"Social harmony was the core principle of Lord Ram's governance", the Prime Minister said.
Soon after the ground-breaking ceremony (bhumi pujan) of Ram Temple held at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) convened a national committee meeting at Panakkad (Malappuram district) and passed a resolution, strongly criticising Priyanka Gandhi over her recent comment on the construction of Ram temple. A wooden Kodand Ram Statue was presented as a souvenir to Prime Minister by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
On Wednesday, Modi offered prayers to nine stone blocks with Ram inscribed on them and kept in a small pit amid chanting of Hindu religious hymns to symbolise the start of construction of the temple, which is expected to take 3 1/2 years to complete.
More may be in the pipeline, including a mooted nationwide register obliging people to prove they are Indian, and a uniform civil code doing away with Islamic rules in areas such as marriage. Clad in traditional Indian attire of Dhoti Kurta prime Minister bowed down infront of Ramlala, performed pooja, accepted the Mukut or the crown and turban given by preists of Hanuman Garhi and did Parikrama also. The editorial titled "Babri Vranathil Mulaku Purataruth" (roughly translated as please don't exacerbate the wound that is Babri Masjid) said that it is the responsibility of the Congress party to prevent BJP from misusing its power for the construction of the temple, which challenges the secular credentials of the nation.
Citing Lord Ram's message, Modi said the more powerful India gets, the more it will be loved and remain peaceful. He named Indonesia, the most-populous Muslim nation; Thailand; and Sri Lanka.
He said the construction of the temple is the result of centuries long sacrifice, struggle and penance of the innumerable devotees of Lord Ram. The wait of centuries has ended, Modi said after performing the groundbreaking ceremony for a temple at thespot where many devout Hindus believe Lord Ram was born. Muslims make up 15% of India's population of 1.3 billion.
Workers clean Ram Ki Paidi in Ayodhya.
Modi wore a traditional outfit of a gold Kurta, a long shirt and a white Dhoti - a loose cloth wrapped around his waist - along with a face mask.
"By consecrating the Ram temple in Ram Janmabhoomi today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has honoured the faith of crores of people for which I express my heartfelt gratitude to him", he said.
At a time of Sino-Indian military tensions, PM Modi also mentioned China in his speech as a country where references to Lord Rama have been found.
Prime Minister also released postage stamps on the model of Ram Temple and on Ramayana encyclopedia on this occasion. The entire temple premises was sanitised before Modi's arrival. This was despite the authorities laying down strict COVID-19 protocols at the ceremony.