- The much-awaited Ram mandir consecration ceremony has been concluded with great religious fervour and devotion amid an overwhelming flow of emotions by millions of devotees worldwide. As you are aware, thousands have laid their lives while fighting for the rightful place of Lord Ram at his birthplace in Ayodhya over the last five centuries. The momentous occasion marked the culmination of the long struggle that characterized the fight of the Hindus demanding the construction of the mandir at the holy site. In hindsight, it amazes me to note that the majority community of a country had to wait for five centuries to realize their revered god finally found a place among millions of adoring devotees.
PC: India Today
- While the entire country and the diaspora spread across the universe were emotionally soaking in the unfolding consecration ceremony of Lord Ram amid Vedic rituals, the visuals of the splendid idol and the mandir all decked for the occasion made for a spectacular view. The entire ceremony was so well coordinated that it made us brim with pride. Of course, Prime Minister Modi’s speech was impressive, and even his critics would acknowledge it. So were all the speakers who spoke during the occasion. What was also unmissable was the holy town’s quick infrastructure upgrade in time for the grand consecration ceremony. Indeed, Ayodhya’s ceremony, rhetorical sniping between BJP and opposition aside, was as uncontroversial as it was grand.
- Ayodhya has seen a lightning scale-up and expansion of urban infrastructure. It was visible how roads have been widened and improved. Transport upgrades include a redeveloped railway station and an international airport, which will eventually be able to cater to 6 million passengers annually. In scale and speed, these projects are like Mumbai’s Atal Setu, a 21.8 km bridge of which 16.5 km is over the sea. It was completed in seven years. Welcomingly, these projects showcase India’s ability to deliver quality infra in a quick time. But it cannot be limited to special projects. Urban India’s infra is in poor shape. The last few months have shown that it doesn’t have to be so. It is reassuring that Indian capabilities to build urban infra are second to none.
- Now that the mother of all elections, the Lok Sabha, is just a few months away, the political narrative will shift focus on ensuring the electorate is peppered with poll promises. As such, PM Modi’s Ayodhya speech was smartly messaged – on Hindu cultural revivalism, economic progress, and technology, all feeding a political narrative. Equally significant is his itinerary before consecration including temple visits in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Most of these temples draw significance from Ramayana. The big question now is whether and how far consecration will help the BJP in these states where its electoral performance has been lackluster. The BJP is aware that it has to build a poll campaign on more than one issue. The PM is already doing it.