A large mass gathered at Times Square, New York on Wednesday to raise voices against the celebration for the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. A crowd of Indian Americans and US-based civil rights organisations and activists assembled a rally at Times Square to protest the celebrations.
Earlier, there was a huge celebration that took place to honour the groundbreaking ceremony of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya that was attended by Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday. The celebration was organized by American Indian Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a culmination of Hindu organisations in the US.
Protesters with gigantic placards in large numbers and sung slogans against the celebration at the iconic Times Square and framed the celebration as communally biased.
“There is no doubt that Ram is a revered figure in Hinduism, and respect for all religions is part of our commitment to pluralism,” said Jawad Mohammed, General Secretary of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC).
“However, people’s reverence for Ram has been manipulated in order to serve a vile and hateful agenda, whose evil fruits are evident not only across India but now increasingly in the US as well,” Mohammed said.
“Sadly, far-right extremists in both India and the United States have especially taken to demonising and denigrating Muslims. I condemn any attack on an individual or group because of their faith and stand with my Muslim siblings here in my district and in India as they fight for dignity and human rights,” said New York City Council member Daniel Dromm.
Brad Lander, another New York City council member added, “We all have a responsibility for speaking out against Islamophobia, whether it comes from our country, or even our own community.”
Lander said, “As a New Yorker, and as a progressive Jew, I stand with our Muslim neighbours here in NYC and those in Kashmir and throughout India who are facing nationalist and Islamophobic hatred and violence.”
As India Today reports, the portrait of Lord Ram and the magnificent Ram Temple to be constructed in Ayodhya dazzled across a giant billboard at the iconic Times Square in New York City, where members of the Indian community assembled in large numbers to commemorate the ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The lit image of Lord Ram, the grand temple and the Indian tricolour shone across a giant wrap-around LED display screen on Wednesday. Initially, the organisers had planned to light the photos from 8 am to 10 pm on Wednesday, but the images were lit for about four hours till 1 pm.