Ahead of Ram Temple 'bhoomi pujan' (foundation stone laying ceremony), Indian-Americans have come together to protest the display of the ceremony on giant billboards at the iconic Times Square in New York on August 5.
Over 1,600 Members of the organisations like the Indian Civil Watch International, South Asian Solidarity Initiative (SASI) and Hindus for Human Rights, have raged protest against what they have termed as an 'Islamophobic billboard' to be projected in Times Square.
President of an Indian-American organisation Jagdish Sewhani had last week announced plans to lease the billboards in major cities of the U.S including The Times Square, to display images of Hindu deity Ram and 3D portraits of the temple on the day of the bhoomi pujan scheduled in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya, The Quint reported.
The members opposing the projection of the ceremony, in their petition, addressed to New York Mayor Bill De Blasio stated that it is an Islamophobic billboard and no less than a commemoration of hatred, celebrating the destruction of a nearly 425-year-old mosque that led to one of the worst communal violence India witnessed, resulting in the death of nearly 3,000 people, the petition read.
They have asked the mayor to take action against the American Indian Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the organiser of the event.
"Our coalition stands opposed to the far-right Hindutva nationalism of the BJP government in India, which has trampled on the rights and lives of minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Dalits, as well as dissenters," the media quoted.
However, many of the Non-Resident Indians have expressed their enthusiasm with the celebration and quoted it as once in a lifetime kind of event.
Raja Swamy of India Civil Watch organization, in view of the event, said that the one major billboard company 'Branded Cities' will not be displaying the images and event. The company manages digital advertisement boards for Nasdaq in Times Square and runs prominent digital boards.