NEW DELHI: In a significant announcement, the Indian government has declared a 'half-day' for all central government offices, institutions, and industrial establishments across the country on January 22. This decision is aligned with the scheduled 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, a historic event that will witness the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and other special invitees.
To facilitate widespread participation in the celebrations, the government notice stated, "The Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha at Ayodhya will be celebrated on 22nd January 2024, across India. To enable employees to participate in the celebrations, it has been decided that all Central Government Offices, Central Institutions, and Central Industrial Establishments throughout India will be closed for half a day till 14:30 hours (2:30 pm) on 22nd January, 2024."
In addition to the half-day declaration, Prime Minister Modi has issued directives to ministers to engage in symbolic acts of service and celebration. This includes the lighting of earthen lamps, serving food to the poor, and marking the January 22 event as Deepotsav, akin to the festivities of Diwali. Furthermore, ministers are encouraged to visit the Ram Mandir with devotees from their respective Lok Sabha constituencies via trains after the 'Pran Pratishtan' event.
Emphasizing the need for simplicity, PM Modi has directed ministers to ensure that the entire event is conducted with modesty, maintaining harmony in their Lok Sabha constituencies. Ayodhya is already gearing up for the grand "Pran Pratishtha" of the Ram Mandir, with over 7,000 people on the invitee list, including politicians, Bollywood celebrities, cricketers, and industrialists.
The 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony holds immense cultural and religious significance, and the government's decision to observe a half-day reflects the importance attributed to this historic event. As the nation anticipates the culmination of years of anticipation, the call for simplicity underscores the essence of unity and celebration on this auspicious occasion.