“Ayodhya me Jai Shri Ram basse hai, yahan Mandir hi banega”, calls out our guide as he shows us the first piece of art at this site in Ayodhya we visit. This art in conversation being, finely carved bricks in different colours, engraved in different languages but with one word – Shri Ram, the bricks replicated in numbers. That’s when reality strikes me, this is not just any other place that I am visiting today, not just another place I decided to strike off in my compass radius of visit. This is where history was written, and to be re-written once again in 1993. This is the site of the supposed Ram Temple, and the site of the once Babri Masjid. This is where the unity of India lies, always under testing times. Until today, I hadn’t read this part of history well.
Ayodhya is situated in district of Faizabad in state of Uttar Pradesh, and a 2-hour drive from Pratapgarh district where I was located. Thus, one weekend as it goes. Ayodhya as the name signifies is the birthplace of Lord Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in Hindu mythology. It is a place that reveals its true magnanimity only when experienced, I leave feeling cold creeps. On reaching there, a guide waves out and upon his calculations decides that its best to take him along to visit at least a few of the 107 temples located. With option left none, we took the plunge. That’s how we reached our first place where the kept were the tiles, a place that came alive with Shri Ram bhajans being played all around. A place in the making since past many years, where the CM had come just the week before to reassure the temple will be built here, says the guide. He goes on to explain, this is the street where it began and the likes of different politicians who made visits post the incident. I am just dumbfounded standing at the location where the media created news.
The guide also becomes a game master and plays it well when he lures you by instilling devotion within you for the upcoming temple, takes you to a saint whom he claims was at the forefront during the Temple proceedings and if he has done his job well and you become the ardent devotee, the saint asks you to donate for the temple and a tile would be cemented with your name when built. Done deal.
After a few other temple visits like that Sita’s rasoi where she cooked food, Hanuman temple, we are told its not over and its time to visit the final temple site. As I head inside expecting the regular security frisking, but never in temples around India had I seen 7 security check points with police officers manning each. I walk through a narrow long steel cage that extends as if to not end. It has a passage only for one at a time while additional national security forces scan you through it as if in a cage. This long route basically takes you the centre of the site in the shape of a circular ground. As I kept walking, I suddenly reach the point where to my right I see a tiny structure that holds 3 beautiful idols wrapped in cream coloured cloth and that’s the end.
This definite place, measurable in area holds the diversity of India at gun point since time memorial and at the slightest of move makes a big bang with tremors felt in the hearts. Having visited this place and seeing the atmosphere around I wish that this place is left in peace, never a temple nor a mosque. For does Rama say that he wants to live abode where he is worshiped at the cost of peace or does Prophet Mohammed say that there is nothing mightier than worshiping the Supreme Power himself.
Rama to where you belong I ask, our Nation wants to be united as One.