A sadhu rests at Hanuman Garhi Mandir in Ayodhya, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.(AP)
A sadhu rests at Hanuman Garhi Mandir in Ayodhya, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.(AP)

Anyone from Pak who has faith in lord Ram can come to Ayodhya, says Ram Janmabhoomi trust chief

“Pakistan is a part of Akhand Bharat and Hindus living there are our brothers. If he (Kaneria) wants to visit Ram Mandir and offer prayers, then he is most welcome,” said Nritya Gopal Das.
Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By Pawan Dixit and Sharad Deep | Edited by Arpan Rai
UPDATED ON AUG 11, 2020 11:52 PM IST

After former Pakistani cricketer Danish Kaneria expressed his desire to visit the Ram mandir in Ayodhya, chairman of Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, on Tuesday said that Ram belongs to everyone and that those who wish to visit Ram temple are most welcome.

“Pakistan is a part of Akhand Bharat and Hindus living there are our brothers. If he (Kaneria) wants to visit Ram Mandir and offer prayers, then he is most welcome,” said Nritya Gopal Das.

“Anyone from Pakistan who has faith in lord Ram can come to Ayodhya. The deity has a global presence and is not limited to Bharat alone,” Das said.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) also welcomed spinner Kaneria’s wish and demanded special visa for him from the government of India to visit the country.

“Pakistani Hindus have a blood relation with us and Kaneria’s statement proves this,” said Sharad Sharma, regional spokesperson, VHP, who operates from Karsevakpuram, Ayodhya. “We welcome every Hindu from Pakistan to Ayodhya. We owe more to them (Pakistani Hindus) as they have suffered a lot,” he said.

Priest Raju Das of Hanuman Garhi invited Kaneria to lord Hanuman’s temple also. “Pakistani Hindus are the most persecuted community in the world. If Danish Kaneria wants to visit Ram Mandir, he is most welcome at Hanuman Garhi also,” said Das.

Kaneria, who is the second Hindu cricketer to play for Pakistan after Anil Dalpat, tweeted several times in the last one week with the religious slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

In his tweet, Kaneria, said: “The beauty of Lord Ram lies in his character, not in his name. He is a symbol of the victory of right over evil. There is a wave of happiness across the world today. It is a moment of great satisfaction. #JaiShriRam.”

In a recent interview to a news channel, Kaneria expressed his desire to offer prayers at the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the temple on August 5 in a grand ceremony at Ram Janmabhoomi. Soon after PM Modi performed the Bhoomi Pujan, the former Pakistani cricketer posted an image on social media platforms featuring Ram Mandir’s digital image on a giant billboard at New York’s Times Square.

Sharing the image, Kaneria had also tweeted, “Today is the historical day for Hindus across the world. Lord Ram is our ideal.” A few reports stated that the leg-spinner received backlash over the post as Islamists threatened him leading to the deletion of the tweet by the Pakistani cricketer.

“There is a wave of happiness across the world today. It is a moment of great satisfaction,” the 39-year-old former spinner was quoted as saying.

Being one of the most successful bowlers in Test cricket history of Pakistan with 261 wickets, Kaneria had reportedly been ‘mistreated’ by his former teammates for being a Hindu.

And this was revealed by former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar, who in a chat show, had claimed how Kaneria used to be humiliated and mistreated by teammates because he was a Hindu. “Other players used to refuse to eat with him because of his Hindu faith,” Akhtar had said.

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