Ram Temple: Modi performs rituals alongside Hindu militant group leader
At the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh state’s Ayodhya city, far-right Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed rituals alongside Mohan Bhagwat, the leader of India’s most powerful Hindu supremacist paramilitary group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Militants from the RSS were part of a mob of over 150,000 Hindu extremists who violently demolished a historic mosque, the Babri Masjid, on the grounds where the temple has now been built. Building a Ram Temple over the ruins of the mosque has long been a campaign promise for Modi’s Hindu supremacist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose leaders often taunt Muslims by referencing the bloodshed following the mosque demolition.
The New York Times has referred to the Ram Temple as “the crowning achievement of a national movement aimed at establishing Hindu supremacy in India.”
A statement released by 22 diaspora groups also warned that the Ram Temple is a weaponization of religion for the BJP’s gain, stating, “The ‘consecration’ of the temple… is a signal that India has moved to the brink of implementing the long-term RSS goals of making India a Hindu Rashtra (State) and replacing the Constitution with the Manusmriti, a violently Brahminical, anti-Dalit and patriarchal ancient Hindu text.”
Hindu supremacists harass Muslims amid Ram Temple celebrations
Incidents of Hindu supremacists harassing Muslims amid Ram Temple celebrations have occurred across Mumbai. In one area, a group of Hindu supremacists vandalized properties belonging to Muslims while chanting genocidal slogans. In another part of Mumbai, a group of Hindus chanted hateful anti-Muslim slogans while passing through Muslim areas, leading to a scuffle. Locals have reported that while Hindu groups have behaved threateningly, including by brandishing guns, police have primarily targeted young Muslim men for arrests, escalating tensions.
Hindu supremacists vandalize church with saffron flag as part of Ram Temple celebration
In Madhya Pradesh state, a member of a Hindu mob celebrating the Ram Temple climbed to the top of a church and vandalized it by planting a saffron flag with Hindu imagery on top. In a video filmed by the group, people can be heard chanting “Jai Shri Ram,” a Hindu extremist warcry that is commonly associated with mob lynchings.
Activists have warned that, because the Ram Temple is fundamentally linked with the destruction of a minority place of worship, Hindu supremacists will be even further emboldened to attack Muslim and Christian structures.
Hindu militants disrupt documentary screening on Babri Mosque demolition, leads to arrest of organizers
Members of the violent Hindu militant group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) disrupted and vandalized the venue of a screening of the 1992 documentary “Ram Ke Naam.” The film details the campaign by Hindu supremacist groups and political actors to illegally demolish the Babri Mosque and spark anti-Muslim violence across India.
The militants claimed that the screening was “illegal,” that it “offended religious sentiments,” and that it was an attempt to “create a communal issue” ahead of the Ram Temple consecration. Rather than arresting the militants for aggressive behavior, police arrested two organizers of the event and a cafe owner.