Ram Navami: Traffic diversions upset seers in Ayodhya

Over 1 lakh people visit Ayodhya daily since pran pratishtha in Jan

Ram Navami Ayodhya traffic diversions (File) Ayodhya: Security personnel stand guard at the entry point of the Ram Mandir, in Ayodhya | PTI

Several traffic diversions have been put in place to manage vehicles that are expected to reach Ayodhya on the occasion of Ram Naumi on Wednesday. However, some saints believe that these diversions will be a deterrent to devotees.

While Ram Navami, the birth of Lord Ram is a special day of celebration for Hindus; this time the festival is made even more special by the fact that a new temple of Lord Ram is now in place. The rays of the sun shall be falling on the forehead of the new idol around 12 pm and Hindus across the world are looking forward to it. 

To manage the influx of devotees-- more than one lakh of whom have been thronging Ayodhya every day since the pran pratishtha on January 22-- several road diversions have been notified. These diversions will be in effect for vehicles coming from Gorakhpur, Sant Kabirnagar, Basti, Gonda, Dumariyaganj, Kanpur, Lucknow, Sitapur, Balrampur, Bahraich, Sulatanpur and so on.

Mahant Awadh Bihari Das said, “There has been a huge number of devotees coming to Ayodhya in the past too and it has been managed. The government and administration should understand that traditions exist only because of devotees and their devotion. Too much strictness and multiple diversions will dampen their enthusiasm”. 

Another mahant, Krishna Kumar Das said that repeated appeals by the Trust for people to keep away from Ayodhya has been creating fear. “It is the devotees on whose basis mutts, mandirs and ashrams are able to run. Religious discourses, melas (fairs)and celebrations are the lifeline of this city. The administration is being unreasonable”. 

Champat Rai, the general secretary of the Sri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has asked people to visit Ayodhya in peace and not rush. In a statement, aimed at devotees coming from rural areas, he said that they should concentrate on their crops and weddings (this is an auspicious time in the Hindu calendar for celebrations) and come to Ayodhya later on. 

Other members of the Trust have also asked people to watch the Ram Naumi celebrations on television and offer prayers in mandirs at homes or in their neighbourhoods. 

Ramsundar Das, a seer said, “The attitude of the administration will cause people to lose interest in the Ram Mandir. On some routes movement has been completely stopped and this is very wrong”.

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