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Modi Hails A New ‘Divine India’ As He Inaugurates Controversial Hindu Temple Ahead Of Nationwide Elections

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Modi Hails A New ‘Divine India’ As He Inaugurates Controversial Hindu Temple Ahead Of Nationwide Elections

Millions of people throughout India watched the opening of a massive Hindu temple on Monday, an event seen as the pinnacle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist objectives months before he seeks a rare third term in office.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir, a temple dedicated to Lord Ram, will be inaugurated in northern India’s Ayodhya after more than 30 years of preparation and is expected to give Modi’s election campaign a significant boost.

The Ram Mandir is realizing Modi’s aim of creating a “new India,” which many believe will transform the country into a distinctly Hindu nation.

For Modi’s adversaries, the temple’s inauguration marks the completion of a decades-long drive to distance India from the secular roots on which the country was built after independence.

“Today, our Lord Ram has arrived. After generations of waiting, our Ram has finally arrived. “After centuries of unprecedented patience, countless sacrifices, renunciations, and penances, our Lord Ram has arrived,” Modi declared from the newly-constructed temple, which was adorned with colourful flowers, before an audience of 7,000 people, including movie stars, top cricket players, and tycoons.

“Ram is not a dispute, Ram is the solution,” he said.

Monday’s ceremony fulfils a long-standing promise Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government made to voters, which helped drive them to power in 2014.

In a deadly 1992 attack that sparked the nation’s Hindu nationalist movement, violent Hindu hardliners destroyed a 16th-century mosque on the site of a temple that Modi and his political supporters had long promised to erect.

modi

Modi Hails A New ‘Divine India’ As He Inaugurates Controversial Hindu Temple Ahead Of Nationwide Elections

The BJP and other right-wing parties pushed for the mosque’s demolition, which propelled the party into mainstream politics and helped it win a general election four years later.

In his speech, Modi made no direct mention of the Babri Masjid or the country’s Muslims, many of whom are deeply saddened by the events in Ayodhya. He did mention moving forward and “the beginning of a new time cycle.”

“From today, from this hallowed time, we must create the groundwork for the next 1,000 years. By moving forward with the temple construction, we are all taking a pledge to establish a national, capable, successful, beautiful, and divine India,” Modi stated.

On Monday, Modi presided over the Pran Pratishtha, or consecration ceremony, of an idol of Lord Ram, one of Hinduism’s most revered deities, within the temple’s sanctum sanctorum. The black stone statue depicted a young boy and was embellished with gold jewellery, gemstones, diamonds, and flowers.

Outside, military helicopters hovered over the temple and city, showering flower petals on the massive structure and hundreds of dignitaries below.

Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s right-wing parent organization, spoke at the occasion, stating that the temple “has become a symbol of a new India that will stand tall.”

“It has been said, and we know, that today in Ayodhya, along with Lord Ram, India’s self has returned,” he said.

Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, where Ayodhya is located, and one of the country’s most polarising political figures, described the Ram Mandir as India’s “national temple” and an “important ritual of cultural reawakening.”

Saffron flags soared high all day, and marigold flowers adorned building doors as tens of thousands of believers marched through the ancient town’s streets in joyous processions.

“For 500 years, Lord Ram was living in a hut,” devotee Acharya Mohanjodaro Bharadwaj told CNN, alluding to the time the Mughal-era mosque was constructed. “Today Modi made him sit inside a temple, the whole country is celebrating it like it’s Diwali.”

Celebrations were held nationwide, with officials pushing people to celebrate in their homes and temples, ensuring it became a national event.

Uttar Pradesh proclaimed Monday a public holiday, with schools and liquor businesses closed throughout the state.

modi

Modi Hails A New ‘Divine India’ As He Inaugurates Controversial Hindu Temple Ahead Of Nationwide Elections

Hundreds of Indian diaspora members gathered in New York on Sunday to celebrate the inauguration in front of a giant image of Lord Ram shown on a Times Square screen. Indian embassies around the world had watch parties.

While millions of Hindus hailed the unveiling of the long-awaited complex, which they regard as Ram’s birthplace, the country’s minority Muslim community saw it as a bitter reminder of religious tensions that they worry will worsen under Modi’s BJP rule.

The temple site was originally home to the Babri Masjid, a 16th-century mosque built during the Mughal Empire’s reign over India from 1526 to 1858.

However, the site has been debated for decades.

Many Hindus think the mosque was erected over the remnants of a Hindu temple that Babar, the first Mughal emperor in South Asia, purportedly demolished.

In 1992, right-wing organizations like the BJP and other groups supported Hindu hardliners who attacked the mosque, sparking widespread communal rioting that claimed over 2,000 lives nationwide.

