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BJP likely to spend Rs 245 Crore to develop Ramayana Circuit in Ayodhya

The development of the Ramayana circuit will take place under Centre’s Swadesh Darshan scheme

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Ram Paidi in Ayodhya. Image Source: Wikipedia.org
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  • The development is expected to add fuel to the controversy surrounding the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid dispute
  • The development of Ramayana circuit will take place under Centre’s Swadesh Darshan scheme
  • The circuit would incorporate high-end audio-visual facility depicting the life of Lord Ram on water-screen video projection

In a bid to boost spiritual tourism, the Modi government is all set to spend about 245 crores to build a Ramayana circuit in and around Ayodhya.

The move that has become a political talking point has come in the wake of the elections in Uttar Pradesh,scheduled for next year, in 2017.

Along with Ayodhya, the tourism ministry has identified Nandigram, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot in the state where it will develop facilities highlighting the life of Lord Ram (manifestation of Lord Vishnu), displaying various religious proofs of events from his era.

The establishment is expected to add fuel to the controversy surrounding the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid dispute, an issue that has been dragged on in courts for decades now, but continues to stir controversy till date.

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Right-winged political parties and intransigent Hindu groups have long been demanding for a temple to be built at the site where activists demolished the 16th-century mosque in 1992.

Bharati Kashyap Sharma, the ministry of tourism’s assistant director general told Mail Today, “We have already identified these four cities with a primary focus on the ancient city of Ayodhya.”

She added, “The MoT will develop massive tourism infrastructure facilities around these religious destinations. We have also finalised the tentative cost for the project.”

India today quoting a source revealed that the detailed project report (DPR) was prepared in the last week of June and was also approved in-principle in Uttar Pradesh.

The development of the Ramayana circuit will take place under Centre’s Swadesh Darshan scheme. This scheme envisions the construction of theme based tourist circuits in the country.

Minister of Culture. Mahesh Sharma. Image Source: Indiatoday.in
Minister of Culture. Mahesh Sharma. Image Source: Indiatoday.in

The first meeting of the national panel on the circuit was led by tourism and culture minister Mahesh Sharma on June 14. The meeting also had tourism secretary Vinod Zutshi as well as related experts and other senior officials from the ministry in attendance.

According to a copy of the DPR, the Ramayana circuit will have 11 destinations spread across six states.

Apparently, areas such as Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga in Bihar, Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Hampi in Karnataka and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu are also expected to be added later.

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The circuit would incorporate high-end audio-visual facility depicting the life of Lord Ram on water-screen video projection. There would also be state-of-art outdoor seating arrangements or open-air theatre for the visitors. The latest technology will be used to create life-like images in order to make the circuit all the more appealing.

The Lord Ram gallery theme will depict his life primarily with 10 different episodes – Valmiki and Tulsi Ramayan, Bala Kanda, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kishkindha Kanda, Sundara Kanda, Lanka Kanda, Uttara Kanda, Lav-Kush Kanda and Ram Darbar.

Similarly, the entire Aranya Kanda (jungle where Ram, Laxman and Sita lived during exile) will depict the lives of three gods while displaying Sita’s rasoi (kitchen) apart from an AV creation of the golden deer being hunted by Lord Ram.

“The final attraction will be in the corridors where a mechanical ‘Pushpak Viman’ (flying vehicle in which Ravana kidnapped Sita) and Ravana will be shown fighting Jatayu. This will be depicted via wall-to-wall screens in the final section of the corridor,” quoted India Today from the project report.

-This report is modified by Bulbul, a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    Ayodhya temple is a part of our heritage. It need to be redeveloped to preserve our culture.

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CJI faces revolt from four senior most SC judges

The four judges -- Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B. Lokur besides Justice Chelameswar -- released a letter they wrote to Justice Misra a couple of months ago

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Supreme court went into a frenzy as four senior judges revolt against CJI. Wikimedia Common
Supreme court went into a frenzy as four senior judges revolt against CJI. Wikimedia Common
  • The sudden revolt against Chief Justice of India (CJI) by the four senior-most judges of Supreme Court has sent the whole judicial system into an uproar.
  • The four judges accused the CJI of corruption and breaches in a surprise Press Conference.
  • Judge Loya’s death’s controversy, supposedly, sparked this reaction out of the other judges.

