A tourism department guide on Ayodhaya giving the Ram Janambhoomi temple the miss has angered the saints who have threatened an agitation if the ‘lapse’ wasn’t rectified. The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has supported the demand.
Nritya Gopal Das, the head of the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas, has slammed the state’s tourism department for the lapse. “There are several temples in Ayodhya. But there is only one Ram Janmbhoomi temple which is revered by devotees across the globe. How can that not find a place in the tourism department guide on the temple town,” asked Das.
His view was echoed by several others, including Kanhaiya Das, the head of the Ayodhya Sant Samiti. A senior tourism department official told HT that the guide on Ayodhya wasn’t published by the present government.
“It has always been that way,” the official said even as some of the saints like Kanhaiya Das also felt that the Ram temple not finding a mention in tourist department guide reminded one of the times when such things happened to appease a particular community.
Sharad Sharma, VHP’s Ayodhya-based spokesman said, “We understand that the Ram temple issue is subjudice but that doesn’t mean that tourism department should remove it from its booklet on the temple town. There can be no Ayodhya without a Ramjanmbhoomi on which a makeshift temple is now there.” The VHP has also demanded that tourist department in religious cities like Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura be renamed as ‘tirthatan vibhaag’ or pilgrimage department.