LUCKNOW: A crucial meeting called by a group of seers, demanding a change in the existing model of proposed Ram temple, was cancelled at the last moment without giving any reason in Ayodhya on Monday.
The seers, led by Mahant Suresh Das, head of Digambar Akhara, however, had handed over a memorandum to local BJP MLA Ved Prakash Gupta demanding a change in existing model of Ram Mandir to make it more majestic, on Sunday.
As per the MLA, the seers had handed over a memorandum seeking an altogether a new design making the grandest ever temple of Lord Ram in the world. “They have requested to approach the Prime Minister and UP CM Yogi Adityanath over the issue and I will try to do that,” added Gupta.
In fact, the seer have a common refrain that they are not being consulted on matters of temple construction and its model by the members of Shree Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust which was instituted by the Centre on February 5, this year in compliance of the Supreme Court order of November 9, 2019.
“We are not happy with the way the temple trust is functioning. Neither they take the seers of Ayodhya into confidence nor do they consult us on any issue related to the construction of temple and its model. It should be an inclusive process and we should also be asked to present our views to the trust before the construction starts,” said Mahant Dharam Das, head, Nirwani Akhara.
The initial pre-construction work towards Ram temple had commenced on Ram Janmabhoomi premises on May 11. Currently, the exercise of land levelling is going on the premises, said the sources.
On Saturday, the seers had met Digambar Akhara head by Mahant Suresh Das, over the issue which was initially raised by former BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti who is also an accused in Babri demolition case. However, on Sunday, the seers ignored Vedanti while preparing to meet Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, chairman of Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust and head of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, to discuss the issue.
Even on Sunday, the meeting of the seers with Nritya Gopal Das was called off on the intervention of VHP leader Rajendra Singh ‘Pankaj’ who met Mahant Suresh Das of Digambar Akhara in the morning.
“The temple should have such grandeur that it could make Ayodhya, one of the most significant destinations of religious tourism on the world map. The existing model of Ram temple proposed by VHP is not acceptable to the seers of Ayodhya as it does not match the level of majestic splendour Lord Ram Temple should have. It should be one and only in the world,” said Vedanti. He added that the temple should be the highest in the world. “It should be as high as 1111 feet. I have also written a letter in this regard to the President, PM, UP CM, Union Home Minister, Defence Minister and UP Governor. I believe that my demand would be considered while initiating the construction work of the temple,” said Vedanti.
“Meeting between Singh and Das was crucial. It was after this meeting that seers were pacified and decided to not raise the issue before Mahant Nritya Gopal Das,” said a senior VHP leader not willing to be quoted.
The VHP’s model was approved during the Ram Mandir movement in 1990s. The model is kept for ‘darshan’ at Karsevakpuram, the temple workshop in Ayodhya.