Divine Ramifications

The merchandise market is commemorating Lord Ram in unique ways, setting new trends of wearables and advanced props of deities from dinky Ram Mandir keychains to Jai Shri Ram T-shirts, dhanush earrings and trishul pendants

Here, there, everywhere – Lord Ram is trending big time in virtual space as well as on the ground. Once an elusive novelty treasure, merchandise of the Lord has evolved into a socio-cultural zeitgeist, trending all over. Memorabilia related to the new Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, deities like Lord Ram, Hanuman, and Ram-Sita-Laxman are being sold in abundance locally and on online shopping sites. A walk into any neighbourhood bazaars and you will see the streets are flooded with miniature Ram Mandir replicas, dinky Hanuman gada, keychains, psychedelic Jai Shri Ram T-shirts, trishul pendants, and dhanush-baan earrings.

Money Matters

The preparations for the consecration of Ram temple on January 22 in Ayodhya is in full swing from sending invitations to the distribution of sweets. The traders’ body Confedera-tion of All India Traders (CAIT) has estimated that Rs 50,000 crore worth of business will be generated in January alone. CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal says that the enthusiasm and excitement around the Ram Mandir event is historic. “It will lead people to shop for products related to the temple and Lord Ram,” he adds. Hundreds of faithful (bhakts) including foreigners have booked their tickets in advance to seek blessings and eye-witness the magnum celebration wearing the Shri Ram T-shirt, carrying miniature Ram Mandir home decor pieces or Bajrangbali gada keychains.

Omkar Warik (28), a Mumbai-based auditor who bought a Jai Shri Ram saffron kurta shirt says, “We are celebrating the inauguration of Ram Mandir in our locality. For that, everyone is wearing the same saffron-coloured kurta shirt. We are celebrating it on a massive scale like Diwali.”

Merchandise Juggernaut

Diamond merchant, Rasesh Jewels from Surat, Gujarat unveiled a necklace on the theme of the Ram temple using 5,000 American diamonds and 2-kg silver. Local artisans and vendors have seized the opportunity to craft and sell items. Intricately designed key chains, bangles, pendants, badges, LED acrylic frames, and wall hangings depicting scenes from the Ramayana or the Ram Mandir dominate shops and street side stalls. They offer a visual feast to passersby. The merchandising wave has captured the hearts of the faithful, providing tangible connections to their spiritual beliefs. Local vendors in Delhi’s Khan Market, Sarojini Nagar Market and Khari Baoli Bazaar are planning to celebrate the inauguration by installing saffron flags and lighting earthen lamps. Ditto with the bustling markets in Mumbai’s Dadar area and shops in Hyderabad's Banjara Hills and Begumpet areas.

Alok Kumar Yadav (24), founder of UMANG corporation, a T-shirt manufacturing and printing company has received orders from local shops and vendors in wholesale. Yadav says, “We have released around 7,000-8,000 T-shirts in less than six days. The trend is picking up gradually.

The more people will see others wearing these T-shirts, the more influenced they will be. We have also supplied these merchandise to the local vendors in Ayodhya. They are small-scale companies who are distributing this merchandise for free along with the company logo.”

Hip & Spiritual

It’s a ripple effect, and people are drawn to a variety of wearable items, including T-shirts, pendants, and bracelets featuring images of Lord Ram or the proposed temple. The garments often bear empowering slogans or verses from the Ramayana or chants of Shri Ram. It adds a touch of spirituality to the attire. The local markets have transformed into hubs of religious expression and almost a festive celebration, as people seek tangible reminders of their devotion to the deities and spiritual significance of the temple.

Digital Devotion

In the age of e-commerce, the wave of one of the most celebrated Hindu deities returning to Ayodhya has also found its way into the digital realm. Numerous online platforms are showcasing and selling a plethora of Lord Ram memorabilia, from intricately designed figurines to miniature intricately carved Ram temples in various sizes. Devotees residing far away from Ayodhya can procure the Lord’s merchandise in a jiffy at the click of a mouse. The convenience of online shopping has facilitated the global spread of these sacred symbols, allowing individuals from different corners of the world to partake in the Ram Mandir event.

Artistic Expressions

Anuj Dungarwal, co-partner, The Corporate India, Kolkata, recently launched a metallic Ram Mandir statue of 7-8 inches says, “Currently, around seven to eight models of this piece have been sold. Like any other product, the sales increase during peak seasons. The demand for this product will sustain in the longer run because of its beautiful structure and meticulous design.” A notable aspect of the merchandise trend is the emphasis on artistic expressions and symbolic designs. Modern interpretations of Lord Ram’s image, combined with cutting-edge design elements, appeal to a younger audience, bridging the gap between tradition and modernity. This fusion of artistic styles caters to diverse tastes, ensuring that the merchandise trend remains inclusive and adaptive to evolving preferences. Some argue that the commodification of religious symbols may dilute the sacred essence, but believe it or not, the faithful are leaving no stones unturned in welcoming Lord Ram in the new temple and their homes.


Confederation of All India Traders estimates Rs 50,000 crore worth of business in January alone during the consecration of Ram Mandir, Ayodhya

The demand for this product will sustain in the longer run because of its beautiful structure and meticulous design.” — Anuj Dungarwal, Co-partner, The Corporate India, Kolkata

The enthusiasm around the Ram Mandir event is historic. It will lead people to shop for products related to the temple and Lord Ram.” — Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, CAIT

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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