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‘Mecca for Hindus’: How the world & Pakistan reacted to Ram Mandir inauguration ceremony

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New Delhi: As thousands of Indians flocked to the Ram Mandir inauguration ceremony in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya on Monday, the occasion was simultaneously celebrated outside the country by Indian diaspora, with some foreign dignitaries terming it a “second Diwali” or a “Mecca for Hindus”. 

Critics of the Ayodhya ceremony, however, called it a dark day for India, referring to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and the communal riots that followed.

Indian embassies abroad have been on an overdrive to spread awareness about the temple.

On Monday, Indian missions held live telecasts of the Ayodhya ceremony. Images of the Hindu deity Ram and the newly built mandir were displayed in major areas like Times Square, New York. 

Indians in Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, US, UK and other countries carried out marches in solidarity with the temple celebration, waving saffron flags and chanting “Jai Shree Ram”.

In New Zealand, thousands attended a diaspora event held in Auckland, which was attended by the country’s Minister for Ethnic Communities Melissa Lee, MP David Seymour and Indian High Commissioner Neeta Bhushan.

On the eve of the pran pratishtha ceremony at Ayodhya, the Mexican city of Queretaro inaugurated its first Ram temple. The ceremony was performed by an American priest with idols brought from India. 

In Japan, Indian Ambassador Sibi George received a Ramayana-themed calendar from Atsushi Matsuo, CEO, TEM Co, head of a company that produced the 1992 animated film Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama. Days before, Indian children in Japan had performed a Ramayana play, which was personally attended by George.In Indonesia, a puja was held in an ashram in Bali. Ida Rsi Putra Manuaba, a Padma Shri recipient and founder of the ashram, led the prayers.Several temples across Sri Lanka, in Colombo, Sita Eliya, Jaffna and other places, celebrated the occasion too. A special puja was held at the Sita Amman temple at Sita Eliya, believed to be the place where Sita was held captive by Ravana. 

On the other hand, Audrey Truschke, Rutgers University professor and historian, wrote a 1,000-word piece on how this ceremony may unleash more violence on India’s “beleaguered” Muslim minority.

The Pakistan Foreign Office also issued a statement condemning the temple inauguration, arguing that it was proof of growing “majoritarianism” in India and was a “blot” on Indian democracy.

‘Mecca for Hindus’

United Nations (UN) General Assembly President Dennis Francis, who arrived in Delhi on a five-day visit to India, noted the “auspicious” time of his arrival. 

Some foreign missions based in New Delhi’s diplomatic enclave also weighed in. The South Korean Embassy congratulated the Modi government by mentioning the myth that Queen Huh Hwang-ok (or Princess Suriratna) was the princess of Ayodhya before she went to South Korea and married King Kim Suro of Karak Clan.

Congratulations on the consecration ceremony of the #RamTemple in #Ayodhya. The place holds a great symbolic importance for Korea-India relations based on the matrimonial link between Queen #Sriratna (Heo Hwang-ok) from Ayodhya and King Kim Suro from Gaya(Korea) in 48 A.D. 

Nepal’s ambassador to India, Shankar Sharma, said his country was celebrating the Pran Pratishtha enthusiastically. 

Former Norway minister Erik Solheim also praised the temple, adding that he was a “sceptic” until the 2019 ruling of the Indian Supreme Court. The 2019 verdict ordered the disputed land to be handed over to a trust to build the Ram temple, but also condemned the demolition of the mosque. 

Israel’s Consul General in Mumbai Kobbi Shoshani visited the Ram mandir in Wadala in solidarity while the Israel Embassy Spokesperson Guy Nir posted a picture of himself watching the “exciting” celebrations on television.

Foreign observers like Charlotte Littlewood offered tongue-in-cheek one-liners by comparing Ayodhya to Islam’s holiest city, Mecca. “The contest for possession of the infamous Ayodhya site has claimed thousands of lives, attention now turns to whether Monday’s consecration can be an opportunity for peace or yet another reason for communal unrest,” wrote Littlewood in a report for UK news portal CT Insight.

The new Prana Pratishtha is completed, not only for the Ram Mandir and Ayodhya, but also for a new Bharat and a new planetary consciousness centered in India, aligned with the ancient Rishi vision that set these forces in motion at the dawn of time.

source by: The Print News

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