Hindus throng Ayodhya temple as it opens to public

Tens of thousands of Hindus braved today to pray at a new temple dedicated to Lord Ram in the northern Indian city of Ayodhya, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened it at the site. considered as the birthplace of the god-king. .

Hindu parties, Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and allies have described the opening as part of a Hindu revolution after centuries of Muslim opposition and colonial rule. I am firmly convinced of this… I will leave only after seeing my Lord Ram,” one of the visitors, Guddu Shukla, who was queuing up at the temple gate told news agency ANI at 4 o’clock in the morning and the temperature is about 8 degrees Celsius. He was among more than 50,000 worshipers who lined up before dawn today to enter the temple, out of about 200,000 who arrived in the city after the dedication, official Murli Dhar Singh said.

The site has been heavily visited by Hindus and Muslim minorities for decades, sparking national unrest in 1992 that killed 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, according to police, when a group of Hindus vandalized the century-old mosque. of the 16th. Hindus claim that the site was the birthplace of Lord Ram, and was sacred to them long before the Mughal Muslims demolished the temple there to build the Babri Masjid, or mosque, in 1528.

The Supreme Court awarded land to Hindus in 2019, ordering separate land allocations for Muslims. “The worshipers inside were holding the temple wall and crying,” said a worshiper from central India, who did not want to be named.

“If you are a true follower of Hindu culture, you will have tears in your eyes, because this idol represents 500 years of struggle.”

On social media, the police urged people to stay away from the temple area due to the large crowd there and diversions on the roads. Analysts said the temple dedication is expected to boost Modi’s bid to win a third term in the general election by May.

Celebrations were held yesterday across the country, where Hindus make up a population of 1.42 billion, after Modi’s call to observe the day as Diwali, the festival of lights, which marks the return of Ram to Ayodhya in Hindu mythology.

Muslims, who plan to start building a new mosque in the city in May, said they have ended the dispute, saying the temple was built with a court order and that they are innocent.

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