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Here’s a list of prominent people invited

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The Ram temple is set to be consecrated next month in January 2024. Preparations are in full swing for the January 22 ceremony, which will be attended by a slew of big names, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

But which other dignitaries will be attending? And who will be giving the ceremony a miss? Let’s find out.

When is Ram temple inauguration in Ayodhya?

Ram Mandir Ayodhya opening date: The ‘pran pratishtha’ or the consecration ceremony of the idol of Lord Ram in Ayodhya is scheduled for January 22, 2024, at 12:20 pm. 

Ram Mandir inauguration: Who is in?

Around 4,000 saints and 2,200 other guests have been invited to the ceremony, said Ram Temple Trust general secretary Champat Rai.

Heads of major temples like Kashi Vishwanath, Vaishno Devi and representatives of religious and constitutional institutions, spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Mata Amritanandamayi of Kerala, yoga guru Baba Ramdev have also been invited.

Celebs invited for Ram Mandir inauguration

From Bollywood, Rajinikanth, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Anupam Kher, Akshay Kumar, Rajinikanth, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Chiranjeevi, Mohanlal, Dhanush, Rishab Shetty, Madhur Bhandarkar, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, Sunny Deol, Prabhas and Yash have been sent invites.

Tiger Shroff and Ayushmann Khurrana are also expected to be part of the guest list. Arun Govil and Deepika Chikhalia Topiwala, who played Ram and Sita in the 1987 series Ramayan, will also be invited.

Prominent industrialists Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani, Gautam Adani and Ratan Tata have been invited.

Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli will also be invited, a person in the know told HT on condition of anonymity.

“Owners of large media houses and senior journalists are also likely to be invited,” the person was quoted as saying by HT.

“The Trust is also trying to invite one representative each from 50 foreign countries. The Trust will also invite families of kar sevaks who lost their lives in the Ram Mandir movement. Invitations are also being sent to scientists, judges, writers and poets,” he added.

Painter Vasudev Kamat, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) director Nilesh Desai and many other eminent personalities are also invited.

Will Opposition leaders attend the inauguration of Ram temple?

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former party chief Sonia Gandhi and the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have received invitations for the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Sources said that the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has sent the invitations to them.

Asked whether the party leaders would attend the ceremony, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal told a press conference, “You will know about the party’s stand. You will know on January 22 about the participation. They have invited us, we are very much thankful to them for inviting us, let us see,” he said.

Former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda have also received invitations for the function. The invitations, the sources said, were delivered by a delegation of those associated with the trust.

Seers from different traditions to attend Ram Mandir event

The trust has said invitations have also been sent to revered seers from different traditions, along with all prominent individuals contributing to the country’s honour in every domain.

Shankaracharyas of six ‘darshanas’ (ancient schools) and about 150 saints and sages will join the ceremony, as per Rai.

According to The Hindu, around 100 members from the VHP and 25 officials from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have also been sent an invite.

Will L K Advani and M M Joshi attend the opening ceremony?

Lal Krishna Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi are seemingly out — or are they?

Ironically, the two BJP veterans at the forefront of the Ram temple agitation in Ayodhya were ‘asked not to come’.

“Both are elders of the family and considering their age and health, they were requested not to come, which was accepted by both,” Ram Temple Trust general secretary Champat Rai said last week.

He added that Advani and Joshi may not attend the consecration ceremony due to health and age-related reasons. Advani is now 96 and Joshi will turn 90 next month.

However, The Print reported that both leaders have received invites following the controversy.

“Three leaders came to invite Advani ji for the temple ceremony and Advani ji showed his interest to be present at the ceremony. It is up to the organising committee to make arrangements for his participation. He had started the Ram temple agitation and this is a happy moment for everybody in the country,” a close aide of Advani told The Print.

The aide said there is “no difficulty in his participation in the ceremony”.

A close aide to Joshi told the outlet, “He is in good health and he participated in a few public functions recently, including one for old RSS functionaries. He continues to write scientific papers regularly despite his old age. Champat Rai ji talked to Dr Joshi, but he is interested in participating in the ceremony.”

It remains to be seen if they actually attend the ceremony.

Ayodhya Ram Mandir inauguration: Who is out?

The CPI (M) have announced they will skip the ceremony to protest the “politicisation of a religious programme”.

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has turned down the invitation to attend the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the party said on Tuesday, while underlining its belief that religion is a personal choice.

Former Congress leader Kapil Sibal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not attend the inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Kannauj, Subrat Pathak, has urged Rai not to invite Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders for the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple.

How much money has been spent on the Ram temple in Ayodhya?

The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust spent Rs 900 crore on the construction of the Ram temple between February 5, 2020 and March 31, 2023, trust officials have stated. 

Who will address the Ram Mandir event?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat are expected to address the temple’s inauguration function.

Ram temple opening ceremony: What will the big day be like?

The Ram Mandir ceremony will witness the installation of the idol of Ram Lalla at the grand temple. Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, holds great spiritual, historical and cultural significance for the people of India.

On January 22, 2024, one of the three idols being made from two stones brought in from Karnataka and one from Rajasthan will be placed in the sanctum of the grand temple. The best idol from three stones will be selected for the consecration ceremony in the first week of January.

(With agency input)


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