Meet Gulam Jilani, tailor who stitched 40-foot Lord Hanuman flag for Ayodhya's Ram Mandir

The 40-foot flag bears the images of Lord Hanuman on one side and Lord Ram and Lakshman on the shoulders of Lord Hanuman on the other, said Devendra Jain, the owner of Veer Vastralaya where Jilani is employed as a tailor.
Last Updated : 27 December 2023, 13:11 IST

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Hazaribag (Jharkhand): Gulam Jilani (55) is all smiles as he stands beside a 40-foot-long and 42-foot-wide flag that he stitched. This magnificent flag is ready to be hoisted atop the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22.

Jilani is a third generation tailor who specialises in making religious 'Mahaviri' flags in Jharkhand's Hazaribag district.

"I feel proud that a flag stitched by me will adorn the historic Ram temple, which over 100 crore people have been dreaming about. If I get a chance, I will definitely go to Ayodhya to participate in the inauguration ceremony," Jilani told PTI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the 'pran pratishtha' or consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla idol in Ram temple on January 22.

The 70-acre temple complex has 392 pillars and a 14-feet-wide 'percota' periphery spanning 732 metre.

Jilani said he learnt stitching from his father Abdul Shakur who died around 40 years ago at age 80.

"I used to work with my father at Bhola Vastralaya owned by one Fateh Lal Agarwal, located in front of Veer Vastralaya, where I am currently employed," he said.

"The 40-foot flag bears the images of Lord Hanuman on one side and Lord Ram and Lakshman on the shoulders of Lord Hanuman on the other," said Veer Vastralaya owner Devendra Jain.

Jain said Jilani has made thousands of Ram Navami and Mahaviri flags strengthening Hindu-Muslim unity in the region.

He said the flag was ordered by a prominent RSS leader Naval Kishore Khandelwal of Barabazar Hazaribag.

He claimed that Khandelwal (81) was part of the group led by veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani who participated in the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.

Jain said the flag was completed in about 10 days and was ready on December 26.

"Khandelwal and his group will take the flag to Ayodhya before the temple's inauguration by Modi," he said.

Jain said 150 metre of cloth was used to make the flag which will be fitted on a 100-foot-long pole at the temple, and added that the cost of flag is Rs 21,000.

Veer Vastralaya was established in 1977 and makes more than 2 lakh flags every year for all religions, he added.

Jain said they even receive orders for flags from foreign countries during Ram Navami and Shivratri.

Khandelwal in a recorded statement said after participating in the Babri Masjid demolition, he was arrested and jailed for three months at Hazaribag Central Jail.

"My dreams of seeing a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is coming true after almost 32 years. At present, I am unwell, but will make all efforts to participate in the inauguration of the temple on January 22," he said.

Published 27 December 2023, 13:11 IST

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