Days before the bhoomi pujan ceremony to begin the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, a Muslim from Chhattisgarh's Chandkhuri has decided to walk over 800 kilometres to reach the venue and attend the event on 5 August.
The village Chandkhuri is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram's mother Kaushalya and a resident of the village, Mohammed Faiz Khan is a devotee of Lord Ram.
Khan has already reached Madhya Pradesh (MP)'s Anuppur, news agency ANI reported.
"I am a Muslim from my name and religion but I am a devotee of Lord Ram. If we find out about our ancestors, they were Hindus. Their names might be Ramlal or Shyamlal. We all have Hindu origin whether we go to church or mosque," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
He said, our main ancestor was Lord Ram, while also telling that "Allama Iqbal (Pakistan’s national poet) had tried to explain in a way in which he said that the one who has perfect sight, will consider Lord Ram as lord of India."
"With this reverence, I am taking soil from Kaushalya’s birthplace at Chandkhuri to Ayodhya for dedicating it during the ground-breaking ceremony," Khan added.
The Bhumi Pujan is expected to be held on 5 August and will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is likely to be accompanied by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani and Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath.
Invitation has also been sent to Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, other BJP leaders such as Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti.
As per the report, Khan did not seem to be bothered by the criticism he was receiving. He said several people from Pakistan had been trying to portray an image of India where all communities were fighting.
“Pakistan is trying to create communal tension in India on the occasion of Ram temple construction,” he said.
He also told it was not his first journey of this kind. He claimed he had visited various temples across country by walking 15,000 km.
“This is not the first time I am walking to the temples. I have walked 15,000 km and stayed in temples and mutts. Nobody said a word against me. This journey is only 800 km,” Khan told.
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