Petition filed in Allahabad HC demanding ban on Pran Pratishtha

Petitioner Bhola Das argues that according to Hindu belief, religious programmes should not be organised in the month of Paush. Allahabad HC, however, refused an immediate hearing

Representative image of the Ram Mandir
Representative image of the Ram Mandir
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NH Political Bureau

A PIL (public interest litigation) has been filed in Allahabad High Court urging a ban on the consecration ceremony of the Ram Lalla idol at Ayodhya's Ram Temple scheduled for 22 January.

In his petition, Bhola Das, a resident of Ghaziabad and a retired SDO of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), has argued that according to Hindu belief, no religious programmes can be organised in the month of Paush (mid-January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar).

"The idol of Ram Lalla will be installed at the under-construction temple, and the ceremony is to be performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Shankaracharyas have objected to the pran pratishtha programme, stating that the temple is still incomplete, and no deity can be consecrated," Das was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The PIL emphasises that the consecration ceremony should not be held on 22 January, as it goes against the sanatana tradition of performing such ceremonies when the temple is still under construction. It also notes that four Shankaracharyas are contemplating skipping the ceremony.

Swami Nischalanand Saraswati Maharaj, the Shankaracharya of Puri, has said, "The Shankaracharyas uphold their own dignity. This is not about ego. Are we expected to merely sit outside and applaud when the prime minister installs the idol of Ram Lalla? The presence of a 'secular' government does not imply the obliteration of tradition."

Das, who describes himself as a "Ram bhakt (devotee)", expressed concerns about the possible "politicisation" of the event for electoral gains by the BJP. He claims to have deep faith in the Ram temple but objects to the alleged overlooking of the contributions of the thousands involved in the movement.

In his petition, he has suggested that the pran pratishtha should take place after the Lok Sabha elections. Shankaracharyas — top four sanatan Hindu Dharma spiritual leaders — have also opposed the Pran Pratishtha in under construction Ram temple.

It is worth noting here that amidst the uproar over the four Shankaracharyas reportedly skipping the ceremony, several Opposition parties including the Congress have refused to take part in the ceremony, calling it a BJP-RSS event.

Consecration ceremonies leading up to the inauguration of the temple commenced on 16 January, with a kalash pujan held on Wednesday, according to reports from PTI.

The consecration rituals are scheduled to extend until 21 January, with the essential rites for the pran pratishtha of the idol of Ram Lalla set to take place on 22 January, as confirmed by trust officials. PM Modi is slated to be the main yajman (ritual participant) during the consecration ceremony.

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