The city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, historically known for its syncretic culture, now tends to be associated only with the Ram mandir, which is being constructed at the site where the 16th century Babri Masjid stood until December 6, 1992. In the course of the following three decades, the character of the city has changed so drastically that it is now synonymous with the rise of Hindutva in India.
Incidentally, Ram was described as Imam-e-Hind, or leader of India, by the 20th century Urdu poet Allama Iqbal. However, today Ram’s perceived birthplace is at the centre of a movement that is involved in constructing the temple in his name.
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