News24 posts misleading tweet on Muslim sculptors making idol of Ram Lalla

News24 posts misleading tweet on Muslim sculptors making idol of Ram Lalla
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News24 posts misleading tweet on Muslim sculptors making idol of Ram Lalla

As the date for grand opening of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya approaches, various updates about the temple are being reported by the media. However, misleading and fake news are also being published by some media houses regarding the Ram Mandir. One such false information was provided by News24, which claimed that the idol of Ram Lalla to be installed in the temple is being made by a Muslim sculptor and his son.

On 14th December, News24 posted a tweet on X, claiming that Muhammad Jamaluddin from West Bengal and his son Bittu are sculpting the idol of Ram Lalla, which will take its place in the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The tweet in Hindi said, “Ramlalla is ready to sit in the Ram temple of Ayodhya in January.” After that, the media houses added four bullet points, the first of which said, “The idols were made by Mohammad Jamaluddin of Bengal and his son Bittu.”

News24 then said in the post that father-son duo has been crafting idols for a long time. The post then added remarks by Jamaluddin, who said, ‘Religion is a personal thing. People following many religions live in our country. The culture of brotherhood is my message as an artiste.’

By saying that Jamaluddin and his son are making the idol of Ram Lall to be placed in Ram Mandir, News24 implied that the Muslim duo is making the main idol to placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. But this is completely fake and misleading claim, and no Muslim is making the main idol of Ram Lalla.

In fact, other media reports on Jamaluddin make it clear that he is making a decorating idol using fibre for the opening ceremony of Ram Mandir. As per a report by India Today, Mohammed Jamaluddin and his son Bittu have been engaged in creating some statues that will adorn the temple complex. The report stated that he is making life-size fibre statues.

Other reports make it clear that the fibre statutes of Lord Ram and other Gods will be used to decorate the temple complex and the Ayodhya City during the inauguration ceremony. TV9 reported that statues of Lord Ram will be placed in major intersections in Ayodhya, and some of these idols are being made by Jamaluddin and his son.

Fibre idols are generally used for decorative purposes, and they are not used as the main deity in temples. Most deities in Hindu temples are made from various types of stones, while temporary idols made for annual festivals are made using clay. Fibre idols last longer than clay, but are much easier to make compared to carving stone. Fibre idols are generally made for export, as they are lighter and easy to transport with the risk of damage.

Notably, not one but three idols of Ram Lalla are being made in Ayodhya by three separate artists, and one of them will be picked by a committee to be placed in Sanctum Santorum, after which the pran pratistha rituals will be conducted by priests.

Champat Rai, general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, had earlier informed that the three different idols are being made by three sculptors – Ganesh Bhatt and Arun Yogiraj from Karnataka and Satyanarayan Pandey from Jaipur. Two of the idols are being made using two stones from Karnataka and one from Rajasthan. Earlier, a stone was brought from Nepal, and later stones were also brought from Odisha and Maharashtra to carve the idol, but those were found not suitable.

Ganesh Bhatt of Karnataka is carving out the idol from Nellikaru rock or black stones which is also known as Shyam shila or Krishna shila. Famous sculptor Arun Yogiraj of Mysore, who sculpted the 12-ft statue of Adi Shankaracharya unveiled by PM Modi in Kedarnath, is sculpting another idol using another rock from Karnataka. Satya Narayan Pandey of Rajasthan is carving the Ram Lalla idol from white Makrana marble stones. All three artists are chiselling the idols based on a sketch by renowned artist Vasudeo Kamath from Mumbai.

The 51-inch-tall Ram Lalla depicts the child form of Lord Ram, same as the current smaller idol that was placed in the makeshift temple for over half a century. The idol will depict five-year-old Ram Lalla sitting on a lotus, carrying a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other. Many other symbols related to Lord Ram will carved on the statue.

While one idol will be selected to be permanently placed in the sanctum sanctorum, the other two idols will be placed in prominent places inside the temple premises.

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