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Photo of the Day
Photo of the Day
March 4, 2024

New Hindu temple built on ruins of ancient mosque

Photo by AFP

On Monday January 22 the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, officially announced the opening of the new Temple of Rama. At the consecration ceremony Modi said he thought the temple opening was the, “beginning of a new time cycle. Even a thousand years later, people will be discussing this date and time.”

The new Temple is located in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India. In preparation for the new temple Uttar Pradesh has been undergoing many infrastructure modifications which have included updating their highways, historic and religious sites, and their railway. They have also built a new international airport.

Uttar Pradesh declared Monday a public holiday in honor of the temple opening. This made it possible for 8,000 people to attend the inauguration ceremony, which included many famous actors, businessmen, and government officials. 

Even though the Hindu majority of the population is celebrating the opening of the temple, the Muslim minority feels disrespected. In 2019 India’s supreme court ruled in favor of the Hindu population and allowed them to build the new temple. This ruling also gave the muslim population a piece of land that is 15 miles away to build a mosque. They have yet to build because it was that specific plot of land that they were fighting for. 

The reason that the two religious groups both want this land is for the rich religious history. The Hindu people want the land because one of the most important gods in the Hindu religion is Rama. It is believed that Rama was born in Ayodhya and lived in the forest where the land in question is located. Their goal is to return Rama to his birthplace. 

The Muslims want the land because in the 1500s the Mughal Empire built a mosque on the site under the rule of Babur. In 1992 Hindu mobs illegally destroyed the mosque. Since then there have been many Hindu-Muslim riots that have resulted in approximately 2,000 deaths. 

Another reason that this ordeal has been so controversial is because of the politics involved. The India prime minister election is coming up, so many people feel that Modi pushed the building of the temple so that he has a greater chance of getting reelected. 

Ayodhya is electorally significant, so the new temple is predicted to have secured lots of Hindu votes for Prime Minister Modi in the upcoming general election. Some people are saying that Modi is trying to revive Hindu nationalism, which would be met with resistance from the 15% Muslim minority. 

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About the Contributor
Baily Hacker, Assistant Editor
Baily Hacker is a Sophomore at Powhatan High School and is an assistant editor for the PHS Arrowhead. In Baily's free time she likes baking, drawing, and hanging out with her friends and cats. She lives with her mom, dad, four cats, and sixteen chickens. Baily believes the news is important because so many people rely on it to know what is happening in the world. Her dream college is JMU and she wants to travel the world.

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