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India witnessed a Historical Day!

While the centuries-long dispute is over, at least legally, Indians rejoice the homecoming of their Lord Ram back to his birthplace Ayodhya.
India witnessed the most-awaited and historical day on Wednesday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a Hindu temple in the northern city of Ayodhya, on the same spot where a mosque was demolished nearly 30 years ago, prompting deadly riots nationwide. The Bhoomi pujan (land worshipping) for the Grand Ram Temple was held at the exact location where the deity, Ram Lalla Virajman, rested at the disputed site till a few weeks back. The construction of Ram temple will not only add to Ayodhya’s grandeur but will also change the entire economy of the region after laying the foundation stone following the ‘muhurat’ or auspicious time.

Shortly after attending the Bhoomi pujan or ground-breaking ceremony, PM Modi addressed the gathering at the temple town of Ayodhya. “This call is resonating not only in the city of Lord Ram but throughout the world today. I express gratitude to all citizens of this nation, Indian diaspora across the world and all the devotees of Lord Ram on today’s pious occasion. Today Ram Janmbhoomi breaks free of the cycle of demolishing and getting built again – that had been going on for centuries.

Every heart is illuminated; it is an emotional moment for the entire country. A long wait ends today.” He further added: “It is my good fortune that I was invited to witness this historical moment. From Kanyakumari to Kshirbhavani, from Koteshwar to Kamakhya, from Jagannath to Kedarnath, Somnath to Kashi Vishwanath, today the entire country is immersed in Lord Ram.”

The complex history of India’s Ayodhya holy site: The dispute, which goes back more than a century, has been one of India’s thorniest court cases. Many Hindus believe that the Babri Masjid was actually constructed on the ruins of a Hindu temple that was demolished by Muslim invaders. Muslims say they offered prayers at the mosque until December 1949 when some Hindus placed an idol of Ram in the mosque and began to worship the idols. Over the decades, the two religious groups went to court many times over who should control the site.

Hindus believe Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram. And the construction of the temple is a core promise made by Mr Modi’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is seen as a huge symbolic gesture for its strident Hindu nationalist base. People in Ayodhya chanted slogans and cheered all the way saying Lord Ram has finally come home. The inauguration comes amid a massive surge in coronavirus cases in India.

“I am grateful to witness history being made. Crores [millions] of Indians cannot believe that this day has come. The entire country is in the spell of Lord Ram … Ram is an emblem of India’s unity in diversity,” PM Modi said in a speech.

Prominent Muslims have said the community was resigned to the new reality but fear the new temple could embolden Hindu nationalists to target two other mosques in Uttar Pradesh. “The Modi government should assure Muslims that Hindu outfits will not ask for the construction of temples in Varanasi and Mathura after demolishing existing mosques there,” said Ansari, the main litigant in the Babri mosque case.

By Karishma G.

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