Delhi traders festoon markets, light lamps to celebrate Ram temple in Ayodhya
Most of these markets, which have remained more or less deserted owing to social distancing norms that are in place on account of Covid-19 pandemic, donned a festive look and were festooned with brightly coloured lights, balloons and decorative pieces.Updated: Aug 06, 2020 00:59 IST
Markets in different parts of the national capital Wednesday set up large LED screens to play the live telecast of the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya.
Most of these markets, which have remained more or less deserted owing to social distancing norms that are in place on account of Covid-19 pandemic, donned a festive look and were festooned with brightly coloured lights, balloons and decorative pieces. The market associations also used their social media groups to urge residents to light lamps to mark the occasion and also distributed sweets among shoppers.
People gathered in front of the LED screens at the markets of Greater Kailash-1 M Block, Green Park, Kailash Colony, Krishna Nagar, and Ashok Vihar to watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi lay the foundation stone to formally mark the beginning of the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, which is round 600km from Delhi.
Large banners and hoardings of Lord Ram and the proposed temple were spotted at these markets. The Rani Jhansi Road near the Jhandewalan temple in North Delhi was dotted with saffron flags.
Traders at Sadar Bazar, Chandni Chowk, and Khari Baoli markets too had put up saffron flags and large cut-outs of Lord Ram to mark the occasion.
Rajendra Sharda, president, GK-1 M Block market association, said, “Around 100-150 people gathered in the morning to watch the live telecast. We distributed 250 packets of laddoos (sweets) as prasad after the telecast. It was a great feeing to see the event bring together people from all walks of life even during the pandemic. We took care of social distancing norms during the programme.”
At many places in Old Delhi, traders organised special aartis (rituals) and lighting of lamps. On the Church Mission Road, traders performed an aarti. At the Krishna Bazar Chowk, conch shells were blown just as the rituals of the groundbreaking ceremony began in Ayodhya.
Members of Green Park residents’ welfare association (RWA) said they had raised concerns over the setting up of a screen by the market association amid the Covid-19 situation. “We had taken up the matter with the police and the area subdivisional magistrate and urged them that a gathering must be avoided at this time. But the rain played spoilsport and not many could gather on Wednesday,” said Lalit Kumar, general secretary, Green Park RAW.
In Vasant Kunj Sector A, residents invited a bhajan (prayer songs) singer to the small community event at the neighbourhood temple. “We have organised a “bhajan sandhya” from 7pm-9pm to celebrate this historic moment. Also, we have ordered around 500 earthen lamps and residents have been urged to come out and light them,” said Amit Aggarwal, member, Vasant Kunj Sector A RWA.
Suresh Goel, 70, a resident of Vasant Vihar recalled the 1990s and the tension that had flared between communities after the Babri Masjid demolition on December 6, 1992. “I have been able to witness both events during my lifetime. Delhi was on high alert then. After decades, the temple is being built, which is a moment of joy for all of us,” Goel said.