SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, February 10, 2024 (India Currents, by Suhag Shukla): Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that is intended to cause the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality or memories. It’s the most apt word to describe the coverage and opinions carried by Western media of the historic consecration of a mandir dedicated to Shri Rama in the city of Ayodhya after over 200 years of Hindus and Sikhs seeking restoration of a holy site that was destroyed and occupied by Mughal invaders 500 years ago. Commentators dismiss the culmination of this centuries-long struggle, portray it as nothing more than a political ploy by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to convert secular India into a Hindu nation, or, at worst, depict it as an act of revenge and intimidation against the Muslim minority. But it is none of that.

The site in Ayodhya is one of seven sites considered most sacred by Hindus and is widely believed to be the traditional birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. Among the seven, two additional sites, Varanasi (also called Kashi) and Mathura considered the abode of Shiva and the birthplace of Shri Krishna respectively, are also places where mosques were built after the desecration of existing Hindu temples. None of these three cities are of any religious significance to Muslims, other than Mughal despots specifically razing temples and building mosques as monuments of domination. Both Varanasi and Mathura have pending lawsuits where Hindus are seeking return of these sacred sites.

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