#AyodhyaDiary: On this day, a reminder of another temple
On 6 November 2005, Delhi's Swaminarayan Akshardham temple was officially opened to the public by Pramukh Swami Maharaj
A tale of two temples. As the fanfare over the Ram Temple consecration sweeps across India, X user 'Dr Ranjan' has reminded us of 6 November 2005, a day when Delhi's Swaminarayan Akshardham temple was officially opened to the public by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the presence of President A.P. J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leader of the opposition L.K. Advani, and Delhi lieutenant-governor B.L. Joshi.
"Delhi's Glory - Akshardham Temple Inauguration of 2005, was a pompous event.
The Prime Minister, a Sikh
President of India, a Muslim
Leader of Opposition, a Hindu
Ayodhya Pran Pratishtha should have also invoked similar spirit of Harmony & Coexistence," is how Ranjan has framed his post, which has already gained a fair amount of traction on X.
Of the three dignitaries listed above, only one made it to the Ayodhya Ram Temple pran pratishtha ceremony today. Earlier social media posts about President Droupadi Murmu not being invited to the ceremony were shown to be false.
As it turns out she did receive her invite on 12 January. But though the president reportedly expressed "immense joy" on receiving the invitation, she said she would "soon decide the time to come and visit Ayodhya", according to a statement released by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. We take it that meant a 'no'.
Ms Ranaut's day out
X was also awash with a video of Kangana Ranaut exulting at the exact moment when the pran pratishtha happened, one assumes. Though the video on her X handle didn't specify exactly when it was recorded.
Three hours later, she went on to publish another post, showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi standing with his back to the idol of Lord Ram (one assumes), hands folded. Kangana simply captioned the image "Ram", with a triangular saffron flag next to it, so it isn't clear if she meant the divine idol or the man in front of it, though many commenters did ask the question.
Meanwhile, 11 lakh laddus were distributed at an event in Amravati, Maharashtra to mark the idol consecration in Ayodhya. The event, which was organised by local MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana, was attended by deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Fadnavis was felicitated on the occasion for being a kar sevak (volunteer of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the 1990s), and was given a saffron shawl along with a bow and arrow.
"Today is a historic day for India. We have emerged from the shadows of slavery. This celebration is a testament to our unity and strength as nation," Fadnavis said, and hailed PM Modi for "fulfilling the dreams of Indians" by ensuring that the Ram Temple is built in Ayodhya. "After 500 years, Ram Lalla has returned to his rightful place in Ayodhya," the senior BJP leader said.
Like his fellow celebrating celebrities, Fadnavis, too, took to X to drive home the point that the 11 lakh laddus were intended to set some sort of world record. As you can see from the post below, the exact category is not clear.
Hoping for an "auspicious" start to their newborns' lives, many Indian couples reportedly demanded 'muhurat deliveries', planned in consultation with doctors, to coincide with the exact time of the idol consecration.
While 'Ram' and 'Sita' were the preferred names for many, a baby boy born to a Muslim family in a district hospital in Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh, was named Ram Rahim by his grandmother.
Dr Naveen Jain, the in-charge of the hospital, said a woman named Farzana gave birth to a baby boy and "the child's grandmother Husna Banu has named him Ram Rahim", saying she wanted to give a "message of Hindu-Muslim unity".
JSS Super Speciality Hospital in Karnataka's Vijayapura had special requests from over 50 pregnant women to align their delivery dates for 22 January, and conducted over 20 deliveries on the day. "Today alone, we have carried out delivery of more than 20 women so far and still operation threatres are full and scanning is still being carried out to schedule the next line of deliveries," a hospital official said.
The hospital had announced free delivery of newborns at its facility from 18 to 22 January and has carried out over 100 deliveries during the specified period, according to the hospital administration. It also organised a 'cradle ceremony' on 22 January, in which three newborns reportedly represented "Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman". Sadly, the hospital didn't take to X to post visual evidence.
At least 47 babies were also delivered in different hospitals in three districts of Madhya Pradesh on Monday, health officials said.
With inputs from agencies