Prime Minister Modi: “Centuries of waiting is over today.”
While most Western leaders silently watched the conversion of Hagia Sophia, one of Christianity’s holiest churches, into a mosque, India’s Hindus seem to have bucked the trend. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for a temple on the holy Hindu site destroyed by the Muslim invaders in the sixteenth century.
“Centuries of waiting is over today. Some people will not be able to believe that they are seeing this during their lifetime,” the Indian prime minister said at the foundation-laying ceremony. The temple “will be a modern signifier of our ancient culture, it will be an example of our patriotic fervor, it will be a symbol of the strength of will of our citizens,” he added.
The site in the northern Indian city of Ayodhya is regarded by Hindus as the birthplace of their deity Ram. According to medieval chroniclers, the ancient temple at the site was razed in 1528 and a mosque erected in its place. Indian archaeologists who excavated the location in the 1970s found remains of an ancient temple below the mosque. The ceremony took place after the country’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hindus, giving them possession of the site.
Indian daily Hindustan Times reported the restoration of the historic temple to Hindus:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the ‘bhoomi poojan’ in Ayodhya for the Ram temple, bringing to fruition the BJP’s ‘mandir’ movement that defined its politics for three decades.
Amid the chanting of shlokas , PM Modi consecrated the very first bricks for the temple at the spot where devotees believe Lord Ram was born. (…)
President Ram Nath Kovind said the event defines India’s spirit of social harmony and people’s zeal, while Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said the construction of the Ram temple is much more than a religious affair and the structure will stand as a tribute to the best of timeless human values.
The repossession of the holy site by Hindus was accompanied by accusations of ‘Islamophobia’ by the mainstream media.
Washington Post saw this as an insult to Muslims. “India marks another day of erasure and insult against its Muslim citizens,” the newspaper reported. According to CNN, the move was a “blow to India’s estimated 200 million strong Muslim minority.” Muslims make up around 14 percent on the Indian population, while the Hindus account for about 80 percent (Christians are 2.3 percent of the population).
Rebuilding the “temple is but a symbol of the humiliation of Muslims and liberals,” Bloomberg News complained. While London’s Economist noted that “Narendra Modi cements a victory for Hindu nationalism” by his actions.
According to NPR the temple is being “built on the ruins of a 16th century mosque destroyed by Hindu extremists.” The broadcaster made no mention of the atrocities carried out by Muslim invaders and rulers. “One prominent Muslim group called today’s events unjust and oppressive,” NPR concluded.
“Prime Minister Modi provokes Muslims,” German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel insightfully noted. This is not the first time Modi ‘provoked’ India’s Muslims. His Hindu Nationalist government outraged many Muslims when it passed a new law opening a path to citizenship for Hindus, Christians, and others facing religious persecution in neighboring Muslim countries (mainly Pakistan and Afghanistan). Angry Muslim mobs set fire to vehicles and threw fire bombs at police in response to the ‘offensive’ law.
India’s Hindu resurgence is in sharp contrast with the stance taken by political class in the West. Many European and Western leaders watched in silence as the Turkish government converted Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, one of Christianity’s holiest sites, into a mosque.
Head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos, was among those who noticed the painful silence of Western leaders representing Christian countries. “I am deeply grieved that the powerful of this world, at least the majority of them, are hiding behind their finger, or rather behind their own geopolitical and geostrategic designs.” the patriarch said last month.
Whatever the Western mainstream media wants everyone to believe about the Modi-led Hindu Nationalist government, under his leadership New Delhi has emerged a reliable partner for the West. Since he took office six years ago, Modi has reversed India’s foreign policy previously stuck in anti-Western Cold War mentality. Modi has sought to improve ties with the United States, building a close relationship with President Donald Trump. In 2017, Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, opening a new chapter in bilateral diplomacy.
Just as Modi’s India looks to the West, the West needs India as a strong ally too. Faced with Islamic terrorism on its western borders and Communist China to its east, the Hindu-majority country is at the forefront of the conflicts that will shape our present century.
‘PM Modi lays foundation stone of Hindu Temple in Ayodhya’DONATE
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