‘Though a final decision is pending, there is a feeling that the foundation stone laying ceremony should be held on 2 April’.

 

New Delhi: The laying of foundation stone of the Ram temple at Ayodhya may be held on Ram Navami which is on 2 April this year.

Though a final decision on the issue will be taken at the meeting of the proposed Trust, there is a feeling that the foundation stone laying ceremony should be held on 2 April, which is the birthday of Lord Ram. Several prominent Hindu seers, including the chairman of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, have expressed their view that Ram Navami is very auspicious day when the construction work can start.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has said that the construction could be started any day between 25 March, when the Vikram Samvat (Hindu new year) starts, and 8 April, which is Hanuman Jayanti. The start of Vikram Samvat also marks the beginning of Navratri. The VHP plans to celebrate the period—25 March to 8 April—as “Shri Ram Mahotsav”.

As per the deadline, the process of setting of the proposed Trust is to be done by 9 February. Sources said the Centre may issue a notification for setting up the Trust to take up the Ram temple construction in January end, after Makar Sankranti, which marks the beginning of an auspicious period for Hindus.

The VHP has convened a meeting of Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal at Prayagraj on 20 January and it will be attended by the Sant Samaj. The meeting will deliberate on the various aspects related to temple construction in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict. While the decision will be taken by the Sant Samaj, the Mandal will take it forward.

The VHP has decided to organise “Shri Ram Mahotsav” from 25 March to 8 April in a grand manner. “Though we organise this event every year, this time, we are going to do it in a big way. We have called upon the people to light lamps at their home in the evening during this period,” VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal told The Sunday Guardian.

“During this period, we plan to reach out to 2.75 lakh villages across the country from where consecrated ‘Shri Ram Shilas’ (bricks) were sent to Ayodhya in 1989 for the temple construction. We also plan to identify the ‘Ram Bhakts’ who took part in the Ram temple movement, and honour them. We would like them to be associated with the construction work,” he said.

As per the plan, the VHP would ask the “Ram Bhakts” from each district to come in groups to Ayodhya according to a pre-planned schedule and assist in the construction work. Besides, “Ram Bhakts” who are living in different parts of the world would also be involved in the temple construction work.

The VHP has made it clear that it will not seek donations from anyone for the temple construct work. “The proposed Trust, however, may take donations for the purpose. We have made our stand clear that no government fund should be taken by the proposed Trust. Also, there should not be any representation from political parties in the proposed Trust,” Bansal added.

Sources said the proposed Trust may seek public donations starting from Rs 11 per family to fund the project.