Yogi Adityanath govt proposes 'grand statue' of Ram at Ayodhya river banks



The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has proposed to build a statue of Lord Ram on the banks of the Saryu river in Ayodhya.

If it does stand 100m tall, the statue of Lord Ram will be double the size of the Statue of Liberty (45m from foot to tip of the torch). The building of the statue is part of its plan to showcase "Navya Ayodhya" and promote religious tourism in the state, according to Indian Express report.

The UP government has also sought the approval of the National Green Tribunal for the construction of the project.

Noting that Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after winning a war in Lanka, Naik said the state government wants to portray the same scene.

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The proposal was presented by Principal Secretary of Tourism, Awinash Awasthi, to Governor Ram Naik, according to the press communique released by Raj Bhavan.

While the Adityanath government's stated objective behind the installation of the grand Lord Ram statue may be to promote Ayodhya as a religious tourism destination, the obviously political motivations behind the move can not be discounted.

Avinash Kumar Awasthi said that this was a concept proposal and the letter to the National Green Tribunal seeking clearance was yet to be sent.

Awasthi said in the presentation titled, Nav Ayodhya, a deepotsav will be organised in Ayodhya at Ram Ki Paidi on October 18, a day before the Hindu festival of lights.

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The "Deeputsav" will be attended by Mr. Adityanath, Mr. Ram Naik, State Tourism minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J. Alphons, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma and several other leaders, apart from pilgrims and tourists.

A grand "aarti" of River Sarayu will also be performed by the chief minister and the governor and a laser show will be held on the banks of the river.

He said the Centre has sanctioned around Rs 133 crore for making it a major tourism hub.

During the programme, Ramlila will be staged by artists from Indonesia and Thailand. The plan to erect the Ram statue appears to be part of this larger design.

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