Issue Brief on “BJP’s Politicization of Ram Temple in Ayodhya”

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On 22 January 2024, the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya at the very place where the historic ‘Babri Masjid’ was demolished three decades ago, is significant in its religious and socio-political aspects for the Indian society. The incumbent BJP regime optimally used the state apparatus to build national discourse favoring its campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections based on Mr. Modi’s self-projection as ‘chosen by god’. The BJP has long been manipulating religion for political gains. Among other political parties, the Indian National Congress (INC), boldly refused to attend the inauguration of the temple due to inter-mingling of religion and politics by the BJP. However, the BJP government has been applauded widely by various segments of Indian society, which further enhances BJP’s prospects for the third consecutive win in the Lok Sabha polls.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the Ram Temple construction will be completed in January 2024 and that the government will inaugurate it on 22 January and open it for the devotees. Considering it one of the most remarkable events, the BJP leadership sent invitations to the political elite as well as major names in the country to attend the ‘Pran Pratishtha’.[1] The INC leadership, including Malikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, refused to attend the consecration.[2] Leaders from other parties including Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress; Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party; Uddhav Thackeray from Shiv Sena UBT; and Sharad Pawar of Nationalist Congress Party also skipped the consecration.[3]

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