By Tanay Gokhale, IC Community Reporter & California Local News Fellow

On May 18, the Ram Bhakts of Northern California organized a Ram Lalla concert in which devotional songs about Lord Rama and traditional Indian dances were presented through the afternoon and evening. Akshat (sacred rice grains) from the Ayodhya Ram Temple consecration ceremony was also distributed among attendees at the concert. The concert took place in the outdoor amphitheater of the Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, and organizers estimate that more than 600 people attended the event. 

The Organizers

According to its founding members, the group Ram Bhakts of Northern California formed organically after the establishment of the Ram Lalla temple in Ayodhya earlier this year. At the time, six Bay Area Ram-bhakts – Bimal Bhagvat, Daipayan Deb, Deepak Bajaj, Deepti Mahajan,  Param Desai, and Rohit Sharma – organized a car rally to mark the occasion in the Bay Area. The car rally was a success and the group decided to continue organizing other events in the Bay Area to unite Ram Bhakts and Hindus, often using Whstapp and door-to-door campaigning to mobilize the Hindu community. The Ram Lalla concert is the first event they have organized since the car rally.

Founding member Deepti Mahajan pointed out that apart from the six founding members, around 30 volunteers worked tirelessly to make this event possible. She also insisted that though all six of them are members of Hindu community organizations, the Ram Bhakts of Northern California is independent of those organizations, and works with the sole intention of uniting Hindus in the Bay Area. 

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.