Consecration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya creation of 'New Divine India', says US media

Washington, Jan 22 (IANS) The consecration of the Ram Mandir in Lord Ram’s birthplace Ayodhya, a religious town in Uttar Pradesh, was termed the realisation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to create what he called a “New India” as per reports in US media.

Millions of devout Hindus across the country tuned into early morning TV transmission of the historic event from the warm comfort of their homes as a cold wave swept the northern parts of the country . The consecration ceremony is considered to be the crowning moment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and its ambitions , months before he seeks to win a rare third term in elections, never achieved before by any non-Congress Prime Minister, media reports said.

The inauguration of the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir in northern India’s Ayodhya is more than 30 years in the making and is expected to give a major boost to Modi’s election campaign, CNN reported. .

The Ram Mandir is the realisation of Modi’s dream to create what he has called a “new India,” which many consider to be the transformation of the country into a “Hindu Rashtra”. For Modi’s detractors, the temple’s inauguration is the conclusion of a decades-long campaign to pull India away from the secular roots upon which the country was founded, following independence, by the Congress government led by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru,” it said.

“Today our Lord Ram has come. After centuries of waiting, our Ram has arrived. After centuries of unprecedented patience, countless sacrifices, renunciations, and penances, our Lord Ram has arrived,” Modi told a 7,000-strong crowd that included movie stars, top cricket players and business tycoons, from the newly-constructed temple bedecked with colorful flowers. From billionaire business tycoon Mukesh Ambani to cricket hero Sachin Tendulkar, to South Indian Icon Rajiknikanth and Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan were among countless celebrities.

Monday’s ceremony fulfills a long-standing promise to voters by Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party government that propelled them to power in 2014.For years, Modi and his political allies vowed to build a temple on the site of a 16th century mosque that was destroyed by Hindu hardliners in a deadly 1992 attack that turbo-charged the country’s Hindu nationalist movement, CNN reported.

The mosque’s demolition, spurred on by the BJP and other right-wing groups, catapulted the party into mainstream politics, winning a general election four years later.

The US media, particularly CNN, noted that Modi did not directly mention the Babri Masjid in his speech, nor the country’s Muslims, many of whom, it claimed, felt pain and sadness at the events that unfolded in Ayodhya. Modi did speak of moving forward and “the beginning of a new time cycle”.

US media also gave a graphic description of the Pran Pratishtha, or consecration ceremony, presided over by Modi, of an idol of Lord Ram as a young boy inside the sanctum sanctorum.

“For 500 years, Lord Ram was living in a hut,” devotee Acharya Bharadwaj told CNN. “Today Modi made him sit inside a temple, the whole country is celebrating it like it is Diwali.”

US media also reported that the land was in dispute for decades between religious entities of the Hindus and the Muslims with the former believing the first Mughal king Babar built a mosque on the ruins of a Hindu temple, with the dispute finally settled by the country’s apex court, which gave the land to the Hindus to build a temple and another for Muslims to build a mosque.

Newsweek noted that millions of hbindus celebrated the event across many cities wherever there was a concentration of the Indian diaspora. New York’s Times Square was lit up with images of Lord Ram, a day before the event, the publication noted.



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