With Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing the Ram temple’s Bhoomi Pujan, the stage is set for the construction of a grand mandir. By all accounts, the temple is going to be truly spectacular and if the government’s plans to develop Ayodhya into a religious and tourist hub are successful, the temple town could become a major attraction.
But there can be no denying that the journey to see this day has been tortuous and viciously divisive. It has bred hatred and broken relationships. People of both religious denominations have killed and maimed each other in the name of the mandir and the masjid, in the name of the Lord and the Prophet. But surely neither would have wanted that, leave alone believed in it. Exclusion, hate and violence are antithetical to all religions. Love, tolerance and respect form the foundation of all religious teachings.
It is these values and beliefs that need to be celebrated and nurtured today as the times are fraught and the society is fractured. The need of the hour is sabka saath, sabka vishwas. At one end of the spectrum, many liberal, Left-oriented, self-styled secularists would have wished this day never arrived. For them, a fair court verdict would have been one that had gone in favour of the Muslims. At the other end, many believe that this day was long overdue.
But whatever be the view, let this be the time to rise above political and religious lines to celebrate the rich history and great civilisation of this country. Let it be the moment to commemorate the contribution of all communities to make India such a richly diverse country. Let bygones be bygones. Let there not be any competition about whether the masjid or the mandir will be grander. Let there only be fierce competition among the people of all religious beliefs, customs and culture to make India more harmonious, economically stronger and self-reliant. Only then will there be real closure of such a divisive issue and true Ram Rajya.