UP Govt Gives Nod To Ayodhya Mela Despite Ban On Mass Gatherings Due To Coronavirus, 10 Lakh Devotees Expected

This year's mela (fair) is significant as it is the one after the Supreme Court's landmark judgement in favour of Ram Lalla in November 2019.

18 March 2020 8:34 AM GMT
Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh | By : Reethu Ravi
UP Govt Gives Nod To Ayodhya Mela Despite Ban On Mass Gatherings Due To Coronavirus, 10 Lakh Devotees Expected

Image Credits: News 24, The Economic Times

Despite the Centre issuing advisory to avoid mass gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to go ahead with the Ayodhya Ram Navami Mela (fair). The fair will be held from March 25 to April 2 and is expected to be attended by lakhs of pilgrims from across the country. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also scheduled to attend the event.

This year's fair has more significance as it is the first one to be held after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Ram Lalla in November 2019, giving the disputed land in Ayodhya to a government trust that will oversee the construction of a Ram temple.

On Tuesday, March 17, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had appealed to all religious gurus to prevent large gatherings in temples, mosques, and other religious places. Furthermore, the state government has ordered the closure of all tourist places and museums till March 31. All educational institutions have been closed and all examinations in the state have also been cancelled.

Ayodhya Chief Medical Officer Dr Ghanshyam Singh raised concerns regarding such a mass gathering with the UP government, but surprisingly the state government is going ahead with the fair.

"We are worried and have been telling people to take precautions and not to go to places where there are large gatherings. The UP government has also issued an advisory in this regard. I have raised my concerns with the Ayodhya District administration," Singh was quoted by News18.

"I have flagged the issue, now it is up to the administration to take a call. I believe that life is more important than religious gatherings. However, no positive case has been found yet in our district," he added.

However, paying no heed to the concerns, the chief priest of Ram Lalla Mahant Satyendra Das said that the fair should not be stopped. He added that, instead, arrangements should be made to keep the people safe.

"There is no question of shifting the Ram Navmi Mela, it is a matter of faith for crores of people. Ayodhya faced so many issues, but the fair has never been stopped. The authorities should make proper arrangements for sanitisation and other facilities instead of suggesting not to hold the fair. People's sentiments will be hurt, along with the business getting affected if the fair is cancelled," Das was quoted by the media.

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Reethu Ravi

Reethu Ravi

Trainee Digital Journalist

Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.

Shubhendu Deshmukh

Shubhendu Deshmukh

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Shubhendu, the quint essential news junky, the man who loves science and politics in equal measure and offers the complete contrast to it by being a fan of urdu poetry as well.

Reethu Ravi

Reethu Ravi

Trainee Digital Journalist

Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.

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