Coronavirus mars VHP's grand plan for Ram Mahotsav

The VHP’s decision comes at a time when it was in the last leg of preparations to organize the festival
Last Updated 22 March 2020, 16:24 IST

The spread of novel coronavirus has hit the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) grand plan to organise a fortnight-long Ram Mahotsav across the country, starting March 25.

The right wing outfit, which was preparing for the nationwide gala event also to celebrate the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, has now decided to keep it a low key affair.

“in view of the rising coronavirus cases in the country and the efforts being made globally to deal with this pandemic, we have called upon the Hindu society that during the pan-India Shri Ram Mahotsav, they should not take out big processions or chariot parades and trips or hold any such mass events that could transmit and circulate the fatal COVID-19,” VHP's central secretary general Milind Parande said.

The VHP’s decision comes at a time when it was in the last leg of preparations to organize the festival in at least 2.85 lakh villages across the country. These are the villages from where the ‘shilas’ inscribed with “Sri Ram” had reached Adyodhya in 1989 for the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site.

A fortnight long celebrations of Ram Mahotsava was scheduled to culminate on ‘Hanuman Jayanti’ on April 08 with holding of a series of religious programmes.

As per changes brought in the format the programmes to mark the Ram Mahotsava, all the ‘Rama devotees’, maintaining all required cleanliness and hygiene would gather in their respective houses or nearby temples and chant the 13-letter ‘Vijay Maha-Mantra—Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram", and “inspire” others also to do so, Parande said.

Apart from this, saffron flags will be hoisted atop “all Hindu houses” and “stickers of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi” will be passed outside the houses.

The devotees will follow “all the healthcare instructions” given by the local health authorities to check the spread of Covid-19.

“The Karyakartas should protect the health of the society along with their own,” Parande added.

(Published 22 March 2020, 16:24 IST)

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