Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2024 > Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Jan 20, 2024

Mainstream, VOL 62 No 3 January 20, 2024

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Jan 20, 2024

Friday 19 January 2024


Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Jan 20, 2024

Frenzied action is reported around the north Indian city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, where a huge multi-million dollar Hindu Temple to God Rama is coming up on the rubble of Babri Masjid — a 16th-century Mosque that was demolished brick by brick by a mob of Hindu fanatics in December 1992. The criminals who demolished the Mosque and their instigators were all acquitted, and managed to win all the legal battles, and were handed control of the land on which the mosque once existed. [1] Decades on the party of Hindu-Right the BJP and it mother ship the RSS that was behind the conspiracy to destroy the Babri Mosque now exercise near total control over the affairs of the Indian state. Though the temple under construction in Ayodhya is privately funded, the state has become heavily involved [2] in organising the massive development of infrastructure with an Airport and a redeveloped railway station new trains to Ayodhya to drive religious tourism. There is enormous security and administrative ‘bandobast’ in Ayodhya made at state expense for the 22 of January 2024 [3] where in the midst of some 7000 guests including business barons, and celebrities of all manner, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India is going to inaugurate this half-built temple with live broadcasts by the public TV and other networks. No ribbon cutting inauguration this, the Prime Minister will supposedly dress in a ‘religiously appropriate manner’ and will perform the Hindu rituals himself something that should have been entirely left to religious authorities or priests [4]. The state and statesmen/women are supposed to maintain distance from affairs of religion in a secular society, but Mr Modi and his Government are clearly taking us away from our constitutional boundaries onto the direction of a Hindu Majoritarian state and its new ways [5] [6]. 22nd of January has been officially declared a half-day holiday for all state and government departments via a gazette notification. Analysts say all this is being done consciously by the BJP to influence public opinion, particularly a ‘Hindu electorate’ in North India in view of the coming general elections in April-May 2024. There is much too much invocation of religion of the majority community on multiple occasions by BJP the ruling party in and its leaders leave the non-believers and the members of minority faiths with a lump in their throats at this new ethos of this new and conservative India [7]. Some say that a section of the public will see through all this public spectacle of our Sultan and his Hindutva make-up and stall his electoral dream for a third term in office. We have heard such talk before from well-meaning democrats & secularists, but for that to work there will have to be a very attractive popular counter campaign from a united opposition. We have miles to go.

January 19, 2024 —HK

[1Vineet Bhalla - 1951 to 2019: How the Indian judiciary turned the Babri Masjid into the Ram Mandir

[2Ayodhya Ram temple inauguration: State’s participation against constitutional morality

[3One wonders how this date of 22nd January was chosen, because this day is also remembered for the tragic murder of pastor Graham Staines in Odisha in 1999 by Hindu extremists part of the Bajrang Dal, who all chanted "Jai Shree Ram" as a war cry. See

[4PM Modi begins special religious exercise preceding temple consecration

[5India’s Ayodhya Temple Is a Huge Monument to Hindu Supremacy

[6Congress boycott right. Ayodhya event not about Ram, but coronates Hindutva as state religion

[7Betwa Sharma - ‘There Is Nothing More Unconstitutional, Nothing More Cruel:’ Muslims Before Ram Temple Consecration, A14, 19 Jan 2024

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.