New Delhi: Ahead of the Ram temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya scheduled for January 22, the Mauritius High Commissioner to India, Haymandoyal Dillum, on Friday said that the installation of the idol of Lord Ram at Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, holds great spiritual, historical and cultural significance for the people of Mauritius.
In a telephonic interview with ETV Bharat, when asked how significant the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony is for Mauritius given the strong cultural ties between the two nations, the High Commissioner said, "The text of the Ramayana is very significant for Mauritian as well as the Ram temple. In Mauritius the two major avatar of Lord Vishnu is widely acknowledged - that of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna".
He noted that previously many Mauritians used to visit Mathura and Vrindavan to take the blessings of Lord Krishna and now they will be getting the opportunity to visit the temple of Lord Ram as well. Notably, Hinduism is the most prominent and most practised religion in the island nation.
The roots of Hinduism in Mauritius can be traced back to the arrival of Indian indentured labourers during the colonial era. These migrants primarily hailed from states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. They were brought to work on French and later British plantations in Mauritius and neighbouring islands of the Indian Ocean.
On being asked how Mauritius is prepping up for the historic ceremony, the Mauritius High Commissioner said, "The 'Pran Pratishtha' will be the first-ever Hindu ceremony being telecast live, it would be a great opportunity for them to be part of the event despite being away".
"The installation of the idol of Lord Ram at Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, holds great spiritual, historical, and cultural significance for the people of Mauritius. It is as if Lord Ram is coming back after the exile", added Dillum.
He revealed that the celebrations have already started in Mauritius from January 15 with the start of the Makar Sankranti. The Ramayana chanting had started in the Northern Region of the country as well as the Eastern region, which will be followed in the Centre and South region respectively, he said.
On January 20, there will be the launching of the Gurukul Shiksha Course by the Mauritius Sanatana Dharma, which will be related to Ramayana activities. "On January 21, a national-level celebration is being held at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre for Indian Culture in Mauritius."
On January 22 the Pran Pratishtha ceremony will be telecast live and there will be pooja path, Dhawan, and the Ramayan path in all the mandirs. For which a 2 hours leave break has been given to Hindus in Mauritius to participate in the pooja", the Mauritius High Commissioner informed.
Remember, Mauritius is known for its diverse temples and is home to a significant Hindu population. Hindus constitute approx 48 per cent of the total population of 12.3 lakhs making it one of the few countries where Hindus are in the majority.
Last week, in a significant move, the Mauritius cabinet decided to provide a one-time special leave of two hours for public servants of the Hindu faith. This special leave will allow them to attend prayers marking the historic inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22.