The grand consecration ceremony at Ram Temple in Ayodhya marks not just the triumph of Hindus but a triumph of the Indian civilisation, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said, appealing to Muslim and Christian communities to organise special prayers tomorrow.
“I appeal to Muslims and Christians to organise special prayers tomorrow so that all of us, from all castes and communities, can stay together in peace. This is not a triumph of Hindus, but a triumph of Indian civilisation. This is not the triumph of a religion. An aggressor broke an Indian place of worship. Babar was an aggressor. He did not attack just Hindus. There is no difference between British colonialists and Babar. Babar was a foreign power,” Mr Sarma said in Assamese during an interaction with the media today.
The grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya is coming up at the site where the Babri Masjid stood before its demolition in 1992. The 16th century mosque had been at the centre of an age-old dispute between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus believe that the site is the birthplace of Lord Ram and that Muslim invaders razed a temple there and built the mosque. Inscriptions inside the now demolished mosque suggested it was built in 1528-29 by Mir Baqi, a commander of Mughal emperor Babur.
Following decades-long legal battles, the Supreme Court in 2019 handed over the disputed site to a trust to build the Ram Temple. The court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to give land to the Sunni Central Waqf Board for building a mosque.
As Ayodhya gets ready for the grand pran pratistha ceremony, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP government in Assam has declared holiday for schools, colleges and universities tomorrow. These include private institutions too.
In line with the centre’s half-day break to government employees, Assam has said state government offices will be shut till 2.30 pm. The state government has also declared tomorrow a dry day. Fish and meat shops, it has said, will remain closed till 4 pm. Also, restaurants will be barred from serving non-vegetarian items till 2 pm.
“We appeal to business establishments to shut shops during the consecration ceremony at the Ram Temple,” Mr Sarma said.
The state government has said special security arrangements have been made in sensitive areas to prevent any communal flare-up.