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  • 1440 Daily Digest

India's Ram Temple

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a Hindu temple in the city of Ayodhya yesterday, with the dedication ceremony acting as an unofficial launch to the Hindu nationalist leader’s reelection campaign ahead of scheduled general elections this year.

The temple, built over 70 acres on a site that many Hindus believe is the birthplace of the deity Ram, is estimated to have cost nearly $217M and was reportedly funded by private donations. The 16th-century Babri Mosque was previously on the site before the mosque's destruction in 1992 by Hindu activists, which led to severe religious riots that claimed over 2,000 lives. India's Supreme Court in 2019 ruled in favor of a new Hindu temple on the site and gave 5 acres of nearby land for a new mosque to be built. India's Muslim population makes up around 204 million of the country's 1.4 billion people. See a timeline here.

Many opposition parties boycotted the event, expressing concerns about its compatibility with secular principles.

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