Divisions in the Supreme Court burst out in the open on Friday when four senior-most judges took an unprecedented step of addressing the media to accuse Chief Justice Dipak Misra of breaching rules in assigning cases to appropriate benches, with one of them pointing to the plea regarding the mysterious death of Special CBI judge B. H. Loya.

The hurried press conference was called to reveal CJI's corruption. Pixabay
The hurried press conference was called to reveal CJI’s corruption. Pixabay

At a hurriedly called press conference at his residence, Justice J. Chelameswar and three other colleagues said the Supreme Court administration was “not in order” and their efforts to persuade Justice Misra even this morning “with a specific request” failed, forcing them to “communicate with the nation” directly.

The four judges — Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B. Lokur besides Justice Chelameswar — released a letter they wrote to Justice Misra a couple of months ago, conceding that he was the master of roster but that was “not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues”.

Asked specifically if they were upset over reference of the matter seeking a probe into the suspicious death of Judge Loya, Justice Gogoi said: “Yes.”

Judge Loya's death is said to have happened due to a conspiracy. Pixabay
Judge Loya’s death is said to have happened due to a conspiracy. Pixabay

Judge Loya, who was hearing a case relating to the killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh in an alleged fake shootout in which BJP chief Amit Shah was named an accused (later discharged), died of cardiac arrest in 2014. His family has raised doubts over the circumstances in which Judge Loya died and have sought an independent probe into it.

Plea’s seeking probe came up for a hearing in the Supreme Court on Friday when the top court expressed concerns over it and said it was a “serious issue”. It asked the Maharashtra government to produce all the documents related to the case before January 15.

In a seven-page letter, the four judges said they were not mentioning details of the cases only to avoid embarrassing the institution because “such departures have already damaged the images of this institution to some extent”.

The clash among the judges in the highest court also comes in the wake of a controversial order in November in which Justice Misra declared that the Chief Justice “is the master of the roster” having exclusive power to decide which case will go to which judge.

The CJI called himself 'master of roster' further enraging other judges. Pixabay
The CJI called himself ‘master of the roster’ further enraging other judges. Pixabay

The CJI had given the order a day after a two-judge bench headed by Justice Chelameswar had passed an order that a five-judge bench of senior most judges in the apex court should be set up to consider an independent probe into a corruption case in which bribes were allegedly taken in the name of settling cases pending before Supreme Court judges.

Holding that the Chief Justice was only the first among equals, the four judges contended that there were well-settled and time-honoured conventions guiding the Chief Justice in dealing with the strength of the bench required or the composition thereof.

“A necessary corollary to the above-mentioned principle is the members of any multi-numbered judicial body, including this court, would not arrogate to themselves the authority to deal with and pronounce upon matters which ought to be heard by appropriate benches, both composition-wise and strength-wise with due regard to the roster fixed,” they wrote in the letter.

They said any departure from the two rules would not only lead to “unpleasant and undesirable consequences of creating doubt in the body politic about the integrity of the institution” but would create “chaos”.

The four judges also touched upon another controversial issue, the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) on the appointment of judges over which the Supreme Court had locked horns with the government.

The four judges also touched upon other problematic issues. deliason.files.wordpress.com
The four judges also touched upon other problematic issues. deliason.files.wordpress.com

The government, the letter said, had not responded to the communication and “in view of this silence it must be taken that the MoP has been accepted by the government on the basis of the order of this court”.

Justice Chelameswar told the media that they were “convinced that unless this institution is protected and maintains its requirements, democracy will not survive in the country or any country… The hallmark of a democracy is independent and impartial judges.

“Since all our efforts failed… Even this morning, on a particular issue, we went and met the Chief Justice with a specific request. Unfortunately, we could not convince him that we were right.”

Justice Gogoi said they were “discharging the debt to the nation that has got us here”.

The government appeared to distance itself from the controversy, saying the judges should sort the issue themselves.

Minister of State for Law P. Chaudhary said: “Our judiciary is one of the known, recognised judiciaries in the world. It is an independent judiciary. At this stage, I think no agency is required to intervene or interfere. The Chief Justice and other members should sit together and resolve. There is no question of panic.”

the matter should be resolved among the judges themselves, says P. Chaudhary.

The Supreme Court split had an immediate political fallout, with CPI leader D. Raja saying after meeting Justice Chelameswar that Parliament will have to devise methods to sort out problems like this in the top judiciary.

Two judges, Justice S. A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageshwar Rao, are understood to have called on Justice Chelameswar. IANS