VHP calls off 84-kosi parikrama

| | Lucknow
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VHP calls off 84-kosi parikrama

Sunday, 29 March 2020 | PNS | Lucknow

Vishwa Hindu Parishad has cancelled the 84-kosi parikrama in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 252-km circumambulation around what is believed to have been Lord Ram’s empire, was to start on April 8 and would have passed through Ayodhya, Barabanki and Gonda.
Ayodhya-based VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma said, “Last year, about 1,000 people participated in the parikrama but this year the parikrama has been cancelled as we need to stand in solidarity with the government and society against coronavirus. Religious and social rituals will survive only when the nation is protected.”
The parikrama cannot be postponed as it has to take place in Chaitra, the first month of Hindu calendar.
The decision for cancelling the parikrama was taken by Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust chairperson Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and secretary Champat Rai in consultation with top leadership of the VHP.
“Preparations for the parikrama were complete. Seers from across the country would have been in Ayodhya for it. However, the country and society come first. If they are safe, then the  parikrama can happen next year,” Sharma said. The VHP had scaled down Sri Ram Mahotsav celebration this year despite expectation that millions of devotees would congregate at Ayodhya to celebrate the Supreme Court verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.
A section of the media had, however, recently reported that Mahant Nritya Gopal Das had asked devotees to flock into Ayodhya to celebrate Ram Navami on April 2.
Reports also claimed that the local administration had failed to reason with the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust on the enormity of the problem.
But Sharma dismissed them as ‘malicious’.
“Our ancestors have said that it is only when society is safe that religious and social obligations can be followed and places of worship flourish. We stand in solidarity with the government’s decision to enforce lockdown which might be a short term inconvenience,” he said.

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