations were sent out to opposition leaders, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, senior leaders Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury “respectfully declined” the same.

The Congress has accused the BJP of making the consecration a “political project” for electoral gains ahead of the general election less than three months away.