Uttar Pradesh’s nationalist government to build a ‘grand statue’ of Ram in Ayodhya
The project forsees a 100 meter-high monument on the banks of the Saryu River. It will cost around 25,5 million euros. The Chief Minister wants to boost religious tourism to Hindu worship sites in the State. The city of Ayodhya is the scene of a long disputes between Hindu and Muslim believers.
Lucknow (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Uttar Pradesh’s nationalist government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath plans to build a “grand statue” dedicated to Lord Ram in Ayodhya. The State Tourism Ministry released the project yesterday. The 100 metre tall monument will be built on the banks of River Saryu in Ayodhya. The project is a part of the state government’s plan to promote religious tourism to Hindu worship sites in the State, which had as its first victim the Taj Mahal, the historic Islamic mausoleum “hymn to eternal love”, which has disappeared from tourist guide books.
The statue is part of “Navya Ayodhya” project, an initiative by the Uttar Pradesh government to give the economy new impetus through the requalification of Hindu monuments at the expense of those of other religions. It predicts a 1.958 billion Indian rupees cost, that is about 25.5 million euros.
The decision by Adityanath, a radical priest and prominent exponent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (Bjp), is likely to create even more controversy in the most populous Indian state. The statue to Ram (incarnation of God Vishnu) will be built in a place at the center of a long disputes between Hindu and Muslim believers. Ayodhya is also home to the Babri Mosque, built in 1528. Hindu nationalist considers it the birthplace of Ram. Asserting that the mosque was built on the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple, on December 6, 1992 Sangh Parivar activists set upon the religious monument, tearing down the three domes in less than three hours. The assault sparked violent clashes throughout the country between Hindus and Muslims, leading to the death of at least 2,000 people.