A single sentence from Narendra Modi’s address at the consecration ceremony of the Balak Ram idol at the brand-new Ram Mandir in Ayodhya summed up the epochal nature of the event. Choking with emotion, the prime minister said, “Our Ram Lalla will no longer live in a tent, he will now reside in his divine mandir.” The imagery those words evoked—from a forlorn tent to a grand temple—encapsulated the century-old bloody struggle to build a mandir at what is believed to be the birthplace of one of the most revered deities of the Hindu pantheon. It was also emblematic of the cultural renaissance that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Modi and its mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), hope to foster in India in the months and years ahead. Not to mention the emotional connect the event generated among India’s Hindu majority, which experts say will boost the BJP’s bid to win a third consecutive term with a clear majority in the general election to be held in the summer of 2024.

PM Modi approaches the Garbha Griha
Flower petals being showered on the Mandir during the consecration ceremony
PM Narendra Modi prostrates before Balak Ram
The mandir bathed in laser lights; (Photo: Chandradeep Kumar)
Sants and sadhus at the holy premises; (Photo: ANI)
Fans take selfies with the Bollywood celebs in attendance; (Photo: ANI)


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