The multi-decade debate over the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid may have been settled with 2019's Supreme Court verdict, but for many the culmination came with watching the foundation stone laying ceremony on August 5. But even as celebrations broke out in various parts of the country and beyond, others called it a 'black day'.
Wall Street Journal columnist Sadanand Dhume on Friday courted controversy after an opinion article written by him was published in the WSJ. "Nehru said the temples of modern India would be hydroelectric dams. Under Modi, the temples of modern India are actual temples," he added.
Netizens however were not happy with the parallel, with many noting that the Prime Minister had created both kinds of temples. "Just a few days ago, the PM inaugurated Asia's biggest solar park (750 MW) in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. Why does that not qualify as a temple of modern India? India's infra spend target has been raised to Rs. 111 Trn. Why can't temples of modern India be infrastructure and temples? (sic)" asked one user.
"Juxtaposing Nehru's temples with Modi's sounds cute, but there is fundamentally no contradiction between building a Ram Mandir and running the economy well," commented another.
Others still pointed out that Nehru too had not wholly abandoned religiosity in the public sphere. "Why is curbing religiosity a virtue? denying people their heritage and shaming them out of practising their rituals, is that what a secular state supposed to do? or is it simply supposed to stand indifferent and keep itself at a distance?" wondered another user.