Modi delivers Ram temple, architect Advani stays away


Indian prime minister Narendra Modi Wednesday attended the ceremonial launch of construction of a temple to Lord Ram in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, 28 years after Hindutva mobs demolished a mosque at the place believed to be the birthplace of the Hindu god.

The promise of the Ram temple is what catapulted Modi’s party to national prominence. It was the one issue that made the BJP a nationwide force to reckon with.

However, the architect of the Ram Janmabhoomi (birthplace) movement, LK Advani, stayed away from the culmination of it. Calcutta’s The Telegraph newspaper quoted Advani’s longtime manager as saying that he had not been invited. It is no secret that Modi and Advani do not see eye to eye.

“Ram is for everyone, Ram is within everyone,” the prime minister said while addressing seers after the rituals. “Ram speaks, thinks, according to time, place and circumstances. Ram teaches us to grow with time. Ram is in favor of change, Ram is in favor of modernity.”

He said that a grand temple would now be built for the deity that had been living under a temporary tent for many years.

Every heart is illuminated; it is an emotional moment for the entire country… A long wait ends today,” Modi said. “This day is proof of the truth of the resolve of crores of devotees. This day is a unique gift of a just, fair India to truth, non-violence, faith and sacrifice.”

“Ram is carved in our mind, mixed with us. You see the amazing power of Lord Ram — buildings were destroyed, every attempt was made to eradicate his existence. But he still remains in our mind.”