Shivkumar on Congress’s decision regarding Ram Temple celebrations in Ayodhya

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar of Karnataka defended the government's choice to hold the Ram Temple dedication ceremony in Ayodhya on 22 January.

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While on a visit to Kerala, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar supported his government’s choice to hold the Ram Temple dedication event on 22 January in Ayodhya, stating that “in the end, we are all Hindus.”He was speaking with reporters when he got to Kerala’s capital city for the Ramachandran Foundation award presentation. When reporters questioned Shivakumar about why the Karnataka government, which is governed by Congress, was celebrating the consecration ceremony in temples all around the state, he replied, “See, in the end, we are all Hindus.”

When reporters questioned the Congress High Command about why they hadn’t chosen to participate in the Ayodhya ceremony, he responded that the BJP-led Centre was selecting attendees one by one. Shivakumar further stated that the Ram Temple is not a private property.

ShivKumar on why he has not attended the festivities

“They (BJP) are picking and choosing leaders. There are so many leaders and chief ministers in the country. It is not a private property. It is public property. Every religion and symbol does not belong to any individual,” the Karnataka Deputy CM said. Invitations to attend the consecration ceremony have been sent to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, previous party boss Sonia Gandhi, and the party’s Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. Shivakumar further said, “We respect the sentiments of all the people,” adding that his government has departments for the minorities, SC/STs, OBCs and Hindu religion.

Ram Temple’s Construction and Inauguration

In a landmark decision in 2019, the Supreme Court supported the government’s trust in building the Ram temple at the contentious Ayodhya site and mandated the search for a different five-acre plot for a mosque in the town that is revered by Hindus. Consequently, Ayodhya is preparing for the ‘pran pratishtha’ at the huge Ram temple under construction, which is scheduled for January 22 and will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Ram temple complex would be 161 feet high, 250 feet wide, and 380 feet long (east-west). It will be constructed in the classic Nagara style. The temple will have 392 floors total, each 20 feet high with 44 gates on each floor.

Many celebrities were also invited to the Ram Temple Inauguration

Many celebrities are invited to the celebration on January 22nd. On January 8, Dhanush was invited to the momentous Ayodhya ceremony. Jackie Shroff and his son Tiger are also among the distinguished guests.  Meanwhile, the Shri Smash Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra temple trust has invited around 7,000 people, including politicians, cricket players, businesspeople, Bollywood stars, and more. ‘Ramayan’ actors Arun Govil and Dipika Chikhlia, who played Lord Ram and Goddess Sita in the popular TV show, have also been invited to the event. The inaugural celebration will feature a speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as announced. In addition, several new celebrities have also been invited, such as Sunny Deol, Ajay Devgn, Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, and others. Aside from Mukesh Ambani, other industrialists invited to the event include Ratan Tata, Anil Ambani, Gautam Adani, and others.

By: Gursharan Kaur

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