Ayodhya Ram Temple model at Republic Day Parade gets standing ovation
New Delhi, Jan 26: Cultural heritage of ancient holy town Ayodhya, replica of a Ram temple, glimpse of ''Deepotsav'' and various stories from Ramayana epic were depicted in the tableau of Uttar Pradesh in the Republic Day parade on Rajpath on Tuesday.
The bedecked tableau was fronted by a sitting model of Maharishi Valmiki and the temple model occupied a large portion on the rear side. The tableau prompted many among the spectators, including ministers, to stand and applaud.
"Ayodhya is our holy place and the Ram temple issue has been an emotive one for the faithful. Our tableau showcased the ancient heritage of the temple town, revered by countless people across the country," an official of the Uttar Pradesh government, accompanying the state team, said.
A group of artistes, including many dressed as saints accompanied the tableau.
Tableaux from a total of 17 states and union territories were showcased at the Republic Day celebrations, whose scale this year was severely curtailed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Strict safety protocols and social distancing norms were in place.
"I am very excited and happy that Ayodhya and its heritage will be showcased in our tableau," Ajay Kumar, a member of the UP tableau team, had earlier said.
"We have been waiting to see Ayodhya''s heritage being showcased on Rajpath," said Kumar, a resident of Laxmangarh in Chandauli district, as he posed for photographers.
Ayodhya's Deepotsav celebrations, which found its name in the Guinness Book of Records, was depicted on one side of the tableau with earthen lamps, while other murals showed embracing of Nishadraj by Lord Ram and eating of Shabri's berry by him, salvation of Ahilya, bringing of Sanjeevani by Lord Hanuman, Jatayu-Ram samvad, Ashok Vatika and other scenes.
On November 9, 2019, the Supreme Court had settled the fractious Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, going back more than a century, and backed the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site. It also had ruled that an alternative five-acre plot must be found for a mosque in the Hindu holy town.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last August had performed the ''bhoomi pujan'' of a Supreme Court-mandated Ram temple in Ayodhya, bringing to fruition the BJP''s mandir movement that defined its politics for three decades and took it to the heights of power. The Ram temple is scheduled for completion in 2023.