Inside Story

What risk is there of India turning into a Hindu nation?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda is under scrutiny after consecration of highly controversial temple.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a controversial Hindu temple in the northern city of Ayodhya.

The shrine was built on grounds where a mosque from the Mughal-era stood for centuries, until it was destroyed by Hindu activists in 1992.

In elections in 2014, Modi campaigned with a promise to build a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Ram, on the very site of the demolished mosque.

With the temple’s consecration coming only months ahead of a national election, opposition leaders accuse him of exploiting religion to win political favour.

And as Modi seeks a third consecutive term, concerns are growing that he is building a legacy as a leader able to transform India into a Hindu nationalist state.

So, what does this mean for the future of secularism in the country?

Presenter: Neave Barker


Shazia Ilmi – National spokesperson for the governing BJP Party

Sharat Pradhan – Political analyst and independent journalist

Nilanjan Mookuhpadyey – Journalist and author of, The Demolition and The Verdict, a book on the Ram Temple controversy