Building Bhavya Ram Mandir In Ayodhya: Here’s All About The Trustees Entrusted With The Task

Building Bhavya Ram Mandir In Ayodhya: Here’s All About The Trustees Entrusted With The TaskBricks with Shri Ram written on them in Ayodhya. (Representative Image) (Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)

On Wednesday (5 February), Prime Minister Modi announced the formation of a 15-member Ayodhya Ram Temple trust in line with the Supreme Court order on 9 November 2019.

The Trust will be independent to take decisions regarding the construction of the Temple, the Prime Minister said.

The entire 67.7 acres which the Centre had acquired has been allotted for the temple and associated facilities.

The 15-members trust will be an all inclusive body with the participation of all sections of the Hindu Samaj including Dalits. It should be noted that the trust members need to be practising Hindus.

In light of this historic moment, here’s a brief introduction on the trustee members confirmed so far:

1. Kameshwar Chaupal

Chaupal placed the first brick for the makeshift Ram temple in 1992 after demolition of the Babri Masjid. He belongs to SC community.

Reportedly, in the Kumbh Mela preceding 1989, the religious leaders from all over India decided that it would be a member of the Dalit community who will perform the Shilanyas.

After he laid the first brick, Chaupal became a sensation all around the country. He then formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He remained a member of the legislative council of Bihar from 2009 to 2014.

2. K Parasaran

Senior Advocate K Parasaran led the legal fight of Hindus to construct Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The ninety-two year old lawyer awed everyone by his energy and extensive memory, backed by his comprehensive but easy to understand research.

During the course of the hearing Parasaran argued that a historic wrong was committed by Babar 433 years ago when he constructed a Mosque at Lord Ram’s birthplace and it needed to corrected.

One of the most notable arguments by Parasaran in this case was, “Muslims can pray in any other mosque in Ayodhya. There are 55-60 mosques in Ayodhya alone. But, for Hindus this is the birth place of Lord Ram, which we cannot change”.

A former attorney general of the Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi governments, Parasaran was awarded the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan in 2003 and 2011. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Indian President in 2012 for a period of six years.

3. Jagatguru Shankaracharya Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati, Prayagraj

His appointment to the board of trustees was expected even before the final announcement. He is the Sankaracharya of the Jyotirpeeth in Badrinath, Uttarakhand.

Jyotirmath is one of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankara in the 8th century CE.

4. Jagatguru Madhvacharya Swami Vishwa Prasanna Theertha Maharaj, Udupi

He is the 33rd Peethadhiswara of the Sri Pejavara Adokshaja Matha, one of the Ashta Mathas belonging to the Dvaita school of philosophy founded by Sri Madhvacharya. He ascended the seat in December 2019.

His predecessor Sri Vishwesha Tirtharu was at the forefront in supporting the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

He was was involved in various social service organisations, and is said to have started many educational and social service organisations, focused on helping the poor and Dalits. He was known as the 'Rashtra Swamiji', and a great social reformer.

He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan India's second highest civilian award posthumously in 2020 for his work and service towards the society.

5. Swami Paramanand Ji Maharaj, Haridwar

His organisation Akhand Paramdham (APD) fosters numerous service programs and manages a vast array of social projects. He was a disciple of Sri Swami Akhandanand Ji Maharaji from Chitrakoot, and took Sanyasa at a young age. He has travelled worldwide sharing his teachings with people from all walks of life.

6. Swami Govind Dev Giri Maharaj, Pune

He is famous for his spellbinding discourses on Srimad Bhagvad, Mahabharata, Ramayana and other ancient holy books.

A well renowned Vedic scholar, he established Maharishi Ved Vyas Patishthana in Pune, as well as Sant Shri Dnyaneshwar Gurukula in alandi for the cause of Vedic education. A vast array of social work programmes are also organised by him.

7. Mahant Dinendra Das, Nirmohi Akhara

Nirmohi Akhara chief Mahant Dinendra Das lauded the government decision to create a trust and said that people from both the Hindu and Muslim communities want the temple to be grandiose.

Nirmohi Akhara was established by the saint Ramananda, and today runs many temples and mathas in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Bihar.

8. Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra, Ayodhya Royal Family

Lovingly known as Pappu Bhaiya in Ayodhya, he hails from the Ayodhya royal family, and is a member of the Ramayana Mela Sanrakshana Samiti as well as the working committee for the government’s HRIDAY scheme.

This royal family traces its roots back to Bhojpur's landlord, Sadanand Pathak.

Misra had reportedly kept silence over the Ram Temple issue, purportedly due to a keen interest in politics, and in a bid to not antagonise Muslims and Hindus of Ayodhya, as both the communities hold him in high esteem.

He had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha Elections on BSP ticket a decade ago.

Misra had also been invited by the then South Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil for the annual memorial ceremony of King Suro - who married Ayodhya’s princess Suriratna around 2,000 years ago. The South Korean government has also installed a monument in Ayodhya in their former queen's memory.

PM Modi Modi is likely to lay the foundation stone of the temple on Ram Navami that falls on 2 April.

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