The celebrations are going to be grandeur in Ayodhya as had been announced by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who also promised a large statue of Lord Ram at the banks of river Saryu. The Chief Minister himself stood to welcome actors playing Ram, Sita and Lakshman, leading characters from holy scripture Ramayana, as they arrived by chopper in the temple town at the start of the “Deepotsav”.
Amongst the other massive arrangements are included the 1.75 lakh diyas or earthen lamps that will be lit in the evening – which by the way is also expected to be a world record- and there will be an ‘aarti’ on the banks of the river Saryu by the saffron-robed Chief Minister, who is the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple.”Diwali is a big festival and there is a belief behind the celebration of Diwali. The Diwali of Ayodhya becomes the unique event in the whole world, we want to showcase that in front of whole world For that we have organized a special event along with other saints and cultural institutions,” said Yogi Adityanath hours before heading to Ayodhya. After receiving the Ramlila actors with garlands, the Chief Minister led them in a procession to a nearby stage where an arti was performed. The state government says it wants to promote Ayodhya as a religious tourism destination in a big way. Critics, however, speculate that the grand spectacle and the rituals planned at the epicenter of India’s most divisive row masks a plan to consolidate the Hindu vote ahead of the 2019 national election.
The ruling BJP emphatically denies this. “It happened then when Lord Rama returned that the king went to receive him. To celebrate the victory of good over evil, today if we are celebrating this, why should anyone object to it? This is a good tradition to follow if we celebrate it with saints,” said Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma.