A report recently published in the Hindi news daily Amar Ujala claimed that it is PM Modi’s vision to build Ayodhya as a multi cultural centre embodying the Hindu concept of “Sarvdharm Sadbhav” which means “equal respect for all religions”.
The report stated that along with the development of a magnificent Ram Temple in Ayodhya, focus is also placed on developing the city’s other religious sites belonging to Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism and other religions. The report categorically mentions that PM Modi is keenly interested in the development of the 70-acre land along with the Ram Temple where the Prime Minister wants to build a cultural centre dedicated to the Hindu concept of ‘Sarvdharm Sadbhav’.
The report goes on to mention that the Sanskrit department has already created a report in accordance with PM Modi’s vision of turning Ayodhya into a multi-cultural centre. It cites retired senior IAS officer Nripendra Mishra, the man overlooking the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, as a source to claim that PM Modi wants to transform Ayodhya into a touchstone of syncretic fulfilment.
The article goes on to cite the religious significance of Ayodhya for different faiths. “Muslims consider it to be the holy shrine of Prophet, Hazrat Noah and hundreds of top Sufi saints. While all 24 Tirthankaras of Jainism are descendants of Lord Rama, Ayodhya has the distinction of being the birthplace of five Tirthankaras including Adinath Rishabh Dev. The first Guru Nanak Dev of the Sikh community, 9th Guru Tegh Bahadur and 10th Guru Govind Singh meditated here at the Gurdwara Brahmakund. According to the legend, Lord Brahma did penance here for 5000 years at this place. Buddhists consider this Saket city of Kaushal district as a major centre,” the article read, describing the city’s rich cross-cultural moorings.
Multi-cultural centre at Ayodhya? IAS officer overlooking Ram Temple construction issues clarification
However, while the article claims that PM Modi is determined to see Ayodhya as a confluence of various religions, Nripendra Mishra has now clarified that the Prime Minister has no such aim. Rubbishing the reports that attributed him as a source for making such a claim, Mishra said that the media organisations have misquoted him to allege that PM Modi wants to see Ayodhya being transformed into a cultural centre for all religions.
अयोध्या में राम मंदिर ही बनेगा, सर्व धर्म स्थल बनाने का पीएम @narendramodi का कोई इरादा नहीं, अयोध्या में सर्वधर्म स्थल बनाने से नृपेंद्र मिश्रा का इंकार,— Vikas Bhadauria (ABP News) (@vikasbha) July 18, 2020
कुछ अखबारों ने ऐसी ख़बर छापी थी, नृपेंद्र मिश्रा ने कहा कि मेरे हवाले से छापी गई ख़बर गलत। pic.twitter.com/BOSttD7A1E
“Only Ram Temple will be built in Ayodhya. PM Modi has no intention of building a monument dedicated to all religions in Ayodhya. Some newspapers had misquoted me to claim that PM Modi wishes to build a cultural centre for all religions in Ayodhya,” journalist Vikas Bhadauria quoted Mishra in a tweet.