'Not the only issue in India': IUML says 'move on' after Ayodhya event
The ground-breaking ceremony at Ayodhya for the construction of the Ram temple is over, and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) is now caught up in the same fix they had been in when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992.
The ground-breaking ceremony at Ayodhya for the construction of the Ram temple is over, and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) is now caught up in the same fix they had been in when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992. While the social media is flooding with a hashtag campaign saying, “I don’t belong to the 130 crore Indians referred by (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi as proud to have the temple in Ayodhya,” the IUML is being heavily criticised for its delay in responding to the situation.
Speaking to The Federal, IUML’s organising secretary ET Mohammed Basheer said those who are using this opportunity for political gains, want the community to go on discussing this issue. “Such discussions on the Ram temple will only lead to communal polarisation. The League does not want to do it now,” he said.
The Muslim League was heavily criticised for its ‘strategic silence’ when the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992. “But we still stick to the political stand we took during that time; even those who criticised us now agree that we were right. Kerala stood calm and there was no bloodshed due to our mature response,” said Mohammed Basheer.
The Babri Masjid is going to be a non-issue for the Muslims in Kerala, according to him. “We stand defeated, that is a reality. We don’t agree with the Supreme Court verdict, but we’ll have to realise that it is done and over. We need to move on. Babri Masjid or Ram temple is not the only issue in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s statement, welcoming the bhumi pujan, has put the IUML in a tricky situation, and it is facing criticism for being docile to the Congress. The League’s leadership, however, has expressed displeasure over Gandhi’s statement. “What she said is very much out of place and does not go with the political stand taken by the Congress over years,” said PK Kunjalikkutty, state general secretary, IUML.
The League, however, has no discontent with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s statement on the issue. “We agree with him. He said that Rama embodies love and hate has no place wherever he exists. We are not against one’s right to believe in Lord Rama,” said Mohammed Basheer.
For the IUML, the Congress is their only alternative though they had committed errors in the past. “There are many regional parties that are secular, but when we come to the totality of Indian politics, the Congress is the only light that we could see at the dark end of the tunnel,” said Mohammed Basheer.
However, the party is very much embarrassed due to the series of statements by Congress leaders like Kamal Nath and Priyanka Gandhi in support of the Ram temple. “We don’t agree with any of these Congress leaders, including Kamal Nath who move away from the party’s secular practices,” he said.
The bhumi pujan, or the ground-breaking ceremony, for the upcoming Ram temple was held in Ayodhya on Wednesday (August 5) in the presence of PM Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The Supreme Court had last year laid to rest the dispute over the site where once stood the Babri Masjid, paving the way for the construction of the Ram temple.