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Friday, May 24, 2024

Pakistan condemns as Modi Inaugurated temple on site of a demolished Mosque

Expressing concern, Pakistan's Foreign Office criticized the consecration ceremony as indicative of growing majoritarianism in India.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the inauguration on Monday of an imposing temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Ram, situated on a site believed to be his birthplace. This marked a historic event for the Hindu-majority population of the world’s most populous nation. Framed as a Hindu resurgence after centuries of perceived subjugation by Muslim and colonial powers, the ceremony is also viewed as a pivotal element in Modi’s bid for an uncommon third term in the upcoming general elections scheduled by May.

In a social media post moments before the commencement of the ceremony, Modi expressed anticipation of the “supernatural moment of consecration” that would evoke strong emotions. He shared his immense pleasure at participating in the divine program, chanting Hindu religious verses and offering flower petals at the deity’s feet. Subsequently, he bowed in prayer, circled a sacred flame, and witnessed a military helicopter showering petals on the temple, while traditional clarinets played devotional music.

During the rituals dedicated to the 51-inch (130-cm) tall black stone deity symbolizing the god-king, politicians, businessmen, sports and media figures, along with millions nationwide, observed the proceedings. Streets were filled with thousands adorned in saffron, dancing and waving saffron flags while chanting religious slogans.

Historical roots 

The temple site had been a source of bitter contention between Hindus and minority Muslims for decades, culminating in nationwide riots in 1992 when a Hindu mob destroyed a 16th-century mosque. Hindus claim the site as Lord Ram’s birthplace, asserting its sanctity long before Muslim Mughals built the Babri Masjid in 1528 after demolishing a temple. In 2019, the Supreme Court granted the land to Hindus, allocating a separate plot to Muslims for a new mosque, which is yet to be constructed.

Monday’s ceremony hosted nearly 8,000 attendees, guarded by over 10,000 police personnel in the city of 3 million. The temple opens to the public on Tuesday, anticipating 100,000 daily visitors for the next few months.

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Pakistan expressing concerns 

Expressing concern, Pakistan’s Foreign Office criticized the consecration ceremony as indicative of growing majoritarianism in India. They lamented the acquittal of those responsible for the mosque’s demolition and expressed apprehension over the construction of a temple on its site. Pakistan urged international intervention to safeguard Islamic heritage sites in India and protect the rights of religious minorities, highlighting the need to address growing Islamophobia, hate speech, and hate crimes.