Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Year : 2, Issue : 4
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Ram temple in Ayodhya in the country’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh amid religious fervour, signifying a triumph of his muscular Hindu nationalist politics ahead of the parliamentary elections due in a few months.
The temple site was bitterly contested for decades with both Hindus and Muslims laying claim to it and was a flashpoint for violence after a Hindu mob in 1992 destroyed a 16th century mosque which stood there.
A grand temple to Hindu god Lord Ram opens on Monday on a site in India millions believe is his birthplace, in a religious spectacle led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi months before he seeks a rare third term in elections.
The construction of the temple is a 35-year-old, central promise of Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a contentious political issue that helped catapult the party to prominence and power.
Hindu groups are portraying the inauguration ceremony in the northern city of Ayodhya as the peak of Hindu awakening after centuries of subjugation by Muslim and colonial powers. It is also being seen as the virtual launch of the deeply religious strongman Modi’s re-election campaign for general elections due by May.
On Monday, Modi will take part in the culmination of rituals to inaugurate the temple, for which thousands of members of BJP and its affiliates, religious leaders and devotees from across the country are expected to gather in Ayodhya.
Some of India’s top business leaders, movie actors and sportspersons have also been invited for the consecration, organisers said.