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Global media reflects on Babri Masjid as Indian media celebrate Ram temple

Global media reflects on Babri Masjid as Indian media celebrate Ram temple

The press in India celebrated the consecration of the Ram Temple by Prime Minister Narendra Modi even weeks before January 22, imparting a sense of grandeur to the event that 130 crore people were eagerly anticipating—the installation of the Ram idol.

The international media presented a diverse range of perspectives on the Ram Mandir inauguration. While some outlets focused on the historical and political context, others emphasized the religious and social implications. Modi's political manoeuvring and the BJP's strategic use of the temple construction as a symbol of Hindu pride were recurring themes across reports.

However, the international press did not hesitate to note the controversy surrounding the temple and the demolition of the Babri Masjid by right-wing fanatics, as well as the significance of the Ram Temple for PM Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Here is a look at what the global press said about the event.

American Press:

The New York Times took a critical stance, emphasizing the historical context of the mosque's destruction in 1992 by a Hindu mob. The report highlighted the temple's inauguration as a triumph for Hindu nationalists, framing it as a moment of vindication against India's medieval Muslim rulers. Another report by the Associated Press (AP) in the Washington Post emphasized the political significance, noting that the temple's construction was part of a vision for a Hindu nation, tracing its roots back to the 1980s when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gained national traction by making it a mainstream issue.

Al Jazeera:

Al Jazeera's coverage underscored the controversial nature of the Ram temple, noting that while Hindus celebrated, messages circulated among Muslims to stay at home for safety. The Qatar-based outlet highlighted Modi's utilization of the temple construction for political gain, framing it as the unofficial start of his re-election campaign.

Le Monde (French News Outlet):

Le Monde focused on Modi's strategic use of Hinduism, framing the temple construction as a springboard for his third term in the upcoming general elections. The report suggested that Modi was weaponizing Hinduism for political gains.

British Outlets:

The Guardian and Financial Times emphasized the inauguration as a significant religious moment for Hindus, symbolizing the return of Lord Ram to his rightful place. The Daily Mail dubbed the temple as the "Hindu Vatican," emphasizing the lingering wounds for Muslims who perceived it as a testament to Modi's Hindu-first politics.

Canadian Media:

Canadian outlets highlighted the mosque's demolition in their headlines, with one TV news headline stating, "'Ram Rajya (rule) begins,'" a Sanskrit phrase signifying Hindu domination. Toronto Star carried an AP explainer, analyzing the temple's significance.

Chinese Media:

China Daily reported on Modi's grand inauguration of the ground floor of the temple, mentioning the ongoing construction expected to be completed by 2024. Xinhua noted the attendance of prominent figures at the ceremony.

Global media, including CNN, Deutsche Welle, BBC, TIME, and Japan Times, covered the apprehensions and criticisms in the lead-up to the inauguration. Reports highlighted the grief and anxiety among Ayodhya's Muslims, old wounds resurfacing, and concerns about the temple symbolizing Hindu supremacy.

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TAGS:Narendra ModiBJPRSSBabri Masjid DemolitionRam Temple Ayodhya
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