Reflecting on the transformative journey that began with his Rath Yatra 33 years ago, Advani regards the Ayodhya movement as a pivotal point in his political career. It was a journey that led him to “re-discover India and, in the process, re-understand himself”. The Rath Yatra, which commenced on September 25, 1990, ignited a nationwide movement, rooted in the faith of Lord Ram, he recalls.
BJP veteran LK Advani to attend Pran Pratishtha ceremony on Jan 22
The BJP veteran, who was at the forefront of the Ram temple agitation, reminisces about the early days of the movement and pays homage to the late former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He notes PM Modi’s presence and involvement during the Rath Yatra, stating that even then, PM Modi was chosen by Lord Ram to rebuild the temple.
“Today the Rath Yatra completed 33 years. When we started the Rath Yatra on the morning of September 25, 1990, we did not know that the faith in Lord Ram with which we were starting this Yatra would take the form of a movement in the country,” a source quoted Advani as saying in his article.
In his article to be published in a special edition of the 76-year-old Hindi magazine ‘Rashtra Dharma’ on January 16, sources said Advani has noted that current prime minister Narendra Modi was with him throughout the Rath Yatra.
“He was not very famous then. But at that very time Lord Ram had chosen his devotee (Modi) to rebuild his temple,” a source quoted the BJP veteran as saying in his article.
“At that time I felt that destiny had decided that one day a grand temple of Shri Ram would definitely be built in Ayodhya,” Advani said, adding, “Well, now it’s only a matter of time”.
The consecration ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya is set to be organised on January 22. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, thousands of seers from across the country and other dignitaries have been invited for the ceremony. More than a lakh devotees are expected to descend on the temple town on the occasion of “Pran Pratishtha (consecration)”.
“When Prime Minister Narendra Modi consecrates the (Lord Ram’s idol at the) temple, he will represent every citizen of our India. I pray that this temple inspires all Indians to adopt the qualities of Shri Ram,” Advani said.
“During the Rath Yatra, there were many experiences which influenced my life. Unknown people from remote villages would come to me overwhelmed with emotion after seeing the chariot. They would do ‘pranam’, chant Lord Ram’s name and leave.
“This was a message that there were many people who dreamt of the Ram temple… With the consecration of the temple on January 22, the suppressed desires of those villagers will also stand fulfilled,” he added.
According to the Vishva Hindu Parishad, 96-year-old Advani will attend the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya.
“He has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modiji for bringing this moment, building a grand Ram Lala temple and fulfilling his resolution,” a source said referring to Advani’s article for the magazine.
A copy of the special edition of the magazine with Advani’s article will be shared with all those who will attend the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, sources added.