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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 2 January 13, 2024

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Jan 13, 2024

Friday 12 January 2024


Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Jan 13 2024

In a commendable and gutsy move, the Indian National Congress party has declined the invitation to attend the Ram Mandir inauguration ceremony scheduled on January 22. The Congress leadership has stood up for secular ideals going against the opinion of a section of the Congress party that feels inclined to mimic the BJP’s strategy of instrumentalisation of religion for political gain. The Congress Party rationalises its stance by saying that: a) Religion should be a matter of personal choice; b) The Ram Temple project is a political show entirely stage-managed by the BJP / RSS and attending such an event would only give legitimation to their narrow agenda c) The temple construction is far from over and its inauguration in January has been brought ahead just to extract political mileage few months before national elections slated for April, May 2024. Such a stance by India’s largest opposition party clearly sends a signal that it will fight the coming election on secular issues of education, price rise, jobs, health care, etc. The CPI(M) led the way by being the first party to announce it would not attend the Ram temple inauguration ceremony, in addition, other opposition political parties like the TMC, and the Samajwadi Party have also taken distance from the Ayodhya event, so the Congress has the company of some other constituents also part of the opposition INDIA alliance. Secular opposition parties will come under sharp attack by the BJP & RSS which will try to use the majoritarian Hindu card and try to polarise public opinion. The opposition alliance must stand firmly for secular common grounds during its election campaign mobilisations and challenge the divisive and sectarian politics of the ruling BJP.

Jan 13, 2024 —HK

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