Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday highlighted a Vedic scholar’s views of Lord Ram being a secular figure and said the August 5 Bhumi Pujan ceremony for building a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya could lead to a societal spiritual rejuvenation in the country. He added that reading the Ramayana in the right perspective captures the unique Indian vision of Dharma or righteous behaviour.
Naidu’s comments defining Lord Rama as an embodiment of Indian culture follow similar views expressed by RSS ideologue Bhaiyyaji Joshi, who described the ground-breaking ceremony in Ayodhya as the beginning of a new era carrying the message of “human welfare” to the world.
“Rama’s ideas as told in the Indian texts are secular in origin, their influence on the life and thought of people having been profound over at least two and a half millennia,” Naidu quoted Vedic scholar Arthur Anthony MacDonnell in his post titled “Rebuilding the shrine, Enshrining the values”, on Sunday.
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AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi had earlier claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation in the foundation stone-laying ceremony for Ram Temple in Ayodhya will be a violation of his oath as the head of a secular country. Some other leaders had also raised similar objections.
Naidu’s post argues that Lord Ram and Ramayana’s teachings have left an indelible influence on the composite Indian culture and the construction of Ram temple represents the Indian vision of righteous behaviour.
“Indeed, this is a moment that could lead to a societal spiritual rejuvenation if we can understand the essence of Ramayana and understand it in the right perspective and see it as a tale that captures the unique Indian vision of Dharma or righteous behaviour,” Naidu said in the post.
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He further builds on the theme by talking about Mahatma Gandhi’s usage of “Rama Rajya” to symbolize a state with people-centric democratic governance founded on values of empathy, inclusion, peaceful co-existence and constant quest for a better quality of life.
Naidu adds that the story of Lord Rama’s life is about adherence to a set of values imbibed in the Indian culture, such as truth, peace, collaboration, compassion, justice, inclusion, devotion, sacrifice and empathy.
“It is this set of values that are at the core of Indian world view,” Naidu said.
Yesterday, RSS leader Suresh Bhaiyyaji had said that the movement for building of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya didn’t aim to add one more temple in the list. “It is not completely true to see it only as a centre for religious faith…,” he had said, while insisting that the Ram Temple should be seen as a symbol of Indian culture and national pride instead.
Several organisations have appealed for lighting of earthen lamps and decoration of every Indian home on August 5.