EXCLUSIVE | Inclusive contributions, historic preparations mark Ram temple inauguration: VHP Chief Alok Kumar

| Updated: 07 January, 2024 7:23 pm IST

NEW DELHI: As the much-anticipated inauguration of the Ram Mandir draws near, The New Indian engaged in an exclusive conversation with Vishwa Hindu Parishad Chief and Senior Advocate Alok Kumar. During the conversation, Kumar shed light on various intriguing details surrounding the event, addressing concerns about the exclusion of celebrities and contributors from the ceremony.

“Contributions from 12.5 crore people were part of this historic project,” highlighted VHP chief Alok Kumar. He also explained the selection process, sharing, “We have not invited any business people. We cannot invite everybody, but we have selected 10 people who, due to economic compulsion, could donate Rs 10. Each 10 of such people are guests invited on this important day.”

In a bid to ensure representation from all walks of life, Senior advocate Kumar mentioned, “Similarly, labour force – ground-level labour force, not experts and engineers, are invited. There are obviously limitations on numbers. We started from the top, and we wanted to stop at 6,000, but we had to stop at 8,000, which is the maximum number the ground can hold.”

Explaining the challenge of inviting over 65 crore contributors, he said, “To streamline the guest list, people who made substantial donations have been invited alongside individuals who contributed Rs 100. There is no discrimination; it’s a chance for everyone to participate,” asserts Kumar, emphasising the collective effort behind the Ram temple’s construction.

Preparations for the inauguration on January 22 are in full swing, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to attend along with numerous VVIP guests from India and abroad. The host appointed by the Temple trust will conduct the atonement ceremony, featuring a ‘Dashvidh’ bath on the banks of the river Saryu, including rituals like Vishnu worship and Godan.

Senior Advocate Alok Kumar shared with TNI, “I don’t think we are judges to decide which man has more devotion and which does not… Thus some uniform criteria are selected.”

The nationwide fundraising campaign, spanning 45 days from January 15 to February 27, 2021, garnered immense support. Led by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and supported by Sangh organisations, the campaign echoed the spirit of the 1980s, when donations of Rs 1.25 were sought for the Ram Mandir Shilanyas.

In VHP Chief’s words, “This is not just a temple; it’s a symbol of collective devotion and unity.”

As the nation eagerly awaits the historic day, the Ram temple inauguration promises to be a testament to the diverse and inclusive spirit that fuelled its construction.

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