Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a Hindu Rashtra by placing the first brick for the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, said AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday.
The Hyderabad MP termed August 5 as the day of Hindutva’s victory and secularism’s defeat.
Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, he slammed Modi for participating in the “Bhoomi Pujan” of the temple at the site where the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.
Stating that India as a secular country has no religion, Owaisi said Modi violated the oath he took as the Prime Minister and also violated the basic structure of the Constitution which is secular.
“Today is the day of victory of Hindutva and majoritarianism and defeat of democracy and secularism,” he said.
Owaisi took strong exception to Modi calling the temple a symbol of India. “A temple or a mosque can’t be a symbol of India. No place of worship can be a symbol of this country,” he said.
“The Prime Minister in his speech said he is emotional. Owaisi is also emotional because I believe in co-existence and equality of citizenship and the foundation stone of a temple was laid on the place where the mosque stood for 450 years and it was demolished by your party and your ideological organizations like the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and the so-called secular parties. I am also emotional because there are graves of Muslims around the site,” he said.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president slammed Modi for equating August 5 with August 15 and said he insulted the freedom fighters of the country. “How can a temple movement be equated with the country’s freedom,” he asked.
Owaisi referred to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement at the “Bhoomi Pujan” that the event marked the building of a new India and said this showed that the foundation was laid for a Hindu Rashtra where minorities especially Muslims will be second class citizens.
Owaisi alleged that the Congress and other so-called secular parties stood completely exposed by calling for brotherhood. “How can there be brotherhood without justice,” he asked and reminded the parties that the mosque was demolished despite an undertaking to the Supreme Court and thousands of people were killed in the riots during the temple movement.
When asked about a Karnataka minister’s statement that it would now be the turn of mosques at Mathura and Kashi, Owaisi said this could happen and referred to the statements of RSS leaders that there were 50,000 mosques which were earlier temples. “In the name of Astha somebody may take out a rath yatra, there may be communal riots, they may demolish the mosque and it is possible that a court can give a verdict in their favour.”
He advised Muslims not to lose heart and reminded them that there are millions of Hindu brothers who don’t believe in the Hindutva ideology. “We all have to work together and fight in a democratic manner to stop attempts to turn the country into a Hindu Rashtra,” he said.
Stating that once a mosque always a mosque, the MP said the fight for the Babri Masjid was not a fight for just Muslims but it was a struggle to save India.