The violence was among the most severe seen in India since the deadly battles that accompanied partition after independence in 1947.

In the years that followed, Hindu nationalists banded together to build the Ram Mandir on the site of the destroyed mosque, setting the groundwork for a decades-long emotional and political standoff.

In 2019, India’s Supreme Court permitted Hindus to build the temple on the contested site, effectively resolving the matter. It was viewed as a success by Modi and his supporters, but it was a setback for many Muslims, who saw the destruction of the Babri Masjid as a source of significant stress and historic loss.

Ayodhya is home to almost 3 million people, including approximately 500,000 Muslims, and some of them are concerned about attacks on the day of the temple’s opening.

Many people have expressed their support for one another on social media, with WhatsApp messages asking the community to avoid taking public transport for safety reasons.

Maulana Badshah Khan, 65, recently told CNN that he will remain home on Monday.

“The wounds left by the destruction of the Babri Mosque will never heal. Even if we are discouraged about expressing them,” Khan stated. “The temple holds the symbolic value of showing the Muslims their place in New India.”

‘Blurred lines’ between religion and government

Others have accused Modi of “weaponizing” the Hindu faith and exploiting the Ram Temple for political purposes.

“Objections include the fact that Modi is not a religious leader and thus unqualified to lead the ceremony, and that a Hindu temple cannot be consecrated until it is completed,” said a statement from Hindus for Human Rights, a US-based non-profit advocacy group.

Mr Modi “rushing through and fronting it himself is the latest attempt to weaponize Hinduism in the name of the BJP’s repressive nationalist ideology, ahead of national elections in May,” he said in the statement.

Modi came to office in 2014 with a promise to restructure the country’s economy and usher in a new era of growth, but he also actively promoted a Hindutva agenda, which holds that India should become a land for Hindus.

His promise to build the Ram Mandir contributed to the initial election win.

Modi Hails A New ‘Divine India’ As He Inaugurates Controversial Hindu Temple Ahead Of Nationwide Elections

Monday’s temple opening is expected to bolster Modi’s chances of winning a rare third term in a general election later this year, as he fulfilled his pledge to millions of voters.

In the lead-up to his inauguration, Modi fasted and prayed in an 11-day ceremony steeped in Hindu religious symbolism. As part of the festivities, Modi visited Lord Ram shrines and temples all around the country.”The Lord has made me an instrument to represent all the people of India during the consecration,” he stated in a taped message posted on his YouTube page.

On Sunday, Modi shared a video on social networking site X depicting himself walking into the sea and drowning at the Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Temple in southern Tamil Nadu.

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, author of “The Demolition and the Verdict,” a book about the 1992 mosque demolition, believes Modi’s decision to preside over Monday’s festivities demonstrates “Hindu hegemony” in India.

“Lines between politics and religions have gotten blurred,” he remarked of Modi’s participation in the ceremony in an officially secular country.

“They’ve also blurred the line between religion and the Indian state. You currently have an Indian prime minister who is partaking in a completely religious activity with the full support of the official machinery.

SOURCE – (CNN)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

Election News

A CNN Analyst “Speechless” as Black Voters Abandoned President Biden.

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Black Voters Abandoned President Biden
Black Voters Abandoned President Biden: Fox News Image

CNN statistics reporter Harry Enten was stunned Monday when polls revealed that former President Trump is projected to receive strong support from Black voters.

According to an aggregate of network polls, Black voters’ interest in President Biden is diminishing, dropping from 86% in 2020 to 70% in 2024. Meanwhile, Trump has eroded Biden’s coalition, increasing his support among Black voters over the last four years, from 7% in 2020 to 21% in 2024.

“Look at Black voters under the age of 50, holy cow folks, holy cow, look at this: Joe Biden was ahead by 80 points among this demographic at this stage in 2020. Look at how that advantage has shrunk to just…37 points,” Enten stated. “That lead is down by more than half…I’ve never seen anything like it. “I’m speechless.”

“If this polling is anywhere near correct, we are looking at a historic moment right now where Black voters under the age of 50, which have historically been such a big part of the Democratic coalition, are leaving it in troves,” Enten stated.

“I keep looking for signs that this is going to go back to normal and I don’t see it yet in the polling,” Enten stated. “If anything, right now we’re careening towards historic performance for a Republican presidential candidate, the likes of which we have not seen in six decades.”

Black Americans for Trump

Ahead of the 2024 election, which appears to be a rematch between Biden and former President Donald Trump, both candidates have sought support from Black Americans around the country.

