On Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a controversial Hindu temple in Ayodhya (northern India), a strong and significant political-religious gesture for this emblematic site of Hindu nationalism and which has poisoned relations between the community in the country.
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to Ayodyah (in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh) on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, to lay the foundation stone for a controversial Hindu temple. A date not chosen at random, as it is the first anniversary of the forced revocation of Indian Kashmir independence (Muslim-majority region).
With the construction of a temple dedicated to the god Ram in Ayodhya and the change in Kashmir’s status, the Prime Minister thus sends two strong signals to his constituents about the ongoing construction of a Hindu homeland in India and moves away from secular and multitro nation thought to be independent in 1947, at the end of Indian Kashmir autonomy was an old promise of Hindu nationalists that he took to power in New Delhi in 2014.
“A wait that has been going on for centuries ends today”
Starkman from the South Asian giant attended a religious ceremony at the site in the middle of the day to mark the beginning of temple construction. “A wait that has lasted for centuries ends today,” Narendra Modilor said in a speech to an audience of Hindu ascetics at the end of the ceremony. “All of India is celebrated today. A golden story has been written.” Hindus across India are urged to light candles to celebrate the event.
An explosive documentation
The explosive case in the Ayodhya Temple was decided in November 2020 by the Supreme Court as a sea hose of Indian politics for decades. The judges granted the disputed site to the Hindu majority to build a temple on the ruins of a destroyed mosque and ordered that additional land be given to the Muslim minority.
Hindu groups claim that this 1.1-hectare land in the state of Uttar Pradesh is the birthplace of the god Ram and has long demanded the construction of a temple in his honor.
According to them, the Muslim emperor Babur built there in the XVIe century Babri Mosque by demolishing an ancient temple dedicated to Ram, the seventh avatar of the god who preserves the universe Vishnu.
Run in the 1980s by Hindu nationalists, then in opposition but now in power, the agitation campaign around Ayodhya had culminated in the destruction of the Babri Mosque by Hindu Zealots on December 6, 1992.
More than 2,000 people were killed in the inter-municipal riots that followed, one of the worst waves of violence since the breakup of the British colonial power in 1947.
The beginning of the construction of the Ram Temple “is not just a new temple, but a sign that India’s fundamental constitutional structure is changing,” intellectual Pratap Bhanu told AFP Mehta.
Marchers in Pakistan
Cinema for the current Indian Prime Minister, Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, believes that Narendra Modi “will be permanently inscribed in the history of the simple foundation of this temple”.
This Wednesday, August 5, also marks, for Indian Kashmir, the grim first anniversary of New Delhi’s brutal takeover of this region in the wake of a separatist uprising. The Modi government withdrew its autonomy and divided it into two territories placed under the supervision of the capital.
For months, Hindu nationalists imposed draconian travel restrictions in an effort to prevent any challenge from the locals. They also arrested thousands of people, sometimes without charge, and blocked telecommunications. All this in the relative indifference of the international community.
A curfew was imposed on Tuesday in Kashmir, India, to prevent any protests. The streets were empty on Wednesday and heavily armed troops patrolled them, AFP reporters said.
To mark this date, “solidarity marches” were held with Indian Kashmir in several cities in Pakistan. “India is being revealed to the world, once again, as an oppressor and an aggressor,” said Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who himself chaired one of the rallies in Pakistani Kashmir.