Sunday, May 19, 2024

When Times Square in New York dazzled with Lord Rama and ‘Bhoomi Pujan’

We all know how August 5, 2020 went for us in India—drenched in emotional and religious outpouring of millions.  

But how was Times Square doing in New York about which we had heard so much in lead up to the Ram Temple Bhoomi Pujan? That it would have tower-tall digital billboards adorning the image of temple and of course Lord Rama?

Well, the billboards at Times Square not only displayed these images but also the one of prime minister Narendra Modi squatting, bowing and performing rituals of the Bhoomi Pujan. Many Indian-Americans celebrated the moment by lighting diyas.

It can be seen in the video posted by ANI how the large digital billboards at iconic Times Square were filled with the images of Lord Rama and the national flag of India. People can be seen celebrating and chanting Jai Shree Ram’s slogan in the background.

In the US, various Hindu committees including, American India Public Affairs have made all the arrangements to mark the auspicious moment. They scheduled a mega event at Times Square in which they hired gigantic billboards for this occasion, including the 17,000-square-foot wrap-around LED display screen and the iconic Nasdaq screen at Times Square.

While the enthusiasm among Indian-American Hindus was very high as they planned to show the images from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., the Muslim groups including various left-liberals activists reported their protest against it. Indian Minorities Advocacy Network (ImanNet), Justice for All, Coalition of Americans for Pluralism in India (CAPI), North American Indian Muslim Association (NAIMA), Islamic Circle of North America -Social Justice (ICNASJ) even filed their petition against the ad agencies.

The CIAR (The Council on American-Islamic Relations) has also taken part in opposing the program. However, despite launching several campaigns against the mega event and contacting advertising agencies to stop the display, the agencies didn’t agree and the images were seen on the billboards.

Besides this, Patrick Brown, the Mayor of the City of Brampton in Canada also sent his greetings to the Hindu community for the grand event.

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