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India: PM Narendra Modi’s Remarks at Ayodhya Reflect Narrow Communal Agenda - Statement by Communist MP Binoy Viswam | 5 August 2020

5 August 2020

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Binoy Viswam
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)
116, North Avenue New Delhi - 110 001
Mob: [...] E-mail: binoyviswam55[at]

Statement issued by Binoy Viswam, Leader of CPI Parliamentary Party & Secretary, National Council on PM Narendra Modi’s remarks at Ayodhya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks today at the events in Ayodhya are condemnable for the elected leader of a democratic and secular country like India. The Prime Minister has forgotten that he is the leader of the entire nation and not only of those who follow the RSS-BJP ideology. The tumultuous history of Ayodhya and its impact on the secular fabric of India warranted that the Prime Minister exercise restraint and maturity over the event today. Instead, the Prime Minister has chosen to gain political currency via his remarks and misused the platform to further his own communal agenda. In his speech, the Prime Minister has equated the pursuit of the Ram Mandir with the struggle for India’s independence and glorified acts that forever ruptured the secular fabric of India. It is distressing that the Prime Minister has forgotten the numerous people who lost their lives as a result of the communal fallout of this movement and its polarisation of communities in India. To invoke the thanks of the entire nation to those who sustained the Ramjanam Bhoomi movement is an attempt to whitewash the ills of the movement. It is another move to create an imagined homogeneity of the Indian people whose strengths lie in their diversity and coexistence. The secular and democratic people of the country reject this attempt by the Prime Minister.

It is highly unfortunate that the events in Ayodhya were turned into a politico-religious spectacle with the ruling party using it as an opportunity to further its ideology. The Prime Minister appears to have forgotten that the country is in the midst of a crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic in which 40,000 Indians have lost their lives. The abysmal state of the economy and the millions of people who have seen their livelihoods affected should be the focus of the Government. It is not surprising that the Government and ruling party is using this event as an opportunity to distract the people of India from real issues of life and livelihood. The BJP-RSS combine has benefitted from the politicisation of the Ram Mandir movement right from its conception and it is clear that even today they are continuing to extract it for all its political worth.

Finally, the Prime Minister’s remarks and his presence in his official capacity as the head of the Indian Government marks a dark day for democracy and secularism in India. In a diverse and pluralistic country like India, where communal fault lines in society are being exacerbated every day, the decision of the head of the Government to lay the foundational stone at a site like Ayodhya is symbolic of the disregard the ruling party has for the constitutional values that shape our nation. Let us not forget that today marks a year since the abrogation of Article 370 and the devastation it continues to cause in the everyday lives of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. In a democratic and secular country such as India, the presence and remarks of the Prime Minister at Ayodhya today must be condemned.

Binoy Viswam
Leader of CPI Parliamentary Party & Secretary, National Council
Member, Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change Member, Consultative Committee on Environment, Forest and Climate Change