- Supporters of Prime Minister Modi gathered on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and at Time Square in New York City to celebrate the occasion, raising saffron flags and chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’
Many Hindu Americans across North America commemorated the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Aug. 5. Over 70 priests gathered virtually to chant the Ram Raksha Stotra and Sri Ram Naam, followed by bhajans by renowned playback singers Sanjeevani Bhelande and Anup Jalota. The event was organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America in collaboration with the Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC) and Hindu Mandir Priests’ Conference (HMPC). It coincided with the live groundbreaking ceremony in Ayodhya performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Many took to social media to express their happiness and support for the groundbreaking ceremony. “Congratulations to all Indians and people of Indian origin, specially to Hindus, Jains and all who worship Lord Ram, Hanumanji on this historic day of laying of the foundation stone for building Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” political activist Ajay Bhutoria wrote on his Facebook page.
Similarly, Overseas Friends of BJP president, Krishna Reddy Anugula, in a Facebook post, expressed his happiness over the Aug. 5 groundbreaking ceremony. “Centuries long wait for a permanent home for Lord Shri Ram is over.,” he wrote. “August 5, 2020 will remain imprinted in golden letters in the history of modern India. August 5, 2020 is the culmination of an over a century old legal battle in which Lord Ram, being the embodiment of truth, has won after a long stretched out struggle led by various nationalist organizations.”
In a blog post, Gaurang Vaishnav, of Global Indians for Bharat Vikas and member of Advisory Board of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), congratulated not only Hindus, but also those who “respect and cherish the culture, heritage and unity of Bharat.” According to him, Aug. 5, 2020, “will be written in golden letters” in the history of India and Hindus. “This is the day when after a long wait of 492 years, construction of a grand Shri Ram Mandir will begin at his birthplace in Ayodhya,” he wrote. “I recall with joy the efforts of VHP in Bharat and elsewhere, to bring Hindus together to fight for what was theirs and was taken by the invaders.”
Along with virtual celebration, Hindu Americans gathered in Washington, D.C. and New York City to celebrate the occasion, raising saffron flags and chanting “Jai Shree Ram” Organizers told ANI that their celebrations are marking the beginning of the historic temple construction. In Washington D.C., Ram devotees assembled at Union Square park on Aug. 4. A car parade was held near the Capitol building. They followed a tempo hired by the D.C. chapter of VHPA which showed a tableau of the Ayodhya Ram temple.
In New York, Chants of “Jai Shree Ram,” reverberated across Times Square on Aug. 5, as hundreds of Indian Americans of all age groups, celebrated the ground breaking ceremony. It was a festive atmosphere, as revelers were dressed in traditional attire to commemorate what they called “a historic” moment for Hindus. Wearing saffron colored kurtas, many supporters were seen with saffron flags, as they danced to the beat of the dhol. Singers from ISKCON sang bhajans in praise of Lord Rama as people clapped, danced and joined the chorus. A diya lighting ceremony was held, as people clapped and chanted praises on Lord Ram.