The opening of a temple in India creates pride among Dutch Hindus

The opening of a temple in India creates pride among Dutch Hindus

Those in The Hague are making sacrifices

NOS news

In India, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated a new Ram temple. Among the 11,000 guests at Ayodha were politicians, cricketers and Bollywood stars. Not only was it celebrated by Hindus in India, the community also gathered here in Holland.

The official ceremony in India started at six o’clock Dutch time. At half past five the lovely sounds of Pandit Bhagwant’s prayer were already heard in The Hague. “I cannot express in words how important this moment is for Hindus,” says Bhagwant. A few months ago, the predecessor of the temple itself was Ayodha. “Since we cannot be present at the opening ourselves, we arranged this meeting,” Bhagwant explains.

At the Shri Radha Krishna mandir, a place of worship in The Hague for Hindus, about a hundred Hindus followed the events in India on a big screen early in the morning.

Dutch Hindus rejoice at the opening of the Ram Temple in India

After Christianity and Islam, Hinduism is the largest religion in the Netherlands. This applies to Surinamese Hindus, about 170,000, and Indian knowledge migrants. According to CBS, they are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups. In 2021, around 60,000 Indians lived in the Netherlands, mostly Hindus. Mandirs across the Netherlands have organized meetings in recent days.


Dressed in an orange sari, Simla Jawalapersad watches one by one pass the deities on stage to make offerings. Jawalapersad says his daughter is currently in the holy city of Ayodhya. “This morning we had time together, it was very special that he was there today,” he says proudly.

The Pran Pratishtha ceremony was held under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, who used this opportunity to introduce himself as the spiritual leader of India. This is the time when the sacred energy is awakened in the image of Gemini according to faith. Till today, god Ram himself resides in the temple. As Hindus believe, this means that he has returned to his birthplace after centuries.

This is how the temple was opened:

Indian Prime Minister Modi opens controversial temple

Just after seven o’clock, Ajay Dhingra stirs up the crowd in The Hague by shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ (life, holy Ram) across the room. The slogan, which is very popular among staunch Hindus, works best early in the morning. Everyone in the temple follows his example. “Ram embodies justice,” says Dhingra.

A mosque or a temple

In the mandir in The Hague there is not a word of displeasure about the huge project in Ayodhya that costs millions of euros, or the fact that the centuries-old mosque had to pass it. Many people in The Hague believe that the opening of the temple will end years of tension between Muslims and Hindus in India.

In India itself, shops and businesses are closed in large parts of the country today for fear of widespread unrest. The Babri Mosque stood on the site where the Ram Temple now stands for over 500 years. In 1992, a group of angry Hindus destroyed the mosque. Around 2,000 people were killed during the fighting in the following days. And another ten years later, when the violent demolition of a mosque was celebrated by Hindus, more than a thousand people – mostly Muslims – were killed in the state of Gujarat.

Some Hindus claim that the mosque itself was built on the ruins of the Ram temple, but there is no conclusive scientific evidence for this.

“Prime Minister Modi is trying to send a message that we should be proud of our cultural and religious roots,” Dhingra thinks. He is very happy that the temple is finally completed after all these years.

Vatican of India

Not only the temple is new, the whole city has undergone a billion dollar transformation. Although the temple was paid for with donations from around the world, the city itself was renovated with government money. But that must be offset by the 50 million tourists expected each year in the Hindu ‘Vatican City’.

The pandit’s wife, Sheila Bhagwant, says many of those present at the Sri Radha Krishna mandir today have plans to go to India next year. “My husband and I want to go this summer to see the temple for ourselves.”