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Destiny had Decided Construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya Decades Ago: LK Advani

Destiny had Decided Construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya Decades Ago: LK Advani

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NEW DELHI, Jan 12: The veteran BJP leader and former deputy prime minister LK Advani who had led the Ram Rathyatra from the Somnath temple and destined to go to Ayodhya in 1990, said the destiny had long back decided that there would a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Advani who described the 1990 yatra “the most decisive and transformative event of his political career,” labelled himself the “charioteer” of the Ram Rath and also offered his congratulations to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi whom he referred to as “the devotee chosen by Lord Ram to renovate his temple” for overseeing the construction of the building.

Mr Advani’s ‘rath yatra’ that began in Somnath on September 25, 1990, and culminated with demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, with Mr Advani on the spot, which was co-led by him with another BJP old-timer – Murali Manohar Joshi – had snowballed into a controversial event that led to communal violence across parts of north India.

Mr Advani, who returns to Ayodhya January 22 to witness Mr Modi, then his aide, headline the consecration ceremony, also 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…”

Mr Advani who said the 1990 yatra had given him an opportunity 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, as he spoke about the 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 which 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 there were many people who dreamt of a Ram Temple…” “Now, when PM Modi consecrates the temple, he will represent every citizen of India…”

That Mr Advani will attend the January 22 event was uncertain till Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Alok Kumar confirming the presence of the 96-year-old BJP statesman this week. Earlier there were reports the organisers had asked both Mr Advani and Mr Joshi, who is 90, not to come.

(Manas Dasgupta)

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