22 February 2018

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06/09/2015 INDIA

Neither temple nor mosque but a futuristic museum dedicated to Rama

India’s Tourism minister announced that the museum would not be built on the site claimed by both Muslims and Hindus. However, Hindu nationalist BJP lawmakers have pledged to build a grand temple. In 1992, Sangh Parivar radicals razed to the ground the ancient Babri Mosque and built a temple dedicated to Rama.

New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agency) – The Indian government plans to build a futuristic museum dedicated to Prince Rama in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, on a site claimed for centuries by both Muslims and Hindus, the Economic Times reported, citing Union Minister of State for Tourism Sharma Mahesh. However, the latter insisted that the new structure would not be built on disputed land.

According to Hindu tradition, Ayodhya is the birthplace of Rama, avatar (incarnation, manifestation) of the god Vishnu. In the same city, the Babri Masjid (mosque) was built in 1528. For centuries, Hindus claimed that the building had been built on the site of an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the god, and tried to tear it down.

Summoned to Ayodhya for a symbolic ceremony to rebuild the temple dedicated to Rama, Sangh Parivar activists attacked the mosque on 6 December 1992 and tore it down, including its three domes, in less than three hours. On the same night, a small Hindu temple was built on the site of the demolished mosque.

Despite the presence of large numbers of police and paramilitary forces, the authorities did not intervene. Eventually, the case was settled in 2010 when the Allahabad High Court ruled that the disputed area should be divided into three parts between Hindus and Muslims.

However, some Hindu radicals and a number of lawmakers from the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have continued to call for the rebuilding of the temple dedicated to Rama.

The latest was Unnao Sakshi Maharaj, a BJP lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh, who two days ago said, "The temple to Ram in Ayodhya was built in 1992. Now we need to give it a grander form, and this will happen under BJP rule.”

For another BJP leader and member of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States), Vinay Katiyar, "the wrath of Rama devotees can explode like a volcano" if the government of Narendra Modi does not build a temple dedicated to Rama in Ayodhya.

Speaking about the futuristic museum, Tourism Minister Sharma said, "the government has decided to develop all the sites linked to Rama in and around Ayodhya in order to turn the city into an important cultural centre."

When asked about the plan’s political impact, the minister said, "Ours project is to develop tourism. We will not build here a temple dedicated to Rama."

Still, the museum should be completed in 2017, when Uttar Pradesh goes to the polls.

See also

10/10/2017 10:13:00 INDIA
Uttar Pradesh’s nationalist government to build a ‘grand statue’ of Ram in Ayodhya

The project forsees a 100 meter-high monument on the banks of the Saryu River. It will cost around 25,5 million euros. The Chief Minister wants to boost religious tourism to Hindu worship sites in the State. The city of Ayodhya is the scene of a long disputes between Hindu and Muslim believers.

20/04/2017 13:02:00 INDIA
Demolition of Babri Mosque: Supreme Court incriminates three Bjp leaders

Lal Krishna Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti will be tried within four weeks. The sentence will be issued at most within two years. Former Chef Minister of Uttar Pradesh escapes court proceedings thanks to governor immunity. Ram Puniyani: "Hopes of Justice After 25 Years".


22/09/2010 INDIA
No to more violence over Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid, Hindu leader says
Trepidation grows as the ruling on the Babri mosque demolition in Ayodhya approaches. A rising leader in the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party tries to reassure, saying that shared progress, not religious issues, is the goal.

23/03/2007 INDIA
Hindu fundamentalists slam plan to pay additional compensation to victims of Gujarat riots
India’s central government wants to provide additional aid to victims of the 2002 Gujarat massacre, but the decision draws sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party which accuses the government of trying to buy Muslim votes in an upcoming state election.

01/04/2015 INDIA
Indian Jesuit backs Supreme Court decision against leaders behind Babri Masjid demolition
The highest court in the land issues notices to leading members of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The latter had been acquitted on charges of “criminal conspiracy” in connection with the violence of 6 December 1992 in Ayodhya. For Fr Cedric Prakash SJ, we need to “ensure that the generations to come will be able to live without fear in a free, tolerant and pluralistic India".

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