The grand Ram Navami Mela that was scheduled to be held in Ayodhya from 25th March to 2nd April, has been cancelled. VHP sources have confirmed to OpIndia that the mela will not be held on its scheduled dates, and a formal announcement will be made soon. The decision has been taken to avoid large gatherings in the view of coronavirus scare.
Grand Ram Navami celebrations in Ayodhya was planned this year as it is the first Ram Navami after the historic Supreme Court verdict that handed over the Ram Janmabhoomi site to Hindus, paving the way for constructions of a grand Ram Mandir at Lord Ram’s birthplace. But now those plans will be shelved due to the crisis posed by Covid-19.
It is expected that Sadhus in Ayodhya will announce that people need not come for Ram Navami rituals and will ask them to stay at home. Yesterday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had appealed people to celebrate Ram Navami at home and avoid going to temples and fairs. He requested people to hold any religious ceremony they want to hold in their houses and avoid any religious gathering as the country battles the spread of the Covid-19.
“Chaitra Navratri is imminent and many devotees visit temples especially on the first, second, eight and ninth day. Fairs are also organised in many areas that see mass participation of people. In light of special circumstances, I appeal to the public to perform any religious ceremony at their homes so that the spread of the infectious virus can be prevented,” Yogi Adityanath said in a government press release on Thursday. According to reports, the state government has directed the district and police authorities to hold talks with religious leaders to spread awareness about avoiding mass gatherings during the Navaratri period.
Even though the organisers and the state govt are yet to make any formal announcement on the Ram Navami mela, several media houses had reported that UP govt is going ahead with the mela despite the threat of Covid-19. It was reported that around 10 lakh devotees from across the country will arrive at Ayodhya for the celebrations.
The UP govt also clarified they does not organise the fair, and neither do they invite devotees for the same. The govt only provides necessary arrangements which are generally done by govts in such large gatherings. Govt officials told that they are appealing the religious leaders to appeal to people to stay at home.
Although the fair is expected to be called off, the Ram Navami rituals will be performed by the priests, and the transfer of the Ram Lala from the current place to a platform inside Ram Janmabhoomi will take place as scheduled on 25th March, as that is required to start construction of the Mandir. CM Adityanath will attend the ceremonies on that day.