The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Tuesday said the bhoomi pujan ceremony for a Ram temple in Ayodhya is a rare moment that 'comes once in several lifetimes' and that they are 'overjoyed', but are making sure the event does not become a coronavirus hotspot.
VHP national working president Alok Kumar also rejected questions about the muhurta of the event, saying the 'best advice' has been taken including from the Head of the Jyotish Department of the Banaras Hindu University on timing of the ceremony.
"It is something which comes once in several lifetimes, the finest moment, and we are overjoyed. But, at the same time, we have taken care that it does not become a Jamaat episode-2," he told PTI in an interview, referring to a Tablighi Jamaat congregation in March in Delhi that was blamed for a large number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Kumar said they have, therefore, sent a limited number of invitations for the ceremony so that the health department's coronavirus advisory is complied with.
The city is decked up for the bhoomi pujan on Wednesday that will be attended at the Ram Janmabhoomi by 175 people, who figure in a select guest list of seers and politicians topped by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asked how difficult it was to keep the guest list short, the VHP leader said, "It was rather an impossible task. Because if somebody would ask me that those who laid down their lives, their families should be invited. I would say 'yes absolutely'. But then the number would have exceeded.
"All those who remained in jail (in connection with the movement), their number is in thousands. So, it was one of the impossible tasks, but something had to be done."
He also appealed to people to 'be disciplined' and not come to Ayodhya for the ceremony.
"Let us focus on our places and places around us. And work for development of Ramatva."
Kumar also rejected a Tweet on July 30 by Congress leader Karti Chidambaram who had said, 'Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan Muhurta- Its astrological meaning ? The choice of time baffles me, Wednesday 12 to 1.30 pm is Rahu Kaalam. No one starts anything auspicious during this period. I stick to my stated position, we don't need any new place of worship.'
Kumar said, "Karti Chidambaram should focus more on defending himself in cases. We have taken the best advice possible including from the Head of the Jyotish Department of the Banaras Hindu University. And, I have found out that this is a very good time for doing it."
Delving on the concept of Ramatva, he said, "Ramatva is ushering a Ram Rajya. It is going back once again to Shabris and Nishads. Ramatva took Lord Ram to Nishadraj and embrace him, and took him to Shabri's ashram."
Shabri and Nishadraj are characters of the epic Ramayana belonging to lower strata of the society.
"Lord Ram has said that he does not accept the caste structure, the high or the low. Therefore, social harmony. He went to Ahilya's ashram to give her dignity back. He went to vanars and bhils and organised them, empowered them," Kumar said.
"We shall have a society, where there would be no appeasement or exploitation. Above all, there has to be an end to terrorism by organising the power of good," he said.
He also said the VHP will work to strengthen the traditional family system of Bharat wherein families will become central to human life. This will help in getting rid of the problems of loneliness and depression, he added.
"Ram is there, he is in our heart, and he is relevant to the core," he said.
Prime Minister Modi will perform the bhoomi pujan (ground-breaking) ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of the grand Ram temple.
The Supreme Court had in November last year paved the way for the construction of the Ram temple by a Trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot an alternative five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a 'prominent' place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh.