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Temple Preparations Proceed at Ayodhya

on 2000/11/21 8:47:02 ( 1672 reads )


AYODHYA, INDIA: After lying dormant for several years, the temple town of Ayodhya in India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, is once again simmering with tension. Eight years ago, Hindu zealots tore down the ancient Babri mosque in Ayodhya, which stands upon the birthplace of Lord Rama. Bloody Hindu-Muslim riots followed. Icons of Lord Rama and Sita were installed at the site, but plans by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to build a grand temple were put on hold after a court order barred any kind of construction. Even after the BJP, the political affiliate of the VHP, assumed the reins of the national government three years ago, Hindu organizations observed restraint because of a commitment by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to his allies in the coalition government that the temple would not be constructed until the courts ruled on the dispute. The VHP has employed over a hundred workers - including 60 artisans, who are busy making pillars, walls and statues of Gods and Goddesses for the temple. "We have been told to build the temple on a war footing," said the workshop supervisor, a retired military engineer. He said that with the help of a second and third workshop the first and second floors of the multistory temple should be completed within a few months. The temple could then be assembled in short order, once permission is given to proceed.

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