PM Modi of India to dedicate a Hindu shrine on the site of the destroyed Babri mosque

Ayodhya will host the ceremonial opening of a temple dedicated to the well-known Hindu deity Ram by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. Replaced in 1992 by Hindu rioters, it was a 16th-century mosque. Almost 2,000 people lost their lives in widespread riots that were started by the demolition. The temple satisfies a decades-long promise made by Hindu nationalists to erect a shrine to Lord Ram in the city of flashpoints. But the majority of the opposition and several Hindu seers are staying aside, claiming that Mr. Modi is exploiting it for political advantage.

Many Hindus hold that Ram was born at Ayodhya, and that Muslim conquerors erected the Babri Mosque on the remains of a Ram temple at the precise spot where the Hindu god was born. The 1990s saw the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to political prominence, partly due to a drive to build a temple at the same location. Built on a 70-acre complex, the $217 million (£170 million) new three-story building is anchored by black granite and composed of pink sandstone. It spans 7.2 acres. Only the temple’s ground floor will be open by Mr. Modi; the additional sections should be finished by year’s end.

Last week saw the unveiling of a 51-inch (4.25-foot) statue of the deity that was specially commissioned for the temple. The idol is situated in the sanctum sanctorum atop a marble pedestal. The name of the ritual on Monday is Pran Pratishtha, which means “establishment of life force” in Sanskrit. Hindus hold that an idol or picture of a deity will come to life with sacred energy if certain rituals are conducted around a fire and mantras are chanted. Mr. Modi stated that “the entire country is eagerly waiting for 22 January” and referred to the temple as a significant accomplishment.

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