Kerala CM expresses displeasure over ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony in Ayodhya

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 22 (IANS) Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday expressed displeasure over ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony held in Ayodhya by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We now have come to a point when the inauguration of a religious place of worship in the country is being celebrated as a state event,” he said.

He said that those who have pledged to preserve and protect the Constitution, they should reaffirm their commitment to its secular character.

“By declining to participate in the event, we have upheld our Constitutional responsibilities,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that secularism has been the soul of the democratic republic of India. “Secularism is our identity as a nation right from the days of our national movement. Those belonging to different faiths and are not part of any religion had taken an active part in our freedom struggle. This nation belongs to all people and all sections of Indian society, in equal measure,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that religion is a private affair and the Indian Constitution has minced no words in stating that all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and have the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.

“As those who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of India, we should ensure that every person within our territories enjoys this right in equal measure. We cannot be promoting one religion above all others, or demean other religions,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru has said that ‘Indian secularism means the separation of religion and state’.

“We even have a strong tradition of maintaining that separation. However, of late, the line that demarcates religion and state seems to be getting thinner and thinner. This is a major departure from the times when our constitutional office bearers have been cautioned from taking part in religious events, as it would cast aspersions on our credentials as a secular state,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that let this serve as an opportunity to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities.



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