Preamble, banners, slogans of solidarity, inter-faith rallies and protests – symbol of undying secularism on January 22

As the line between state and religion thins, with PM Modi inaugurating the Ram temple at Ayodhya, many protested the move in their own ways, from social media to streets to campuses

Yesterday, on January 22, naked display of unruly behaviour was visible on the streets of many districts of many states. With the inauguration of Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh taking place, Hindutva rallies with flags of saffron, inciteful songs and threatening words under the guise of ‘Ram Bhakti’ could be seen everywhere. While there was something about these visuals that didn’t sit right with the values of our forefathers and the principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution, many messages and visuals of solidarity surfaced on social media, serving as a much-needed reminder of the undying secular structure of India.

Protests and harmony on the streets:

Around 1 pm, a protest rally organised by members of Bandi Mukti Committee, Hawkers Sangram Committee and around 200 other organisations was organised against the “fascist rule” and “divisive politics” of the BJP-led Centre. The said rally was joined by many eminent personalities such as State Education Minister Bratya Basu, TMC MP Samirul Islam, human rights activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad, columnist and researcher Harsh Mander, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Dipankar Bhattacharyya and local activist Binayak Sen. Thousands of people from different districts participated in the said rally, highlighting issues such as unemployment and joblessness which were being ignored by the ruling party. The protestors raised several demands including the immediate implementation of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.

Around 5 pm in the evening the day of the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple, visuals from the interfaith rally being held by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata started emerging on social media. In the first emerging videos from the rally, titled as the ‘Sanghati Yatra’, CM Mamata Banerjee could be seen walking towards Park Circus, a minority-dominated pocket in east Kolkata, with representatives from all faiths and religions walking beside and behind her. These visuals, starkly contrasting to the Hindu and PM Modi dominated pictures that were coming from the Ram Temple inauguration, served as a powerful rhetoric to the Hinduvta exclusive and anti-minority stance being promoted by the Bharatiya Janata Party. As per a report of the New Indian Express, Mamata started the march from Hazra crossing in south Kolkata after offering prayer at Kalighat temple. As per the report, CM Mamata visited a gurdwara, mosque and church, giving out a message of inter-faith and inter-religious harmony.

The video can be viewed here:

CM Mamata was not the only opposition leader protesting and celebration January 22 in her own way. The day started with the Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi sitting in protest in Assam, with the participants of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, at being denied entry to visit the birthplace of iconic Vaishnav saint Srimanta Sankardeva at Batadrava in Nagaon. It is essential to highlight here that Sankardeva is an Assamese saint-scholar, social religious reformer, poet, playwright and a towering figure in the cultural and religious history of Assam from the 15th-16th century. Gandhi was stopped at Haibargaon, around 17 km away from Batadrava, which prompted him and the other party leaders to sit on a dharna. The protestors could be seen singing songs such as ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ which promoted secularism and pluralism, reminding us of the Gandhian principles of harmony and togetherness.

Interfaith rituals performed:

A gesture truly evident of the pluralistic values of India also came forth from Koppal city of Karnataka where Hindus and Muslims were seen offering special ‘puja’ together at a local Lord Ram temple. Hate Detectors posted on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) showing pictures from the said ritual. As per the social media post, leaders from both communities gathered at the said temple in Bhagyanagar locality of Koppal city and participated in the worship with devotion. It has been further stated that Muslims stood with the Hindu leaders and took ‘aarti’ and ‘prasada’ after the worshipping with devoutness. The gesture was appreciated and hailed by the people across the state. The photos and videos in this regard have gone viral on social media.

The post can be viewed here:

Preamble- the symbol of justice and hope on social media:

Hours before the inauguration, celebrities from the Malayalam film industry shared images of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution on their social media handles. The move was a silent reminder to the ruling BJP party of the secular, socialist, and democratic values enshrined and forms the basic structure of the Constitution of India. Amongst these Malayalam film personalities were several well-known actors such as Parvathy Thiruvothu, Rima Kallingal, Divya Prabha, Rajesh Madhavan, Kani Kusruti, directors Jeo Baby, Aashiq Abu, Kamal KM, Kunjila Mascillamani, and singer Sooraj Santhosh. Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen also shared the picture of the Preamble on her Instagram. Apart from celebrities, the Preamble became a symbol for all those that stood against the construction of the Ayodhya structure after demolishing the Babri Masjid. 

Student-led protests at colleges:

At Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia, a group of students staged a protest on the university campus against the demolition of Babri Masjid on the day of the inauguration ceremony at Ayodhya. During the protest, the students raised slogans such as “RSS down down” and “Strike for Babri”. Many videos of the protest went viral on social media and were circulated widely. In one of the videos, two students were seen holding placards with photos of demolished masjids and raising slogans, while campus security personnel tried to stop them. A protestor could also be heard shouting, “We shall never forgive, and we shall never forget this incident. We will continue our strike and boycott the class.” As reported by ANI, the Jamia officials are probing the matter. 

The video can be viewed here:

Another student led protest was organised at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTI). The students’ association of the FTI raised banners with the message ‘Remember Babri’ inside the campus premises as the inaugural ceremony was underway in Ayodhya. As per the report of Siasat, a special screening of Anand Patwardhan’s award-winning documentary ‘Ram ke Naam’ was also screened along with a photo exhibition. The said photo exhibition was in remembrance of December 6, 1992, when a mob of Hindu nationalists led by then-senior BJP leaders including the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and Uma Bharati to name a few, demolished the 16th-century Babri Masjid. The said demolition had resulted in country wide anti-Muslim riots, leaving at least 2000 dead.

The picture can be viewed here:

Students at Jawaharlal Nehru University read the Preamble at different places inside the campus of the University. 

The post can be viewed here:


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