The multiplex chain PVR INOX has tied up with news channel Aaj Tak for the live streaming of the consecration ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Monday, January 22. The ceremony will be live-streamed between 11 am and 3 pm on Monday across more than 160 PVR screens spread across 70 cities, India Today reported. Tickets for the screening can be booked through BookMyShow or through the PVR INOX website. Even though booking has not begun yet, around 1700 persons appear to have expressed interest to buy tickets for the show through BookMyShow in Bengaluru as of Saturday morning.
While the exorbitant prices of multiplex tickets and food and beverages are a common complaint among moviegoers, those planning to catch the live streaming of the temple inauguration not only get a ticket for just Rs 100 for the four-hour show, but also get complimentary popcorn.
It is not just the Aaj Tak - PVR collaboration that offers uninterrupted screening of the ceremony, which will see the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Running a 100-hour programme on the Ram temple inauguration is CNN-News18, titled ‘Ram Mandir for India’. In addition to this, News 18 is also hosting a conclave on Lord Ram in Lucknow on Saturday.
The 100-hour programme, which began on Friday, January 19, will continue on till the night of January 22. The channel’s anchors will not just host live shows from Ayodhya, but even speak to ‘experts’, ‘historians’, and religious leaders. The ‘histories’ that will be told at these events are unlikely to include that of the Babri Masjid, on which site the temple has been built.
Babri Masjid, built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur in 1528, was demolished by kar sevaks belonging to Hindu majoritarian outfits on December 6, 1992. The demolition, which happened as a result of a concerted Ram Janmabhoomi movement, resulted in communal riots over months, which led to over 2,000 deaths. The Babri Masjid has been a contested site since 1885 as religious leaders and Hindutva outfits considered it Ram Janambhoomi or the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.
A legal fight ensued in 1950 when Gopal Visharad Sharma approached Faizabad district court for the right to worship idols of Ram Lalla, which were placed there in 1949. On September 30, 2010, the High Court, in a 2:1 majority, ruled a three-way division of the disputed area between the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Nine years later, in 2019, the Supreme Court granted the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to deity Ram Lalla and directed the Uttar Pradesh government to allot five acres of land to Muslims for building a mosque. Though the Supreme Court referred to the mosque's demolition as "an egregious violation of the rule of law," the verdict was criticised for accepting the logic of "faith over fact" and granting legal possession of land to those responsible for the demolition.