Beyond Belief

Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir: Religion and Politics in India

 

Giles is joined by Professor Shruti Kapila, Associate Professor Ashraf Hoque and Dr Prakash Shah.

 

In a temple in Southall, west London, Giles Fraser hears about the spiritual significance for British Hindus of the opening of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, consecrated with much fanfare in January 2024 by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.   As Indians go to the polls in the largest democratic election in history, what is the relationship between religion and politics in the country?

 

Giles is joined by Professor Shruti Kapila, Associate Professor Ashraf Hoque and Dr Prakash Shah to discuss the temple’s significance and the controversy that surrounded it, built on the site of a previous Muslim mosque, which was pulled down by a mob in 1992. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is campaigning for re-election. He’s the head of the BJP party, aligned to ideas of Hindu nationalism. Does the temple help us to understand the complicated and contested political, cultural and historical grounds over which the current election is being fought?

 

Please listen to Dr Prakash Shah regarding Ayodhya Mandir on Radio 4’s religious program “Beyond Belief”. Your feedback is very much appreciated.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/b006s6p6

 

Producer: Rebecca Maxted
Assistant Producer:
Ruth Purser
Editor: Jonathan Hallewel