‘Historic day, new India’: How front pages, editorials covered Ram Mandir inauguration

Most of the reports noted the event would have socio-political implications.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Headlines from the newspapers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ram Temple on Monday amid loud cheers and hoards of prominent personalities from across the country making it to different rows on the temple’s premises in Ayodhya. 

With the pran pratishtha, the idol of “Balak Ram” was also unveiled and the gates of the under-construction temple were thrown open for the devotees.    

There were celebrations in most parts of the country, but also a few words of caution in the country’s news dailies. 

Let’s take a look.

Hindustan Times

The page one headline on Hindustan Times read in bold letters: “Ram lalla rises in Ayodhya.” 

The lead package carried a three-column picture of the pran pratishtha. The main report said Modi had turned the page on “arguably India's most fractious dispute”. It called his speech “rousing” and fused with “faith and governance, transforming the holy moment into a milestone for nation-building and laying a road map for the future course of India”.

The three other reports in the package covered the celebrations across India and the prominent guests at Ayodhya. The news daily carried more reports between pages 12 and 14.

The editorial in the news daily was titled “Ram to rashtra, journey begins”. It said PM Modi “linked faith with a promise of future progress; and this invocation of an inclusive, omnipotent God, a just ruler who saw praja kshema as raj dharma, could not have come at a better time”.

A screenshot of Hindustan Times' front page.

 The Indian Express   

On the front-page of The Indian Express’s Delhi edition, the banner headline read “January 22, 2024,” for the full-page coverage of the event. At least four more inside pages were also dedicated to reports on the Ram Temple inauguration. 

The front-page carried a four-column picture showing Modi paying obeisance to the newly-instated idol, with Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in frame. 

The banner strap of the package quoted Modi: “Not a mere date on calendar, origin of a new kaal chakra”. 

One of the six reports on the page covered Modi’s speech at the event. It said, “Marking a milestone in India’s socio-political history” Modi had led the nation in the consecration. The report was titled, “Ram not a dispute, is solution”. 

Another report detailed the idol that has been named “Balak Ram”.   

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s speech at the event was also covered in a report, with the headline quoting him stating that Ram Rajya was coming. The other reports detailed the new challenges for the opposition and the other parties’ take on the temple. 

The anchor story was titled “Ayodhya puts troubled past behind, looks to present – for its future”.   

“January 22, 2024 will no more be just another day in the life of a nation. It will be the moment when a temple was consecrated in Ayodhya and when a country in the throes of a transition arrived at a seminal milestone,” read the editorial titled “A seminal milestone, the journey ahead”.

It also said: “ The distance between Ram and rashtra, as the Prime Minister framed it, will be bridged not just by words but on the ground. It will call for outreach to the Muslim community; those who were not a part of the Mandir movement; and all those who remain apprehensive about the reverberations of temple consecration.”

A screenshot of The Indian Express's front-page.

The Telegraph

The Telegraph’s page one banner headline read, “For whom the temple tolls”. It carried a picture of the Constitution alongside PM Modi’s speech calling Ram the “faith of India” and the “foundation of India”. The latter was titled, “Ethos of new India”.  Below these was a picture of Modi prostrating in front of the idol. 

The main report on the news daily detailed about the temple and Modi’s speech, while another quoted Kolkata CM Mamta Banerjee saying, “We will stay united”. It also carried a picture from the CM’s all-faith unity walk. Another picture showed the IAF chopper showering flower petals on the temple.    

The editorial in the news daily was titled “New chapter”.  It said, “The legal resolution of the Ram mandir-Babri masjid dispute in 2019, it was argued, would lead to the closure of a bitter chapter in the republic’s history. Ironically, over four years later, a new chapter in the enterprise to transform the political, ideological, social and civic character of the nation has been opened by the curated unveiling of the temple.”   

A screenshot of The Telegraph's page 1.

The Hindu

The Delhi edition of The Hindu had a six-column report on the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, titled “Rituals done, PM calls it a historic day”. It carried a three-column picture of Modi paying obeisance to the idol with Yogi and Bhagwat in the frame.

The strap detailed that there were over 8,000 guests and PM Modi thanked the judiciary for “upholding dignity of law and justice”, while the report detailed Modi’s speech.

“Devotees of the temple, in their moment of celebration, should not be unmindful of the past. Triumphalism and grievance must give way to reconciliation and harmony; and fear must yield to hope,” read the newspaper’s editorial titled “From fear to hope”. 

It further added: “The temptation to use the same template of settling contests over places of worship must be abandoned immediately. Seeking to settle historical grievances can trigger unpredictable social forces and risk national unity.”

A screenshot of The Times of India's page 1.

The Times of India      

The Times of India’s Delhi edition featured a nearly full-page coverage of the Ram Temple inauguration by Modi. The banner headline on page 1 said in bold, “Dev to desh, Ram to rajya: PM”.  The strap read, “Diwali arrives early as nation celebrates consecration of Ram lalla’s idol with fireworks and festivity, amid calls for harmony and healing”. 

While the main report focused on “one of the most important speeches” of Modi, two other reports detailed the speeches of UP CM Yogi Adityanath and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. A report delved into how Ayodhya had “changed” with swanky cars, private jets. A graphic detailed the specifics of the idol, including the avatars, height and adornments.  

At least nine other inside pages carried reports on Ayodhya and the Ram Temple.  

The newspaper’s editorial, titled “After consecration”, focused on Modi’s speech, noting that it was “impressive” and “rose to the occasion”.  “Modi’s Ayodhya speech was peppered with smart messaging – on Hindu cultural revivalism, economic progress and tech, all of it feeding a political narrative.”  

It also discussed the speedy infrastructure ramp-up and the Places of Worship Act. “SC had said, via the law, Parliament determined Independence as a cut-off for a constitutional basis for dealing with the past.”  

This report was published with AI assistance.


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