The ground breaking ceremony will be attended by 175 people invited for the event, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On the eve of the bhoomi poojan (ground breaking) ceremony for a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, former deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, considered one of main protagonists of the Ram temple movement, and whose invitation to the ceremony is still shrouded in confusion, released a statement terming the proposed temple as one that would usher in Ram Rajya in India and as a representation of a “strong, prosperous, peaceful and harmonious nation” with “justice for all and exclusion of none”.
Mr. Advani, who led a Rath Yatra drumming up mass support for the movement in the early 1990s and was arrested in Bihar subsequently, is considered one of the main architects of the movement, but will not be attending the ceremony in person on Wednesday. Aides were unclear whether he would be attending it via video conference.
In his statement, Mr. Advani said the construction of the temple was like a dream come true for him. “Sometimes, significant dreams in one’s life take a long time to fruition, but when they are finally realised, the wait becomes very worthwhile. One such dream close to my heart is getting fulfilled,” he said.
“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is laying the foundation for the construction of the Shri Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, the birthplace of Shri Ram. It is indeed a historical and emotional day, not only for me, but for all Indians,” he said.
He said that the construction of the temple was both a “desire and a mission” for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and that he feels humbled that “destiny made me perform a pivotal duty in the form of the Ram Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya in 1990 which helped galvanise the aspirations, energies and passions of countless participants.”
Acknowledging the role of Hindu holy men and leaders, he stated that a “decisive” Supreme Court verdict had led to the beginning of the construction in an “environment of tranquility”.
“Shri Ram occupies an esteemed place in India’s cultural and civilisational heritage and is the embodiment of grace, dignity and decorum,” he said. “It is also my belief that Shri Ram Mandir will represent India as a strong, peaceful and harmonious nation with justice for all and exclusion of none so that we can truly usher in Ram Rajya, the epitome of good governance,” he said.
The ground breaking ceremony will be attended by 175 people invited for the event, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, apart from members of the Shri Rama Teertha Kshetra Trust set up by the government of India for the construction of the temple.