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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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Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Intact

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient

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Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.

By Sagarneel Sinha

There have been lots of discussions among the political circles that JDU led by Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar is upset with the BJP and trying to send signals to erst allies — RJD and the Congress. This led to speculations that Nitish may once again join the Grand Alliance (GA) leaving the NDA camp. Already, RJD’s new commander Tejasvi Yadav has clearly stated that Nitish led JDU will not be welcomed in the GA. Despite all the odds, if (suppose) GA partners accommodate Nitish, he wouldn’t be the driving force of the alliance as in 2015. Also, Nitish cannot afford to go alone like in 2014 when his party fetched only 2 seats!

Then which is the correct way for JDU? It is to go with the BJP in the upcoming 2019 polls.
JDU’s advantage in this case is the present situation of the BJP. Currently, the saffron party is not in a strong position as the party would be facing anti-incumbency from a strong RJD led alliance in the state. BJP’s traditional voters are the upper castes who account for 17% of the electorate. This votebank is not enough for the party to help to win elections. The main opposition party — RJD still commands over a larger votebank than BJP. RJD is still a dominant force among the Yadavs and the Muslims who account for 31% of the population. It means BJP has to minus the 31% votes and rely on the rest — 69%. Out of these, 16% are the Mahadalits — a large portion of whom generally hail Nitish Kumar as their leader. Also, there are Kurmis, an OBC group consisting of 4% votes — considered as the supporters of JDU. Nitish Kumar himself is also a Kurmi.

Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar
Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar.

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient. However, if these votebanks are joined together they form around 31-32%. Plus, to gain the extra votes, both the parties have the option to rely on the personal charisma of Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there is a power tussle between the two allies to get a respectable share of seats.

This power tussle is because of a strong BJP which earlier used to be a junior ally. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections changed the political scenario of the state where BJP emerged as the largest party in terms of vote share and seats. JDU knows the reality of a new emerging BJP, though it is pushing hard to gain a respectable share of seats for the Lok Sabha elections. Instead, Nitish Kumar has another option — giving the bigger chunk to the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections and the latter playing the junior partner for the 2020 assembly elections if held timely. Given the current situation in the country, in a crucial state like Bihar, BJP can hardly reject JDU as the later still commands over 15-16% votes — a very crucial votebank for winning maximum seats in the 2019 polls. Importance of JDU can also be explained by BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to Patna to have breakfast and dinner with Nitish Kumar. Though in politics there are no permanent friends or foes, so any perfect prediction is impossible. But given the current situation, JDU and BJP parting their ways seems unlikely as both the parties are in need of each other as already highlighted by Amit Shah that the two allies would fight the Lok Sabha elections together. Smiling face of Nitish Kumar was also an indication that the meetings with Amit Shah were fine.