counter hit make

India’s Ayodhya Ram Mandir temple inauguration

India’s Ayodhya Ram Mandir temple inauguration
0 14

India’s Ayodhya Ram Mandir temple inaugurated by Modi

By Rhea Mogul, Vedika Sud, Sania Farooqui, Aishwarya S Iyer and Jerome Taylor, CNN

Updated

4:32 AM ET, Mon January 22, 2024

4:32 a.m. ET, January 22, 2024

Our live coverage has now finished. Read our full report here.

4:30 a.m. ET, January 22, 2024

India’s leader Modi hails “beginning of a new time cycle” in landmark speech from temple

From CNN’s Aishwarya S Iyer and Rhea Mogul

People watching the Ram temple consecration ceremony by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on a live streaming screen in a media center in Ayodhya, India, on January 22.
People watching the Ram temple consecration ceremony by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on a live streaming screen in a media center in Ayodhya, India, on January 22. Indranil Aditya/NurPhoto/Getty Images

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed Monday’s consecration ceremony as “the beginning of a new time cycle” in a speech to thousands of guests outside temple’s complex.

“Today our Lord Ram has come. After centuries of waiting, our Ram has arrived,” Modi said. “Our Ram idol will not stay in a tent anymore. Our Ram idol will stay in a divine temple now.”
He added: “The sun of 22 January, has brought with it a wonderful aura. 22 January 2024 is not just a date on a calendar but a beginning of a new time cycle.”
“Even a thousand years later, people will be discussing this date and time,” Modi said in his speech.

Minutes before his speech, Modi broke an 11-day religious fast that he had undertaken to prepare for the festivities. He unveiled a statue of Lord Ram, one of Hinduism’s most revered deities, in a consecration ceremony watched by millions.

Modi did not directly mention the Babri Masjid in his speech, nor the country’s Muslims, many of whom feel pain and sadness at the events that have unfolded in Ayodhya.

“Ram is not a dispute. Ram is the solution,” he said. “By moving ahead of building the temple, now we all take the oath of building an India that is capable, successful, beautiful and divine.”

4:28 a.m. ET, January 22, 2024

Monk turned politician declares Ram Mandir “India’s national temple” in speech to crowd

From CNN’s Aishwarya S Iyer and Rhea Mogul

Yogi Adityanath greets people ahead of the inauguration of the temple of the Hindu god Ram in Ayodhya, India, on January 22.
Yogi Adityanath greets people ahead of the inauguration of the temple of the Hindu god Ram in Ayodhya, India, on January 22. Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state, where Ayodhya is located, has called the Ram Mandir India’s “national temple” and one that celebrates the country’s “pride.”

“Indian society maintained restraint, but the resolve for a temple kept growing stronger,” Yogi Adityanath, the controversial monk-turned-politician told thousands of guests outside the Ram Mandir. “Now everyone wants to come to Ayodhya.”
“This is the victory of public faith and public trust, the re-establishment of India’s pride… The establishment of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi is an important ritual of cultural reawakening of India. This is a national temple.”

Adityanath has governed India’s most populous state since 2017, when the Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appointed him leader after claiming victory in state polls that year.

But the appointment of Adityanath, a Hindu priest, indicated to some experts that it was yet another sign of the BJP’s Hindutva ideology – which strives to make secular India the land of the Hindus.

Adityanath has since become one of the country’s more polarizing political figures.

Since he took office, the state has already passed legislation that, critics say, is rooted in Hindutva ideology. It has protected cows, an animal considered sacred to Hindus, from slaughter, and made it increasingly difficult to transport cattle.

Adityanath has been a vocal advocate for the construction of the Ram Temple and attended the consecration ceremony inside the building.

Meanwhile, the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the right-wing parent organization of the BJP, declared the temple “has become a symbol of a new India that will stand tall.”

“It has been said, and we know, that today in Ayodhya, along with Lord Ram, India’s self has returned,” RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said in a speech.

3:06 a.m. ET, January 22, 2024

‘Ayodhya in euphoria on eve of new dawn’: Indian newspapers dedicate 24/7 coverage to Ram Temple

From CNN Staff

Indian news channels have devoted a tremendous amount of time to cover every detail about the Ram Temple, from counting the number of sweets that are being made in celebration, to documenting all the religious events that have preceded its inauguration.  

The front page of the country’s leading newspapers on Monday were dedicated to the temple’s opening.

“Long wait ends, Ayodhya in euphoria on eve of new dawn,” the Times of India said.

The Indian Express said: “Ayodhya wears festive look. Stage set for Ram Temple consecration today.”

News anchors meanwhile are in the ancient city, interviewing crowds, filming the festivities and speaking with politicians ahead of the event.

