Ram Temple should not be politicised, says Muslim body

Mandir inauguration seems to have turned into a BJP election programme, says Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

Updated - January 09, 2024 11:20 am IST

Published - January 06, 2024 08:21 pm IST - New Delhi

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s M. Salim Engineer (L). File.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s M. Salim Engineer (L). File. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Leading Muslim body, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, has voiced concern over the scheduled Ram Mandir inauguration on January 22 becoming a “tool for political propaganda” and a “means of reaping electoral dividends”.

Speaking to the media, Jamaat’s vice-president Salim Engineer cautioned against attempts at polarisation in the name of the temple. “The remark by the general secretary of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust comparing the upcoming inauguration of the temple with our Independence Day is erroneous and mischievous. It tries to set an ‘us versus them’ narrative and polarise the country along religious grounds. The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns such interpretations of the event,” Mr. Engineer stated.

Also read: Ayodhya | Building a city around a temple

Referring to the upcoming ceremony at the temple built on the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya following the Supreme Court verdict, he said the event “should not be politicised, patronised and used to polarise”.

He felt, “The consecration programme is becoming a glaring example of how religion can be misused by some politicians, a phenomenon that was consistently criticised by the ruling party but which now it is unabashedly indulging in.”

The inauguration of the Ram Mandir seems to have turned into a “BJP election programme” and a “political rally for the Prime Minister”, he claimed.

The Jamaat leader called upon the ruling dispensation to adhere to the oath of office, which mandates them to “duly and faithfully perform the duties of the office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, and uphold the Constitution and the laws” of the country.

“Things could have been different, had the event been managed by the temple trust. Politicians, bureaucrats, and elected representatives should have been told to keep away. There would have been no controversy, if the inauguration had been restricted to a strictly religious ceremony without any political speeches, posters and slogans,” he said.

He expressed concern at the “steady slide of our country from a constitutional democracy to an illiberal and majoritarian democracy”. “The narrative of hyper-nationalism and populism coupled with divisive rhetoric that targets religious minorities is leading to polarisation and the steady deterioration of pluralism and tolerance in society. The move towards “one nation, one language, and one culture” is turning India into an illiberal democracy and damaging our aspirations to become a world leader. Without justice and democracy in our backyard, our quest for global leadership may not materialise,” he summed up.

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