Ram temple a celebration of national unity: Priyanka

New Delhi, Aug 5:

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has said Lord Ram belongs to everyone and hoped the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya becomes a celebration of national unity, brotherhood and cultural harmony.

In a statement ahead of the ‘bhoomi poojan’ of the Ram temple on Wednesday, she said for ages Lord Ram’s character has served as a source of unity for the entire Indian sub-continent.

The Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh said Ramayana has left an indelible mark on the civilisation of the world.

“The ‘Bhoomi poojan’ ceremony of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has been scheduled for August 5. Hope this event becomes a celebration of national unity, brotherhood and cultural harmony in accordance with the message of Lord Ram and with his blessings,” she said.

This is probably the first time a member of the Gandhi family has come out with a bold statement in devotion of Lord Ram. The Congress has over the years sought to present itself as a secular party and did not openly embrace Hinduism, and this marks a shift.

Priyanka said Lord Ram has always been a binding thread for humanity and human good in India’s ethos from times immemorial.

“Ram is courage, Ram is unity, Ram is tolerance, Ram is fraternity. Ram belongs to everyone. Lord Ram is the good and well being of all. This is why Lord Ram is called ‘Maryada Purshottam’ (the epitome of principled conduct and righteousness),” she said in her statement.

“Lord Ram symbolises sacrifice as also shelter. Ram belongs both to ‘Sabri’ as also to ‘Sugriv’. Ram belong to ‘Valmiki’ as also to ‘Bhasa’. Ram belongs to ‘Kamban’ as also to ‘Ezhuthachan’. Ram belongs to ‘Kabir’, to ‘Tulsidas’ and to ‘Raidas’. Ram personifies each one of us,” she said, describing Ram an assimilation of all cultures, castes, class and religions and beyond any such barriers of language, regions or castes.

Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ bestows divine wisdom and equanimity and Waris Ali Shah says, ‘Rab is Ram’, she said in her brief statement.

Priyanka also quoted noted poet Maithali Sharan Gupt, saying he described Ram as “the strength of the oppressed and the voiceless”, while Mahapran Nirala described Lord Ram in his classical words as “the power of eternal truth”.

She said from times immemorial, Lord Ram, Sita and the legendary tale of the Ramayana are luminously etched in our cultural, spiritual and religious memory.

“The Indian psyche has always been inspired and encapsulated the spirit of Dharma, righteousness, duty, sacrifice, compassion, love, bravery and service, that runs through Ramayana,” she said.

Priyanka said from north to south, from east to west, the ‘Ramkatha’ has manifested itself in immeasurable forms, noting that as the Lord has infinite incarnations, ‘Ramkatha’ has infinite forms.

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