10 Feb 2024  |   07:58am IST

'Lord Ram' debate erupts in Assembly: CM, Vijai spar over fanfare for temple in Ayodhya

Team Herald

PORVORIM: The Goa Assembly became the stage for a heated exchange between Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai, over the recent inauguration of the Ram Temple by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

A Private Member’s resolution commending PM Modi for his efforts in resolving the longstanding issue of constructing the Ram Temple at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya was brought forth in the Assembly.

During the discussion on the resolution presented by Vasco MLA Krishna 'Daji' Salkar, Sardesai said he was happy with the temple’s completion but emphasised that the significance lies in the deity within, not just the structure itself. 

 “There is a saying in the Hindu religion that a structure cannot supersede the God in it. There is a history of the God who is in the temple. It is important, what Ram Lalla stands for. Is it enough to construct a temple and celebrate it? No. There was even the commemoration of a day when a religious structure was demolished. The day when Rome was built is not celebrated, but Christmas is observed. There is already Sadbhavana Dis which is celebrated on August 20. We are an educated, intelligent, socio politically conscious state. We are happy that the temple has been constructed, but Ram does not belong to just one person.”

 Sardesai said the House should have a large heart and it should listen to dissent. “Do not shut down people who you do not like to hear. What you do not like, do not like. You criticise us, we are ready to accept that. But do not sit at high virtue and say that only you are the Ram Bhakt. People of Goa are watching. There is no need to do drama and tiatr over it.”

In response, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant reiterated the national importance of the Ram Temple, highlighting its emotional significance for people of all religions and regions. 

 “Ram is a God and it is not easy to have the qualities which he possesses. Ram temple is a national temple. People from all religions are emotionally attached to it. People from different castes, sects and region are visiting the temple,” he said, lauding the efforts of Prime Minister Modi, the Ram Janbhoomi Nyas Trust, and all involved in realising the temple’s construction. Earlier, the Chief Minister suggested that Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa pay a visit to the Ram Temple to which D’Costa replied that there is no need to suggest him to visit the temple.

“God is one. Where you go, you will find God,” he said. “For Goemkars, Ram is in our culture and tradition. For Hindus, it is ‘Ram Navami’, for Catholics it is ‘Rama Aaitar’, for Muslims, it is ‘Ramadan’. Mahatma Gandhi’s last words were ‘Hey Ram’,” D’Costa said.  D’Costa pointed out that it was the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during whose tenure Ramayana reached to every household in the country.

Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral said he was happy to say that there was no bloodshed when the issue was resolved.


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