As Ayodhya gears up for grand Deepotsav, the religious lines in the once communally-sensitive temple town have blurred. People from both Hindu and Muslim communities have joined hands to make this Diwali memorable and send out a message of communal harmony.
As per local officials, more than 5000 volunteers will participate to make a design based on the theme of the under-construction Ram Temple by lighting 17 lakh oil lamps in an area of more than 500 square metres at ‘Ram Ki Paidi’.
Men and women from the Muslim community will also join the event.
“This is not new. We have been lighting earthen lamps for 5 years here. It is a matter of pride for us that we belong to this place,” said a jubilant Naiza Khan, a local resident.
She further said: “The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath will grace the occasion has added to the already-prevailing excitement for the event.”
The Ram Temple-themed design is part of the Deepostsav programme which was initiated by chief minister Yogi in 2017. October 23’s celebration will mark the completion of six years of the initiative.
Not just Ayodhya, volunteers from across India will be participating in the programme. A Ram Temple-themed design has already been inscribed on the ground and volunteers will be lighting diyas or earthen lamps on designated spots on it.
Assistant Prof. Sarita Dwivedi, who will lead the team of volunteers in arranging the oil lamps, said: “It is a matter of great happiness that Prime Minister Modi will be attending the event… The lamp will create a 3D image of the temple.”
Sheshmani Tripathi, a volunteer, said, “The arrangement of oil lamps on already designated spots has almost been completed. We are waiting for the guests.”
It will be PM Modi’s second visit to Ayodhya after laying the foundation stone of the Ram Temple.