By Rhea Mogul, Vedika Sud, Sania Farooqui, Aishwarya S Iyer and Jerome Taylor, CNN
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed Monday’s consecration ceremony as “the beginning of a new time cycle” in a speech to thousands of guests outside temple’s complex.
“Today our Lord Ram has come. After centuries of waiting, our Ram has arrived,” Modi said. “Our Ram idol will not stay in a tent anymore. Our Ram idol will stay in a divine temple now.” He added: “The sun of 22 January, has brought with it a wonderful aura. 22 January 2024 is not just a date on a calendar but a beginning of a new time cycle.” “Even a thousand years later, people will be discussing this date and time,” Modi said in his speech.
Minutes before his speech, Modi broke an 11-day religious fast that he had undertaken to prepare for the festivities. He unveiled a statue of Lord Ram, one of Hinduism’s most revered deities, in a consecration ceremony watched by millions. (Courtesy: https://edition.cnn.com/)