Ram in the story as translated to me, by my grandmother and much later by other seers and authors, was an embodiment of an ideal man. Maryada Purush, as he is referred commonly, a title even denied to other avatars of Vishnu.
3. Why is Shri Ram called a Maryada Purushottam?As a person, Shri Ram personifies the characteristics of an ideal person who is to be emulated. He had within him all the desirable virtues that any individual would seek to aspire. For example, he gave up his rightful claim to the throne, and agreed to go into exile (vanvas) for fourteen years, to fulfil the vow that his father had given to Kaikeyi, one of King Dashratha's wives. This is in spite of the fact that Kaikeyi's son, Bharat, begged him to return back to Ayodhya and said that he did not want to rule in place of Shri Rama. But Shri Ram considered his dharma as a son above that of his own birthright and his life's ambition. For such supreme sacrifices, and many other qualities, Shri Ram is considered a maryada purushottam.
This is from the same group that preaches intolerance and hatred, and takes the name of the same god who was willing for 'supreme sacrifices', in the name of dharma. Ram, during his final battle with Ravana, also gave him time to repent and seek forgiveness. People may question many different things done by Ram and the mythology surrounding him, but no one can accuse him of being a sadist and or a murderer, butcher of innocent men and women. In India today, his name is used in vain to protect hindus from the influence of other religions. Hatred is spread by his so called followers, to counter and subjugate muslims and christians and other minorities.
It appears that it is hindus who really need to be saved. Saved from these organization and followers, who are destroying the very fabric of the hindu religion. Their acts, be it protection of a temple or killing of muslims and their property, has absolutely no sanction within the hindu religion. It is high time that all the so called religious heads of hinduism like the babas, ammas, gurus and sri manji's, come out in complete protest against these people and their actions. Their silence and any mute protests are not helping the cause of the hindus or the religion.
Ram is a Maryada Purush. But his followers cannot or do not even aspire or attempt to follow any of his ideals or teachings. Lord Ram's message is a message of peace. That one must remain true to one's dharma. His life teaches us the power of sacrifice. Above all, i think there is a message of love, love to all around us, be it small or big, father or step-mother, rich or poor, friend or foe.