Bhagwat, UP Guv, UP CM, Mahant Gopaldas to share podium with Modi during bhoomi pujan; Uma to stay away from event
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share the stage with just four more dignitaries — Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Mahant Nritya Gopaldas — at the grand Ram Temple foundation-stone laying ceremony at Ayodhya on August 5.
Even someone like Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is one of the tallest leaders from Uttar Pradesh and former Chief Minister of the State, will not be on the dais. Home Minister Amit Shah will not be able to make it due to Covid-19 infection, and veteran LK Advani and MM Joshi will have to watch the ceremony on video conference from Delhi itself. Both Joshi and Advani were reportedly advised by the organisers to not travel to Ayodhya due to their age related vulnerability to Covid-19.
Firebrand BJP leader Uma Bharti said she would, for the safety of the PM and other guests, stay away from the event and visit the site after everyone was gone. Incidentally, only a day ago she had declared she would take part in the ceremony.
The invitations are only for residents of Ayodhya. The first invite went to Iqbal Ansari, one of the Muslim litigants in the Ayodhya case. Padma Shri recipient Mohammad Sharif, another Muslim, honoured for cremating over 10,000 unclaimed bodies, has also been invited.
The invitation card mentions Prime Minister Narendra Modi and three more names, indicating a vastly trimmed list in the time of Covid-19.
The invite also has an image of the idol of “Ram Lalla” or infant Lord Ram. Each invitation has a security code that will work only once; if the guest exits the venue they will not be allowed back in, according to Champat Rai of the Ram Temple trust.
Invites have been sent to some 175 people for the elaborate “Bhoomi Pujan” organised on Wednesday in the middle of the nation’s coronavirus fight.
Champat Rai said the invitees were finalised only after they RSVP-ed on phone calls. “We have the Covid situation, that’s why we have kept social distancing in mind. We have personally called and apologised to many people. Age is a factor too. How will Advaniji (91) come at his age? So we have carefully prepared a list around these compulsions,” he said.
On inviting the Muslim litigant, Rai said: “Celebrating an event does not mean someone else should feel bad. No one should be teased.”
PM Modi is expected to establish a 40 kg silver brick for the symbolic start of the construction of a Ram Temple that has been central to the BJP’s core agenda and election promises for decades.
According to news agency ANI, three prominent scholars of Astrology and Vyakaran left for Ayodhya from Kashi on Monday to participate and supervise in the rituals of the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’,
The scholars are office-bearers of the Kashi Vidwat Parishad, an organisation of intellectuals and scholars of Veda, Astrology, Paninian, Sanskrit Grammar and Indian philosophy. The organisation represents Kashi. Three scholars, including the VHP vice-president Prof Ramchandra Pandey, member Prof Vinay Kumar Pandey and Prof Ramnarayan Dwivedi, the convener have left for Ayodhya.
The scholars carried a pair of gold Sheshnag, male and female serpentine, chandan from Baba Kashi Vishwanath Temple, a tortoise of silver to Ayodhya and five paans of silver. These will be used during the rituals.
Prof Ramchandra Pandey, a noted astrology scholar, is a former dean of the faculty of Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan (SVDV), BHU and Prof Vinay Kumar Pandey teaches astrology at the department of astrology. Prof Dwivedi teaches grammar at the faculty of SVDV.
Prof Dwivedi said that around a week ago, ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ organisers contacted the Parishad to send three noted scholars of astrology and Vedas for performing the rituals. The Parishad accepted the invitation and nominated three scholars, including the Parishad’s vice-president Prof Ramchandra Pandey, member Prof Vinay Kumar Pandey and Dwivedi for attending the ceremony.
Prof Dwivedi said, “Day before yesterday, we received an invitation for the three office-bearers from Shri Ram Janmabhumi Teertha Kshetra for attending the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ ceremony of the Ram Temple. We left for Ayodhya on Monday.”
“Rituals of ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ ceremony will take place under their supervision,” Dwivedi said.
Prof Dwivedi said that soil from the birthplace of Lord Parshwanath, Bhelupur and water from the temple in a Mangal Kalash, was presented by Jain community members Dr KK Jain and Dr Amit Jain. They are also carrying the soil and water to Ayodhya.
Before departing from Kashi, the scholars went to the Sankatmochan Temple. They offered prayers to Lord Sankatmochan Hanuman and left for Ayodhya.
“It is a matter of luck to witness the foundation-laying ceremony of the Ram Temple. In fact, it is a great and auspicious day for all of us,” Pandey said, adding that he had already completed preparations for the Ayodhya visit.
Nageshwar Chaurasia, president Chaurasia Samaj, and Bunty Chaurasia, secretary, Chaurasia Samaj along with other members of the Chaurasia community presented 5 silver paans to the Vidwat Parishad members on Sunday. The Vidwat Parishad members carried the paans and these will be used in the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’.
Tuesday, 04 August 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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