NEW DELHI, Jan 18: All central government offices across India will remain closed for half a day on January 22 on the occasion of the Ram Temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya so that they can watch live telecast of the grand event, the Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Thursday. The government has also issued a notification in this regard.
“The Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha at Ayodhya will be celebrated on 22nd January, 2024 across India. To enable employees to participate in the celebrations, it has been decided that all Central Government Offices, Central Institutions and Central Industrial Establishments throughout India will be closed for half day till 1430 hours on January 22, 2024,” an office memorandum issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) stated.
A source said the decision was taken in response to the “overwhelming sentiment and demands of employees” to participate in the celebrations. “Various activities have been planned by organisations and groups of people across India and abroad to coincide with the Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya,” the source said.
“Doordarshan has made elaborate arrangements for live telecast of the entire event, which will also be shown live on several private TV channels. Arrangements have also been made for screening of the Ayodhya ceremony live on large screens at public places in India and abroad,” the source added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is learnt, has taken feedback from ministers about the preparations for the grand event. The ministers have been told to light lamps at their homes and feed the poor. They have been asked to celebrate the day like Diwali.
The ministers have also been told to arrange trips to Ayodhya for the people of their constituencies when the temple is opened to the public after the January 22 event. They have been asked to oversee the preparations and accompany residents of their constituencies to Ayodhya on these trips.
The Uttar Pradesh town, the birthplace of Lord Ram, is abuzz with frenetic preparations for the ceremony to be presided over by the Prime Minister. Several public figures, including actors and cricketers, have been invited for the programme.