District gets renamed amid calls for ‘Mandir ka nirman karo’.
By Avaneesh Mishra
As the chorus for early construction of a Ram temple at the disputed Ayodhya site grows within the Sangh Parivar in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath lent weight at ground zero, announcing Tuesday that Faizabad district, home to the pilgrim town, will henceforth be known as Ayodhya.
He also declared that Ayodhya will have its own airport named after Ram and a medical college named after Ram’s father King Dashrath. Cheering the announcements, people in the crowd raised slogans of “Yogiji ek kaam karo, Mandir ka nirman karo (Yogi, do this work: build the temple)”.
“Ayodhya is a symbol of our aan, baan aur shaan (honour, pride and prestige). Nobody can do injustice to Ayodhya,” Adityanath said at the Deepotsava celebrations here which was also attended by South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook, UP governor Ram Naik, Bihar governor Lalji Tandon and Minister of State (External Affairs) Gen (retd) V K Singh.
“Hum ne in smritiyo ko banaye rakha hai isliye, jis se Maryada Purshottam Bhagwan Ram ko koi aap ki smritiyo se chheen na paaye. Lekin keval naaro mei hum apne aaradhya devon ko seemit na rakhein (we have preserved these memories so that no one can snatch Lord Ram from your memories. But we should not limit our gods to just slogans),” he said.
Several projects, including redevelopment of Ram-ki-Paidi and stopping disposal of sewage in the Saryu river, were launched at the event.
The chief minister and the South Korean First Lady laid the foundation stone for a memorial to Queen Heo Hwang-ok who, according to a Korean legend, was an Ayodhya princess who married King Suro of Geumgwan Gaya. The memorial will be built over an area of 10,000 sq m.