Controversial Hindu Temple Dedicated to Lord Ram Is Consecrated

On January 22, 2024 the Ram Mandir temple in Ayodhyh, India, a northern India pilgrimage site, was consecrated. The temple’s construction Located on the site for centuries was the Babri Masjid, a 16th century mosque and symbol of faith for Indian Muslims. However, many Hindus believed that an ancient temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Ram once stood on the site.

The Babri Masjid was destroyed by Hindu extremists in 1992, and both widespread violence and litigation ensued. The plaintiff in the lawsuit was Lord Ram, held by the court to be a legal entity. (See our 2023 article on the concept of juridical personhood.) Although the litigation resulted in a victory for Lord Ram, the court also ordered the construction of a new mosque on a site nearby. However, while enormous resources have led to the January 2024 consecration of Lord Ram’s temple - not yet completed - the site designated for the construction of a new mosque remains vacant.

The newly consecrated temple will be a showcase for the Modi government as Prime Minister Narenda Modi and his Hindu Nationalist party prepare to run for a consecutive third term.