Sacred games | Supreme Court verdict breathes fresh life into Ayodhya

first_imgDays after the Supreme Court allowed the construction of a temple on the site where the Babri Masjid once stood, Ayodhya has managed to stay calm. Quietly the Saryu flows alongside. But the crowds keep coming, under the watchful gaze of 4,000 paramilitary personnel and U.P. police who have been carefully deployed in the State. On platform No. 1, devotees are pouring out of a train. They have come for a glimpse of the site that they believe is the birthplace of Ram. To reach the site, you have to take a battery-powered e-rickshaw for the last mile. This ensures that no heavy vehicles venture too close, unless they have special passes issued by the local administration. It prevents large congregations gathering here. Barely a kilometre away, at Karsevakpuram, stands a model of the future temple. Behind this is the Nyas workshop where over two lakh bricks (shila) inscribed with the words ‘Shri Ram’ in various languages have been collected over three decades. People throng to take photographs. To beautify the Saryu riverside, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has some tall plans, such as creating an island with a 151 metre high Ram statue that will be placed on a 50 metre high pedestal under a 20 metre wide umbrella. There will also be an amphitheatre and several ghats.The floors of the famous Valmiki Ramayan Bhawan are stacked with bundles of notebooks that have ‘Ram’ written in them in various languages. There is an air of quiet anticipation. “I am extremely happy,” says Rukmani, a schoolteacher. “This will bring development to the temple town.” (Text and images by V.V. Krishnan)last_img

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