Amid the rage over the construction of the temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday night announced the specifications of the statue of Lord Ram on the banks of the Saryu River in the city. When completed, the Ram statue would become the tallest statue in the world at the height of 221 meters – taller than the recently inaugurated Statue of Unity in Gujarat, Additional Chief Secretary, Information, Avaneesh Awasthi said. The hurried announcement by the Adityanath government came a day before the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)’s Dharma Sabha in Ayodhya.
According to the late-night press release by the UP government, the statue of Lord Ram will be made of bronze. While the figure of Lord Ram will be 151 meters tall, the pedestal and the umbrella over his head will measure 50 meters and 20 meters, respectively. A representational image of the statue released by the state government shows Lord Rama holding his bow in one hand and an arrow in the other.
There will be a “modern museum” inside the base of the statue. The history of Ayodhya and the entire “Ikshvaku Vansh” right from King Manu to the present “Ram Janmabhoomi” will be showcased in the museum, the official statement of the government said.
The government, however, didn’t disclose the exact location of the state and the estimated cost. The other significant detail which the government chose not to disclose was the source of funding.
The announcement by the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government is seen as a desperate attempt to save itself from the humiliation by the right-wing groups for the delay in construction of the temple in Ayodhya. The BJP had come in power in Centre and the state on the promise of a massive Ram Temple at the disputed land in Ayodhya. However, despite having a government at the Centre and the state, the BJP failed to deliver on its promise.
On Saturday, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, who is on a two-day Ayodhya visit mocked PM Modi’s “56-inch chest” remark and said that a broader chest is useless if one lacks guts to deliver on his promises. The Sena chief said that he doesn’t want credit for the construction of Ram Temple but the date when the Modi government will build the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.