Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke ground, Wednesday, August 5, on a temple dedicated to the revered Hindu deity Rama at the site of a demolished 16th century mosque in Ayodhya.
READ MORE: In a ceremony watched by millions of Indians on television, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers and laid the foundation stone for a grand Hindu temple to be built in the northern town of Ayodhya on the site of a mosque demolished by Hindu radicals.
The ceremony marks a historic triumph for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, whose rise to political prominence was propelled by the three-decade campaign to build a temple to honor the revered Hindu deity Rama.
“It is an emotional moment for India. A long wait ends today,” Modi said after the ceremony that was held even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in India.
The temple is being built on the exact spot Hindus believe is the birthplace of Lord Rama. The demolition of the 16th century mosque that stood there in 1992 sparked deadly Hindu-Muslim riots and became a deeply divisive issue in the Hindu-majority country, where many Hindus want the temple to be built.