‘Shila’ with Ram temple movement history awaits release - Hindustan Times
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‘Shila’ with Ram temple movement history awaits release

By, Ayodhya:
Jan 20, 2024 09:24 PM IST

Ramchandra Das handed over the ‘Shila’ during the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s ‘Shiladan’ to Singh in the presence of then VHP president Ashok Singhal at the ‘Bada Sthan’ in Ayodhya on March 15, 2002.

The ‘Shila’ (stone), donated to then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s special emissary, Shatrughan Singh, by then Ram Janambhoomi Nyas chairperson, Ramchandra Das ‘Paramhans’, still awaits its release from the double lock of Ayodhya district treasury even as the PM Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the Ram Temple here on Monday.

Devi Lal Dabar, an artisan from Rajasthan, giving final touches to a ‘Shila’ to be shifted to the site of Ram temple. (HT Photo)
Devi Lal Dabar, an artisan from Rajasthan, giving final touches to a ‘Shila’ to be shifted to the site of Ram temple. (HT Photo)

Ramchandra Das handed over the ‘Shila’ during the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s ‘Shiladan’ to Singh in the presence of then VHP president Ashok Singhal at the ‘Bada Sthan’ in Ayodhya on March 15, 2002.

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Singh, who flew into Ayodhya to receive the donation, requested the district administration to store the ‘shila’ in the district treasury. Although DC Gaurav Dayal and DM Nitish Kumar were not available for comments, a senior officer in Ayodhya confirmed that the ‘Shila’ is still stored in the double lock of the district treasury, and a decision about relocating it to the temple site is yet to be made.

“We hope the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust will be able to get the ‘Shila’ shifted from the district treasury after the consecration ceremony,” said Sharad Sharma, spokesperson, Vishwa Hindu Parishad at the Karsevakpuram.

A tour to the VHP’s ‘Karyashala’ (workshop), however revealed that a large number of ‘Shilas’ have been shifted and were used in the construction of Ram temple. “About 70 per cent of the ‘Shilas’ carved out and stored here have been shifted to the site of construction of Ram Temple. Others are either being carved to be shifted or have been found defective,” said a functionary at the VHP’s workshop, where a makeshift control room is also functioning for registration of the guests, likely to attend the consecration ceremony.

About three to four groups of artisans were seen giving final touches to the ‘Shilas’ at the workshop. “We are about 15 artisans from Rajasthan, 3-4 from Gujarat and some others are local. We have been giving final touches to these stones to be used in second and third phase of the Ram temple,” said Devi Lal Dabar, an artisan from Rajasthan.

“So far, we have not made any demand about releasing the ‘Shila’ from the district treasury. We will take a call on the issue after the consecration ceremony,” said a prominent saint. The wait for shifting of ‘Shila’ from the district treasury lock, however, reminds one of the Ramayana’s Ahalya, who remained trapped in a ‘Shila’ till Lord Ram freed her from the curse, said a local saint.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Umesh Raghuvanshi is a journalist with over three decade experience. He covers politics, finance, environment and social issues. He has covered all assembly and parliament elections in Uttar Pradesh since 1984.

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