Allahabad, November 5: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's announcement to install the tallest Ram statue in Ayodhya has evoked a sharp criticism from Mahant Satyendra Das, the head priest in Ayodhya.
Opposing the move, Das said Lord Ram's statue should be inside the temple, not in the open. "Who will take care of the statue and perform daily puja of the deity," questioned Das, who performs daily Puja of Ram Lalla (the child Ram) at the makeshift Ram Janmabhoomi temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya for the last 25 years. Plans Afoot for Statue of Lord Ram on Saryu River Banks in Ayodhya.
Das' remarks comes a day before Yogi Adityanath is scheduled to visit Ayodhya and lay the foundation stones of the ambitious Ram statue project on the banks of river Saryu. The proposed statue will be 151 metres tall and the Chief Minister will initiate the project on November 6, said UP government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma.
According to Das, the statue of Lord Ram in the open would amount to his politicisation. "Since the Lord is our deity, who will take care of him? We all know the condition of political statues across the nation," he said, referring to the dilapidated statues of various national leaders, which are at times smeared by miscreants of opposing ideology.
If the the government is still adhement on constructing the statue, its height should be lowered to facilitate routine puja and adequate maintenance, Das claimed.
Das also commented on the renewed vigour shown by the BJP and its ideological affiliates for a Ram temple on the disputed site, claiming that the issue should not be politicised. "If Ram Lala wants, only then will there be a temple in Ayodhya. If He does not want, then He will continue to stay underneath a tarpaulin," he was quoted as saying by HT.
Das, who is also a professor of Sanskrit, said the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 hurt the prospects of Hindus more than that of Muslims.
While Das' approach stresses on restraint, the Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti on Sunday called upon the government to construct a Ram temple at the earliest by passing an ordinance to acquire the disputed land.