Ram temple will represent India as strong nation: Advani

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New Delhi: A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, veteran BJP leader L K Advani on Tuesday said it is a historic and an emotional day for him and for all Indians, as he recalled the “pivotal duty” he performed in carrying out the Ram Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya in 1990.

In a statement, he said it is his belief that the Shri Ram Mandir will represent India as a strong, prosperous, peaceful and harmonious nation with justice for all and exclusion of none to truly usher in ‘Ram Rajya, the epitome of good governance’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Wednesday attend a public function on laying of the foundation stone of ‘Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir’ at Ayodhya, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Prior to the function, the Prime Minister will take part in ‘pooja’ and ‘darshan’ at Hanumangarhi, a statement by the PMO said on Tuesday.  Modi’s visit to Ayodhya for the foundation stone laying ceremony is now officially confirmed.

Advani is considered a key figure in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, as he had undertaken the ‘Ram Rath Yatra’ in 1990 as the then BJP president to mobilise masses for building a Ram temple at the Ayodhya site where believers hold that Lord Ram was born.

“I feel humbled that during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, destiny made me perform a pivotal duty in the form of the Ram Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya in 1990, which helped galvanise the aspirations, energies and passions of its countless participants,” he said.

“Shri Ram occupies an esteemed place in India’s cultural and civilisational heritage and is an embodiment of grace, dignity and decorum. It is my belief that this temple will inspire all Indians to imbibe His virtues,” he said.

The 92-year-old BJP leader is not among the invitees for the ground-breaking ceremony of the temple by Modi on Wednesday due to his advanced age amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19 epidemic.