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Indian prime Minister Modi inaugurates temple in Ram, which stands where there was a mosque, in a political move

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Thousands of Indians danced in the streets, wearing saffron-colored robes and waving saffron-colored flags, as they chanted religious slogans ahead of Monday’s opening of a large temple dedicated to the Hindu god Ram in Ayodhya, at a site they believe to be his birthplace.

It is, however, a contested religious site: until the morning of Dec. 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid, a mosque built in 1528 and named after the Mughal king Babur, stood there. A mob of Hindu nationalists tore down the mosque, chanting religious slogans, after more than a decade of angry and sometimes violent campaigning.

After years of being closed to the public, the Supreme Court of India ruled in November 2019 that the site should be handed over to a trust set up specifically to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple.

The ceremony in the northern city of Ayodhya is shaping up to be a historic event for the Hindu majority in the world’s most populous nation as Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s party runs for a rare third term in the elections scheduled for May.

“The construction of the Ram Temple is a tool to unite the country,” Modi said in a message published on the front pages of newspapers, ahead of a spectacle that will be watched by millions of Indians at home and abroad.

The temple, which fulfills a key promise made 35 years ago by Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been a controversial political issue that helped catapult the party to prominence and power.

Indian Hindus claim the site is the birthplace of Lord Ram and was sacred to them long before the Muslim Mughals razed a temple to build the Babri Masjid, or mosque, in 1528. <At the same time, the mosque had existed for quai five centuries, and its destruction was a moment of strong conflict that helped the rise of the nationalist BJP party, whose leader Modi is.

In 2019, the Supreme Court returned the land to the Hindus and ordered the allocation of a separate plot to Muslims, where construction of a new mosque has yet to begin.

Monday’s main event began at 12:20 p.m. Indian time and will last about 40 minutes, when the blindfold will be removed from the 130-cm-tall black stone deity, among rituals concluding consecration ceremonies that began more than a week ago. About 8,000 people are expected to attend the invitation-only ceremony, from business leaders to movie stars and sportsmen.

More than 10,000 police officers have spread throughout the city of 3 million people to ensure security and keep curious onlookers away. The temple will open to the public on Tuesday, and management expects at least 100,000 visitors a day for the first few months.
The consecration has ignited religious fervor across India: on Monday, many states declared a holiday, stock markets remained closed, and homes and businesses were lit up after Modi called for this holiday to be treated as another Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tanu aggarwal

    January 22, 2024 at 9:30 am

    Today, thousands of jubilant Indians celebrated the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, a site believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace. 🚩🪔 This event, however, comes with a history of controversy, as the Babri Masjid mosque that stood there for centuries was demolished in 1992. After years of legal battles, the Supreme Court of India ruled in 2019 to hand over the site for the construction of the Hindu temple. This ceremony holds immense significance for India’s Hindu majority, and it’s taking place as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party gears up for crucial elections in May, with Modi emphasizing the temple’s role in unifying the nation. 🇮🇳🙏

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