Donations For The Ram Template End In Clashes

On Tuesday, December 29, in a Muslim dominated village in the Indore district of India, a clash erupted when right-wing Hindu members stopped in front of a mosque and chanted slogans. They were participating in a rally to collect donations for the construction of Ram Temple in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. According to the Indian  Express, 200 people were rallying for the Ram temple and stopped directly in front of the mosque, while prayers were being held, and chanted the slogan “Jai Shri Ram.” The slogan that translates to “Glory to the Lord” or “Victory to Lord Ram” is used as an informal greeting adhering to the Hindu fate. According to India Tribune, the slogan, which was previously known as Siya Ram “Glory to Sita,” has turned into an angry masculine slogan “Jai Shri Ram.”

While the rally chanted the slogan “Jai Shir Ram,” some members climbed on top of the mosque in hopes to damage it. It has been notified, however, that no serious damages were done to the mosque. The clash that erupted was all caught on a video and was circulated on social media. The video also showed police officers present during the escalation and other members of the rally trying to burn down a house and damage other vehicles nearby. Yogesh Deshmukh, the Inspector General of Police Indore, told Aljeezera News, “The incident was shameful, and a team has been formed to identify  the attackers.” Deshmukh also stated that in comparison to the mob, the police were fewer in numbers leading to the escalation and lack of control. Currently, Deshmukh noted that 29 people have been arrested and linked to the violence that occurred on Tuesday.

This, however, is not the first clash with right-wing Hindu groups. Three days prior, another clash erupted in another Muslim-dominated state in Begum Bagh neighbourhood of Ujjain when a rally of BJP youth wing from the Bharatiya Janata Party, a pro-Hindu political party known as The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha  (BJYM), chanted slogans and abused residents. According to Aljeezera news on December 25, BYJM members organized motorcycles to gather in Aydiah for Ram temple funds. The BJYM members passed multiple times through the neighbourhood while chanting slogans and abusing some residents, which eventually led to the situation escalating and stones pelted from both sides. The police of respective districts have reported against 100 people and arrested 50. Right-wing Hindu organizations had also vandalized other religious places of different minorities in the last year.  A professor from Delhi University, Apoorvanada told Aljeezera news, “We will see an increase in such incident in all BJP ruled states” and “mobs are being given open license, as they knowing nothing will happen to them.”

Muzna Erum