Heralding the Divine: Ram-May Nagpur Unites in Joyous Celebration of Historic Pran Pratishtha
“Ram ghar aa gaye hai”, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the speech he gave after the historic and much awaited ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Lord Ram Lalla in the newly-constructed temple in Ayodhya. PM Modi completed the Pran Pratistha ceremony after an 11-day ‘anushthan’ ritual that started on January 12. Outside the sanctum, the Pran Pratishtha ceremony was attended by nearly 7,000 special invitees in Ayodhya.
At the core of this phenomenon lies the beloved deity of our country—Bhagwaan Shree Ram. The question arises: why does Lord Ram hold a special place among the numerous Gods in our Hindu pantheon? Shri Ram is distinctive because of his accessibility. He is not perceived as an entity aloof in the heavens, keeping records of good and bad karma; rather, he is seen as a divine presence among us, within us—someone who has come to elevate us above our current limitations. Ram, a Maanav Avataar, is believed to have incarnated to demonstrate that nothing is unattainable when one adheres to Dharma. He displays human emotions, shedding tears when his wife is abducted by evil forces or upon learning about his father’s demise. Ram’s uniqueness lies in being a God intimately connected to human nature.
Various cities in India celebrated the grand homecoming of Lord Ram in distinctive ways. The anticipation was high regarding how the Orange City, Nagpur, would commemorate the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya. As the birthplace of the RSS, the parent organisation of the ruling political party for the past decade, and the birthplace of ‘Navayan Buddhism’ founded by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Nagpur holds a significant socio-cultural position in the country. Nagpur, culturally diverse and vibrant, leaves no stones unturned in celebrating annual festivals with full grandeur. The city hosts multiple significant events during Dusshera. The RSS marks its foundation day as ‘Vijaydashmi Utsav,’ while the Ambedkarite community commemorates Babasaheb’s conversation to Buddhism as ‘Dhammachakra Pravartan Diwas.’ Citizens observe ‘Ravan Dahan’ and ‘Durga Visarjan’ on the same day. Despite this diversity, Nagpur has been fortunate to avoid major clashes between communities. The city and its people are welcoming and accepting of various faiths, and the administration adeptly manages multiple events with utmost efficiency.
It was expected that Nagpur would enthusiastically celebrate the national event on January 22, and the city lived up to those expectations. The entire city was immersed in the spirit of Ram. The Pran Pratishtha event was broadcast live at major temples. Saffron flags adorned the terraces and balconies of numerous buildings. Streets buzzed with saffron-clad crowds participating in padyatras and bike rallies. Various organisations organised bhajan, kirtan events, along with Chhach, sharbat, prasad and Anna vitaran programmes. Grand firework displays illuminated several parts of the city. People exchanged hugs, sweets, warm wishes, and danced to popular tracks like ‘Ram Ayenge Toh Angana Sajaungi’ and ‘Mere Ghar Ram Aye Hai.’ The entire city turned into one big family. Unknown people exchanged smiles, chanted slogans of ‘Jai Shree Ram’. Many Nagpur residents, who had witnessed tensions over the disputed land of Ayodhya for years, felt relieved and happy about the non-violent resolution of the longstanding dispute.
Ram Mandir stands as the symbol of the victorious resolution to a 500-yr-old civilisational struggle. A land forcibly taken from its natives has been reclaimed through strength, patience, resilience and unwavering devotion. January 22 will be remembered by the generations to come as a day symbolic of resurgence through reclamation of what is rightfully ours. This is not the victory of Hindus over Muslims. This is the victory of natives over invading forces who were cruel and unjust.