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Thinking class agonises over secularism in Ram’s abode

01:04 AM Aug 11, 2020 |

A sense of deep agony and outrage has gripped a section of the thinking class since the bhoomi pujan at Ayodhya by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5. Many who belong to this class see the death of liberalism and secularism because of the event, while others foresee rise of a Hindu Rashtra.

These critics have lamented that only a “liberal and secular state" can keep India united. A Ram temple — at the place where the Babri Masjid once stood — is an anathema to the “very idea of India” or whatever it means.

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Of course, the most depressed among the “secular-minded” have even gone to the extent of reviving the idea of proportional representation as a way of justice for the Muslims, inviting even ridicule from their own lot.

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A day after Modi performed bhoomi pujan for Ram temple at Ayodhya, a few leaders (claiming to be representatives of Muslim community in India) averred that his participation is against the spirit of secularism mentioned in the Constitution. Some used the social media to send out a message to the effect that “Babri Masjid was, Babri Masjid is still there and it would continue to remain.”

For them, the spectacle of a prime minister performing the bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya does no credit of India, which is home to more than 200 million Muslims. Interestingly, the “secular-minded” section has also felt betrayed by the actions of the Congress leaders — as they did not let go the opportunity to take credit and recall the role of Rajiv Gandhi, who had as then PM allowed the shilanyas in 1989. By their logic, the Congress is too responsible for a situation that has let the BJP gain because of the verdict of the Supreme Court.

The irony is that, all these years, the thinking class wanted everyone to accept the Supreme Court’s verdict — no matter whether it favours the Hindus or the Muslims. But, once the apex Court settled the Ayodhya dispute, they could not hide their disappointment. Their logic appears to be if the Supreme Court gives a decision in favour

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