PUDUCHERRY: The foundation of the Lord Ram temple in Ayodhya will be completed by the end of October this year and it is expected that 'Bhagwan Sri Ram Lalla' will be consecrated in the 'garbhagriha' (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple by December 2023 when devotees can take darshan, said Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) National General Secretary Milind Parande.
A huge foundation of 400 feet by 300 feet by 50 feet has been created underground and the actual construction of the temple has started, he said at a press conference on Wednesday. Thousands of people are already coming to visit the temple premises, despite the COVID-19 situation, he added.
The VHP leader demanded that the government relinquish its control over temples and hand them over to Hindu society. Stating that churches or mosques are not controlled by the government, he charged the government of adopting discriminatory attitudes towards temples. "Only when certain issues like disputes arise, the government should interfere, otherwise Hindu society should control temples," he said.
Alleging that temple donations are being misused in many states including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry, he said that the funds are diverted by the government for non-religious work. Often the funds are used by the government for 'secular purposes' or government work. The donation has not been given for such purposes by devotees and hence the funds should be used for 'seva of deities or dharma prachar', he said. Till a Hindu societal body is formed, temple funds should not be touched by the government, he said, adding that the government should use their own funds for developmental activities.
The VHP leader urged the Puducherry government to bring in an anti-conversion law to prevent forced conversion of Hindus to other religions. The law should also include provisions to outlaw conversions through marriages in the name of love jihad, he said. Minor girls were abducted and forced to convert in the name of marriage. At present there is the Special Marriage Act to deal with mixed marriages, but stringent provisions are required to establish that the marriage and conversion is not a forced one, he said.
The Supreme Court has given clear directions, based on which the anti-conversion law should be framed, said Parande. Already, some states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand have passed such anti-conversion laws in their respective states and Puducherry should also come up with such a law. He said that he will approach the administration in this regard. The VHP has been demanding a central anti-conversion law for the entire country, he said.