The Ram Lalla idol was unveiled on Monday, January 22 with the completion of the consecration ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya. The Pran Prathishta ceremony began at 12.20 pm and was completed at 12.28 pm. The ceremony was completed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, and Pejavar math seer Vishwaprasanna Thirtha Swami.
The Ram Lalla idol is 51 inches tall and is supposed to represent a 5-year-old child standing on a lotus. The idol, which was sculpted by Arun Yogiraj from Mysuru, was adorned heavily with jewels.
Several political leaders, actors, and sports stars from across the country were in attendance at the event. Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Rajkumar Hirani, and Ayushman Khurrana among others were present at the ceremony. Actors from the south including Rajinikanth, Dhanush, Ram Charan, and Chiranjeevi were in attendance. Music performances were held by popular singers like Sonu Nigam, Shankar Mahadevan, and Anuradha Paudwal. Other celebrities who attended the ceremony include Sachin Tendulkar, Saina Nehwal, and Anil Kumble. Political leaders from the south were also in attendance, such as former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Pawan Kalyan, and Chandrababu Naidu.
The consecration ceremony is being held after the first phase of the temple’s construction, following the Supreme Court judgement in 2019.
Babri Masjid, built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur in 1528, was demolished by kar sevaks belonging to Hindu majoritarian outfits on December 6, 1992. The demolition, which happened as a result of a concerted Ram Janmabhoomi movement, resulted in communal riots over months, which led to over 2,000 deaths. The Babri Masjid has been a contested site since 1885 as religious leaders and Hindutva outfits considered it to be Ram Janambhoomi or the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.
A legal fight ensued in 1950 when Gopal Visharad Sharma approached Faizabad district court for the right to worship idols of Ram Lalla, which were placed there in 1949. On September 30, 2010, the High Court, in a 2:1 majority, ruled a three-way division of the disputed area between the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Nine years later, in 2019, the Supreme Court granted the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to deity Ram Lalla and directed the Uttar Pradesh government to allot five acres of land to Muslims for building a mosque. Though the Supreme Court referred to the mosque's demolition as "an egregious violation of the rule of law," the verdict was criticised for accepting the logic of "faith over fact" and granting legal possession of land to those responsible for the demolition.