Prayagraj: A slew of hoardings welcoming devotees to the Kumbh Mela in this historic city of Uttar Pradesh call for the construction of a grand Ram temple at the disputed Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.
Thousands of saints who have descended here from across the country are also making a strong pitch for a grand Ram temple.
In their conversations with devotees, as well as in their open addresses, they were heard calling for the intervention of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.
A poster highlighting the victory of 'dharma', states: "Tulsi tere des mein/Ram Kachehri jaye/Sarkaron ke bich main/Mandir gota khae", which roughly translates into: God is taken to the courts in the country where 'temple' is ignored in the infighting of the regimes.
Issued by Anant Vivhuchit Jagatguru Ramanandcharya and Narendracharya Maharaj, the poster displays a life-size illustration of Hindu god Ram with his bow and arrows, and is displayed in several parts of the city, particularly along the lanes leading up to the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna rivers and the mystical Saraswati at the Sangam.
Another poster issued by the same group states: "Badh aage tirpal hatao/Vansaj hone ka dharma nibhao", calling on the devotees to move forward and remove the 'tent' over the idol in Ayodhya and perform the duty of being scions of Lord Ram.
In a poster that particularly attracted much attention for its strong wording, apparently to Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre, it is stated that if 'you' consider yourself to be the 'saput' (good son) of Ram, then build the Ram Temple and prove your allegiance.
The language of the posters gets stronger as one gets closer to the Sangam.
"Agar ab bhi Ram Mandir nahin bana paaoge/Aane wale pidhi ko kya muh dikha paoge". (If you still cannot build the Ram Temple, how will you face the future generations.)
The Kumbh administration has built pontoon bridges that lead the visitors to the five-kilometre bathing ghat at Sangam but these posters and hoardings throng the by-lanes leading up to the Sangam, and therefore are among regular sites that visitors encounter before and after taking the holy dip that, according to legend, opens the doors to heaven.
The Kumbh Mela 2019 is being held from January 15 to March 4, with six important bathing dates. Makar Sankranti, which falls on Tuesday, was the first of these dates for bathing, and officials expect over 15 crore devotees to take the holy dip this year.