In what can be termed as music to the ears of Ram Bhakts all over the world, the Uttar Pradesh government led by CM Yogi is likely to announce the installation of a 151 meter long statue of Bhagwan Ram on banks of the Sarayu river in Ayodhya as a Diwali gift for all the Ram Bhakts.
Rishikesh Upadhyay, the mayor of Ayodhya Municipal Corporation, told PTI, “There is a proposal to install a 151-metre-tall statue of Lord Ram on the banks of the Sarayu river in Ayodhya … Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath may make an announcement on this on the occasion of Dev Deepawali.”
The Times of India has quoted a BJP leader, Upadhyay saying, “The place where the statue will be installed will be finalized after the soil is tested. The statue is likely to come up in the vicinity of Sant Tulsidas Ghat. Officials are looking at two-three sites, after which they will pick the best one.”
This pleasant development has happened days after PM Modi unveiled the Statue of Unity, a 182-meter structure built as a tribute to India’s first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary.
The Times of India has quoted the Uttar Pradesh unit chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mahendra Nath Pandey, saying, “Yogi Adityanath, in addition to being the chief minister, is the ‘peethadheeswar’ (head) of a prominent ‘peeth’ and ‘sant’. He must have made some plans pertaining to Ayodhya, which is a place of religious interest, pilgrimage and also the birthplace of Lord Ram.” He further said, “Let Diwali come and you will get good news.”
Just like last year, CM Yogi is also going to celebrate a grand Diwali in Ayodhya this year as well. A statue of Bhagwan Ram would give a boost to tourism, economy, development, cultural heritage and religion. Overall it’s a win-win situation. It will also help to inspire people to inculcate values such as obedience, truthfulness and commitment for which Bhagwan Ram dedicated his entire life. Along the construction of a statue, a grand Ram Mandir must also commence as early as possible.
Last month, a three-day long festival was organised, wherein artists from various parts of the country came to Ayodhya. The Ayodhya Art Festival 2018, had over two hundred artists who painted hundreds of walls across the city. The theme of the festival was ‘Bhagwan Ram and his life’, and it was further divided into eight aspects of his life.
If all goes according to plan, Ayodhya shall soon reclaim its rightful place as India’s cultural nucleus. Unlike other governments that have been embarrassed by Ayodhya’s association to India’s Hindu past and have actively or passively disregarded its development, Yogi Adityanath and his administration are going all out to ensure that the ancient town becomes an exemplar for respect of tradition coupled with development. In spite of lack of amenities and infrastructure, the piety of Bhagwan Ram’s devotees has ensured that Ayodhya has stayed firmly on Uttar Pradesh’s religious tourism map. Yogi Adityanath government now intends to capitalize on the town’s tourism potential and inject it with a dose of development.