‘Reign of terror cannot last forever’

New Delhi, Aug 20 (Bureau) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said destructive forces and reign of terror cannot last for very long, citing the example of the Somnath temple which was looted and demolished several times, and was repeatedly resurrected. The comments come in the backdrop of Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. “Faith cannot be suppressed by terror… This temple was demolished several times, the statues were broken, but as many times as it was demolished, it was resurrected again,” the Prime Minister said addressing an event related to projects in the Somnath Temple, the Prime Minister “Somnath temple is an example and assurance for the world that destructive forces, the ideology that builds empires based on terror, may dominate for some time in some period of time, but, its existence is never permanent, it cannot suppress humanity for long,” Modi said.

The Somnath temple is said to have been destroyed several times. According to a website of Gujarat’s tourism department, the temple was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024, The temple was again razed in 1297, 1394 and finally in 1706 by Aurangzeb, as per the website. The event was also attended by veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani, and Home Minister Amit Shah. Advani had taken out a ‘rath yatra’ in September-October of 1990 from Somnath to Ayodhya, to stir up support for the demand for the construction of a Ram temple at the spot of Babri Mosque. Modi was among the key organisers of the ‘ýatra’. The mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992. After years of court cases, on November 9, 2021, the Supreme Court ordered that the disputed land be handed over to a trust to build the Ram Temple. The Prime Minister also mentioned the Ram Temple, and said the the temple would be a “tower of light” of India’s pride. He also said that lessons of past will help India build course for its future. The projects inaugurated by the Prime Minister through video conferencing include the Somnath Promenade built at a cost of Rs. 47 Crore, Somnath Exhibition Centre and reconstructed temple precinct of Old (Juna) Somnath, done at a cost of Rs. 3.5 Crore. He also laid the foundation stone for a Shree Parvati Temple.