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Ayodhya is a town in northern India that has been the location of a contested sacred site revered by both Muslims and Hindus. The conflict—and the dramatic destruction of the site's mosque—has had national and even global political implications. The 1992 confrontation at the site is regarded as a benchmark in the global rise of religious activism against the secular state.

The town of Ayodhya is the capital of the old princely state of Awadh, and archaeological evidence indicates that it was also the location of an ancient Hindu temple. According to many Hindus, the ancient temple site is significant indeed; they claim that it is in fact the location of the birthplace of the god Ram. It was on this site that the Moghul emperor ...

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