2:33 a.m. ET, January 22, 2024

Public holidays, alcohol bans and shuttered schools. How Indian states are observing the temple’s inauguration.

From CNN Staff

Devotees are seen at Dharm Path in Ayodhya, India on January 21.
Devotees are seen at Dharm Path in Ayodhya, India on January 21. Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

The state of Uttar Pradesh, where Ayodhya is located, has declared Monday a public holiday.

All schools in the country’s largest state are shut and liquor shops will be closed, according to a circular issued by Uttar Pradesh’s government.

Public schools in the national capital Delhi are shut and government office workers have been given a half day.

Other states, including Assam in the northeast, have announced similar measures, including banning the sale of alcohol and limiting the sale of non-vegetarian food.

Maharashtra in the west, home to financial capital Mumbai, has also declared Monday a public holiday.

2:31 a.m. ET, January 22, 2024

Ayodhya has seen a multimillion dollar infrastructure makeover ahead of temple opening

From CNN staff

A man is riding his motorcycle through a road in Ayodhya, India, on January 17.
A man is riding his motorcycle through a road in Ayodhya, India, on January 17. Kabir Jhangiani/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Ayodhya, an ancient town of about 76,000 people in the electorally significant state of Uttar Pradesh, is an important Hindu pilgrimage site and sees millions of visitors each year.

The town has recently undergone a large infrastructural makeover, including the construction of a new international airport, renovation of the railway station and the opening of new roads and highways.

Some of the city’s historic and religious sites have also been restored, according to local media reports, while new hotels, food courts and multi-storey carparks scattered throughout the city.

Some leaders within Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party have called Ayodhya India’s “Vatican City,” vying to make it the religious capital of the country.

Analysts say Uttar Pradesh’s BJP chief minister, the hardline Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath, has relied on a mixed strategy of economic reform and religious polarization to attract votes.

At the same time he has implemented policies that critics say favor Hindus and discriminate against minorities, particularly Muslims.

2:08 a.m. ET, January 22, 2024

Statue of Lord Ram has now been consecrated in historic ceremony

From CNN’s Rhea Mogul

A statue of one of Hinduism’s most revered deities has been consecrated at a new temple in an historic and controversial ceremony that was presided over by by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The idol of Lord Ram was unveiled at the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir on the site of a 16th century mosque that was demolished by Hindu hardliners in 1992.

Depicted as a young boy, the statue of black stone was adorned with gold jewelry, gemstones, diamonds and flowers. Modi placed offerings at the idol’s feet as priests chanted and prayed.

At the climax of the consecration a military helicopter flew over the temple, throwing flower petals over the vast building and the crowds of dignitaries below.

The temple in Ayodhya is the crowning glory of Modi’s Hindu nationalist ambition and is expected to boost his credentials in this year’s election.

Monday’s ceremony was attended by famous celebrities, politicians and industrialists, who flew across India to witness the event.

1:45 a.m. ET, January 22, 2024

Modi arrives at the Ram Temple as ceremony gets underway

From CNN’s Rhea Mogul

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple for the much-anticipated Pran Pratishtha or consecration ceremony.

The leader made his way down an aisle to the sound of conch shells blowing, holding a red cushion with a large silver ornament.

Modi was pictured dressed in a light colored kurta, a traditional Indian tunic and scarf, as he walked toward the inner sanctum of the temple.

A priest was seen giving him some prasad, a devotional offering of food, while performing rituals.

Every part of the sprawling temple has been adorned with colorful flowers, both on the outside of the complex and inside.

2:16 a.m. ET, January 22, 2024

Tycoons, film stars and cricketers: Indian superstars arrive in Ayodhya to witness the inauguration

From CNN’s Rhea Mogul

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan with his son Abisheik Bachchan along with other chief guests sit awaiting the opening of a temple dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Ram, in Ayodhya, India, on January 22.
Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan with his son Abisheik Bachchan along with other chief guests sit awaiting the opening of a temple dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Ram, in Ayodhya, India, on January 22. Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

Indian celebrities are arriving in Ayodhya to witness the Pran Prathishtha, or consecration ceremony of the vast Ram Mandir.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and tycoon Mukesh Ambani are among some 7,000 guests invited to Monday’s festivities.

Actor Anupam Kher, who has appeared in hundreds of films including “Bend It Like Beckham” and Ram Charan, who appeared in the 2022 hit film “RRR” were also pictured at the event.

Kher posted a photo alongside South Indian cinema icon Rajinikanth to the social media platform X, expressing his excitement over being in Ayodhya.

Other celebrities, including Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Katrina Kaif have also arrived in the ancient town to witness the festivities.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.