Escalating Tensions: Surge in Attacks on Indian Muslims Following Ram Temple Ceremony Raises Concerns

Mumbai, India –Driving through the Mira Road neighborhood of Mumbai was a routine for the 21st-year-old Mohammad Tariq, who ran errands with his father’s white auto carrier.

On Tuesday, however, people at the Hindu nationalist demonstration stopped the car in a central position on the highway. Teenagers and young boys took him away. They kicked and punched the victim and beat him with iron chains and flagstaffs, the father of his son, 54, Abdul Haque, told Al Jazeera. Since that time, Haque said, “[Tariq] has been terrified.”


The protest, which was broadcast on several live streams, morphed into a riot, focusing on several Muslims living in the area and destroying their stores and wrecking vehicles while chanting “Jai Shri Ram” (Victory to Lord Ram). Similar rallies, usually to the beat of loud, extreme right-wing pop, were held in mosques and Muslim communities across various States in India.

The trigger was the dedication of a Ram shrine in the city of Ayodhya, situated in northern India, in the presence of Premier Narendra Modi on Monday. The temple is set to be built on the same spot where in the 16th century, the Babri Masjid stood until 1992, the year 1992, when Hindu extremists ripped down the mosque, sparking national riots which killed more than 2000 people, predominantly Muslims.

In his address to the nation at Ayodhya, Modi said that the “wheel of time” had been turned. He had rejected criticism of the rising religion-based tensions, which have simmered in India since his election to the throne in 2014. “Ram is not a problem but a solution,” Modi said. “We have laid the foundations for India to build the country for another 1000 years. Starting today, we pledge to build a strong, great, magnificent, and beautiful India.”

However, India is celebrating its Republic Day on January 26. The opening of the temple, the Indian state’s involvement in it, and the repression and vandalism minority religions have been subjected to since then are, for many, evidence of a country which has departed from the Constitution that was adopted on this day in 1950.

Following the consecration of the church, a Muslim graveyard was set on fire within the northern Indian State of Bihar, and a Muslim man was nakedly paraded in the southern part of India. Well, the saffron flag – which symbolizes extremist Hinduism, was erected on top of the Church in Central India.

“This country is increasingly unrecognizable to me, where Muslims are like rubbish for them,” Haque said. Haque while he was heading to the police station along with his son following the attack on Tuesday. “There were many people who were involved in the Mira Road attack] Mira Road attack], but nobody could stop the attackers from kicking my son. It’s shameful for the society. The city is one for the blind.”

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Escalating Tensions: Surge in Attacks on Indian Muslims Following Ram Temple Ceremony Raises Concerns, News
“High the priests of Hinduism’

The broadcast on the national television of the temple’s inauguration ceremony and opening of the temple idol of Ram caused India to stand still on Monday morning. Massive LED screens were erected in the villages, and villagers visited temples with their families to view the event live.

The polarising speeches of Modi and his team were broadcast on cinema screens and also on YouTube. Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, an author and biographer of Modi, said that the speech portrayed Modi as “the high priest of Hinduism”.

“This is the origin of a new time cycle,” Modi stated. “A nation that is rising after overcoming the mindset to be enslaved… 1,000 years from now, people will speak about this date, this time. The Ram temple’s building reflects Indian society’s progress.”

The union cabinet voted on a resolution that praised the temple’s dedication. The resolution stated that the nation had achieved “independence in 1947, but its soul was freed from centuries of colonial enslavement” on January 22.

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But, his critics argue that the incident was political and not an act of faith. “It was more about Modi than Ram – a total instrumentalization of Ram’s figure to serve the cause of an elected monarch,” said Apoorv, an academic at the University of Delhi.

The celebrations held in Ayodhya “indicate a change in the direction of the Indian state,” He stated, referring specifically to the presence of high-profile famous and holy figures while state-owned helicopters sprinkled with rose petals across the town.

“This Temple is the symbol of triumph over violence aimed at Muslims and is now legal. Modi has linked the origin of nationality to the divinity (of Ram, and all the principles that are a part of the Indian republic are to be destroyed.”

Muslims – India has been consistently falling in indices of democracy around the world and was labelled “partly free” for the third year in succession, according to Freedom House, a US non-profit that the government funds. Human Rights Watch warned last year about the Bharatiya Janata Part’s (BJP) “systematic discrimination and stigmatization of religious and other minorities, particularly Muslims”.

The thumping growth of Hindu nationalism and the apparent detachment from secular values are also serious questions for India’s foreign allies, particularly in the West, who have forged stronger relations with New Delhi in recent years and see it as an alternative against China.

“Modi has now positioned India to become a Hindu state in a formal sense, a move that would be welcomed by his large base but decried by many non-Hindus and critics as a betrayal of India’s secular traditions,” said Michael Kugelman, the director of the Wilson Center’s South Asia Institute.

It won’t satisfy the bloodlust.

Modi and Modi and the BJP are poised to win an easy win in the 2024 national election, as per the majority of polls and many political analysts. Modi did not require opening the temple to improve his chances of winning, according to Kugelman, and the consecration gave him a new boost. “He delivered on one of his most longstanding promises and has come through in a big way that will ripple across his electoral base – and beyond,” Kugelman said.

However, the temple’s construction is not going to “satiate the bloodlust” of the Hindu nationalist movement that became mainstream after the destruction of the Mosque in Ayodhya during the 1992 year, said Apoorvanand. Following this ceremony, he witnessed protests in his university to demand the demolishment of other mosques, which were opposed by extremists within the towns in Mathura as well as Varanasi.

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“There is no closure to all of this,” said the official, noting that the opening of the temple “will only lead to more violence and those violent forces getting emboldened”.

Harsh Mander, who is a prominent civil rights advocate, couldn’t bear to stay up late for the ceremony, he said. Instead, he attended Kolkata, a city in the eastern part of India, to participate in the “anti-fascism march” with thousands of others.

Similar marches were organized by activist and student groups across India. On social media platforms, critics of Modi posted photos of the preamble of the Indian Constitution, which provides the rights of every citizen, regardless of their religion.

While this was happening, far-right groups blocked the screenings of a documentary called Ram Ke Naam (In the name of Ram), which focused on the 1992 attack on Babri Masjid. They attacked students at a school in Pune, which is located approximately 160 km (100 miles) away from Mumbai, to put up posters in remembrance of Babri Masjid’s demolition. Babri Masjid demolition.

“The consecration day is an important milestone in the history of the collapse of India’s secular democracy,” Mander stated in a telephone conversation with Al Jazeera. “It is a matter of India’s soul. India. Do you think it is the Hindutva conscience or secular morality, constitutional morality?”

In her address to all the country’s people on Republic Day, India’s President Droupadi Murmu talked about his country’s history of Ram Mandir opening in Ayodhya. “Future historians will consider it a landmark in India’s continued re-discovery of its civilizational heritage,” she stated.

Mander says the notion of nation is dissolving rapidly for millions of people in India. “Indian citizens will win over Hindu nationalism]; however, it will be a long fight. Maybe it will take a generation. There is a lot of poison introduced into the veins of the society we live in.”

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