Trump’s campaign established a new alliance, “Black Americans for Trump,” on Saturday, featuring endorsements from elected officials, athletes, artists, community leaders, and Black pastors. The Trump campaign stated that it formed the coalition prior to the Juneteenth celebration, which commemorates the day in 1865 when the last enslaved individuals in the United States learned they were free.

The Biden campaign, on the other hand, hopes to replicate his success with Black voters, a critical demographic that helped him defeat Donald Trump in 2020.

Last Monday, a Maris survey showing Biden losing significant support among Black voters in Pennsylvania, a state he narrowly won in 2020. In 2020, 92 percent of Black people supported him, while only 7 percent chose Trump.

In Wednesday’s poll, 68 percent of Black voters indicated they were supporting or leaning toward Biden in the November election, while 23 percent said they were supporting Trump. The poll was conducted on June 3-6 among 1,277 Pennsylvania people.

Last month, Biden held a rally in Philadelphia to kick off a new campaign to recruit Black votes. There, he thanked Black people for electing him to the White House in 2020 and went over a litany of policy accomplishments that he said enhanced the lives of Black Americans.

He informed them that Trump was “pandering and peddling lies and stereotypes for your vote, so he can win for himself, not you.”

Biden launches video Ad campaign

The most recent Fox News survey showed Biden with 72% support among Black voters. That’s up from 66% in February, but still down from 79% before the 2020 election. Among all voters, Trump has a slim advantage over Biden.

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign unveiled a new video Monday morning as part of a $50 million ad blitz ahead of the first presidential debate later this month, emphasizing former President Trump’s conviction and asserting that “character” is the key dynamic of the 2024 presidential contest.

The new ad, titled “Character Matters,” highlights the decision in New York v. Trump, in which a jury convicted the former president and presumptive Republican nominee guilty of all 34 counts of first-degree falsifying company records. Trump pled not guilty to the charges and promised to appeal the verdict.

“This election is between a convicted criminal who is only looking out for himself, and a president who is fighting for your family,” the ad says, highlighting Trump’s legal challenges and claiming the president has been focusing on “lowering health care costs and making big corporations pay their fair share.”

The advertisement airs ahead of next week’s first presidential debate on June 27.

The advertisement is part of the Biden campaign’s June $50 million paid media blitz. According to the campaign, the commercial will air on general market television and Connected TV in all battleground states, as well as national cable.

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Britain’s Populist Right-Wing Reform UK Party Surges in Popularity

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Reform UK party

The reemergence of staunch conservative Nigel Farage has given Britain’s populist right-wing Reform UK party a boost, with the latest poll showing it closing in on the ruling Conservatives ahead of the country’s impending general election.

According to the most recent YouGov survey of the election campaign for Sky News, Reform is now only two points behind the Conservatives.

According to online polling, Labour is likely to win 40% of the vote, followed by the Conservatives at 19% and the Reform Party at 17%.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Tory party was already largely projected to lose next month’s election to the opposition Labour Party, ending its long and turbulent 14-year reign.

Nigel Farage’s return

Nigel Farage’s sudden return as Reform leader on Monday dealt a fatal blow to the Tory party, threatening to grab a sizable share of right-wing votes.

The last-minute change would leave the Conservatives with even fewer seats than previously projected in the House of Commons, potentially sparking a reckoning within the weakened party. Some observers believe it would push the party even further to the right, maybe with Farage at the head.

Farage, for his part, has not ruled out ultimately joining a “reset and realign[ed]” Conservative Party, stating last year, “never say never.”

Euroskeptic Farage, who led the Leave campaign in the United Kingdom’s 2016 EU referendum, has announced his candidacy for a parliamentary seat in Clacton-on-Sea, a coastal town in eastern England with strong Brexit support. A previous YouGov poll showed the Conservatives winning that seat.

It is the politician-turned-media personality’s seventh attempt to be a member of Parliament, having never previously succeeded.

A separate Ipsos survey issued Thursday predicted that Reform would receive only 9% of the vote, compared to Labour’s 43% and the Conservatives’ 23%. The survey includes attitudes questioned as of Tuesday, one day after Farage’s return.

Voters rethinking Reform UK party

Just over half of participants (53%) in the poll claimed they had already chosen how they would vote on July 4, with others indicating they would change their minds.

Farage is bitterly opposed to the Conservatives. In the 2019 election, his then-Brexit Party promised not to run candidates in hundreds of seats to ensure a Conservative victory. He has since accused the party of abandoning the political right, declaring Monday that it was time for a “revolt.”

“What I’m really calling for—or intend to lead—is a political revolt,” he said at a so-called emergency news conference in London.

The announcement undermines Sunak’s previous efforts to capture right-wing support by strengthening the Conservatives’ stance on migration and the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Convention on Human Rights. Recent pronouncements regarding the resumption of obligatory national service, tax breaks for elderly, and new gender definitions were also interpreted as an attempt to win potential Reform supporters.

Reform The UK Party is a political group in the United Kingdom that seeks to improve the country’s governance. Their primary focus is on improving the political system to make it more open and accountable. They also want to lower taxes and minimize government waste.

One of their major concerns is Brexit, and they believe the UK should have complete sovereignty over its laws, borders, and trade without intervention from the European Union. They also push for improved public services, such as the NHS, but believe these services should be more efficient.

They say that too much money is squandered on bureaucracy while insufficient funds are allocated to frontline services. Reform UK believes that smaller government results in a better economy and greater freedom for individuals and businesses.

They commit to work for policies that they feel will result in a more equitable, affluent society for all.

Source: CNBC

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France’s Right-Wing Leader Le Pen Projected to Win Snap Election

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France's Right-Wing Leader Le Pen Projected to Win Snap Election
Marine Le Pen: Getty Images

France’s National Rally, led by firebrand Marine Le Pen, is expected to win a sudden election called by President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron dissolved France’s national legislature following a crushing defeat for his Renaissance party in Sunday’s European Parliament election. The first round of elections is slated for June 30, less than three weeks away, with a runoff on July 7.

Marine Le Pen‘s anti-immigrant, right-wing National Rally party, or RN, is expected to win 235 to 265 members in the National Assembly.

According to Toluna Harris Interactive’s study for Challenges, M6, and RTL, this is a significant increase from its present 88, but it falls short of the 289 required for an absolute majority.

According to the poll, Macron’s centrist alliance might see its number of lawmakers cut in half, from 250 to 125-155. Left-wing parties might control 115 to 145 seats combined, although each could run on its own.

There is no guarantee that the RN would lead the government, with or without a partnership with others. Other alternatives include a broad coalition of mainstream parties or a hung parliament.

Stocks drop in France

However, Macron’s unexpected move gives the increasingly popular extreme right a legitimate shot at power. This amounted to a gamble on his political destiny, and the euro instantly fell, as did French stocks and government bonds. RN got 31.4% of the European Parliament vote, while the Renaissance party coalition had 14.6%.

Even if the RN gains a majority in the French parliament, Macron will stay president for three more years and continue to be in charge of defense and foreign policy.

However, he would lose control of the domestic agenda, including economic policy, security, immigration, and finance, which would have an impact on other measures, such as aid to Ukraine, because he would need parliament’s approval to fund any assistance as part of France’s budget.

“We’re still in shock,” Emmanuel Pellerin, a Renaissance Party legislator, told Reuters. “Everything points to the RN achieving a relative or absolute majority. But this forces the French to consider what is at risk.

In that setting, political parties were rushing to field candidates and negotiate potential coalitions.

On Monday, RN leaders Jordan Bardella and Le Pen met with Marion Marechal of the minor far-right group Reconquete. Marechal is Le Pen’s niece and was a senior member of her party prior to their split.

Left-wing fractured

Following the meeting, Bardella stated that talks were underway to form an alliance. He also mentioned that he was speaking with several members of the conservative Les Republicains.

“I fervently wish that we can all find ways to come together,” Marechal told Reuters.

Leaders of France’s very split left, including the hard-left LFI (France Unbowed), Communists, Socialists, and Greens, were also in negotiations.

“We don’t have time to procrastinate,” LFI’s Manon Aubry told reporters. “The objective is to be able to meet again, to build the future and above all to go and win.”

According to a source close to Macron, the 46-year-old leader, whose power has dwindled since losing his absolute majority in parliament two years ago, reckoned that he might regain a majority by surprising everyone.

For Le Pen and Bardella, the goal is to turn popularity into victory. The vote is expected to center not only on dissatisfaction with Macron’s leadership style, cost of living, and immigration policies, but also on whether the RN can be trusted to manage a major European government.

Among the party’s policies, the RN has supported increased public spending, despite already high levels of French debt, threatening to increase bank funding costs.

The RN also wants to expel more migrants, end family reunification, limit childcare subsidies for French citizens, give French nationals priority in access to social housing and jobs, and revoke residency for migrants who have been out of work for more than one year.

The euro plunged by up to 0.6%, while Paris blue-chip stocks fell by 1.4%, led by heavy losses in banks BNP Paribas.

The early election will take place shortly before the July 26 start of the Paris Olympics, when all eyes will be on France.

Source: CTN News

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