Saturday, June 22, 2024

Ram temple: In letter to Sonia, party MP says Congress can’t chase Hindutva with its soft prototype

T.N Prathapan (left) and Sonia Gandhi (right)

In a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, T. N. Prathapan, a Congress MP from Kerala has registered his concern over the responses of Congress leaders including Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh on Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya and said the event is a “Sangh Parivar sponsored one.”

“statements of some other leaders like Shri. Kamal Nathji and Shri. Digvijaya Singhji has disappointed me a lot. There are million people who are grieving in the memories of Babari Masjid even though they are accepting the court verdict because demolition was a kind of attack to their conscience. We are including that demography also. We can’t leave them in despair. And sadly, the party has been left in defense by their statements,” Prathapan, Member of Parliament from Thrissur said in the letter.

The letter comes a day before the foundation laying ceremony of the temple at Ayodhya and hours after Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra issued a statement endorsing the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan and former Madhya Pradesh chief ministers and senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh also came out in support of the Ram Mandir.

“I think that this particular event is a Sangh Parivar sponsored ‘Religious Political’ one. If we are not invited to this, why would our leaders beg for that?,” Prathapan asked in the letter.

Many senior Congress leaders, such as Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath were upset over not being extended an invite for the ceremony.

“We can’t chase an extreme religious nationalism with its soft prototype. We need to realise this situation and should accept an alternative, immediately. That should he upon the legacy of politics of unity, harmony, and tolerance,” Prathapan MP, a former three-term MLA in Kerala Legislative Assembly and a former vice president of Congress Kerala state committee said to the party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Prathapan is also a National chairman of All India Fishermen Congress.

“Personally, I am a believer. I visit and seek blessings of Lord Sreekristma every month at the famous Guruvayur Temple. As a Hindu, Lord Ram is also an inspiration for the values of plurality. But, indeed, the Ram idol which is masculine and aggressive that Sangh Parivar has been exhibiting is not my Ram or Hindu’s Ram,” the letter reads.

Read the unedited full text of the letter:

Hon’ble President Sonia ji,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and happiness. I always pray for your well being and prosperity. All the hurdles that humanity faces these days will be gone and let us learn lessons from every such difficult time.

This is a letter that I kindly register, concern regarding the responses of some Congress leaders like Shri. Kamal Nathji and Shri. Digvijay Singhji on Ayodhya Ram Temple event. This letter is maybe a long one. But I kindly insist to read it amid your busy schedules. I strongly believe that the Assassination of Mahatma Gandhiji and Demolition of Babari Masjid were the most treacherous incidents happened in the independent India. The basic values that this country was built like secularism and pluralism had been facing a devastating future all these times. It was always Congress which held the hope of this great nation and its beautiful legacy of plurality alive.

The Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya land dispute was a hope that an era of hate politics would end by it. But unfortunately, it is going on relentlessly. We can not take any type of stakes in it. I think that this particular event is a Sangh Parivar sponsored ‘Religious Political’ one. If we are not invited to this, why would our leaders beg for that?

Smt. Priyanka Gandhi Vadraji has taken a position which is acceptable, I think, in a way as she is wishing unity in the name of temple. We certainly know that such unity wouldn’t be there as far as Sangh Parivar has power. Still, by considering the ground realities of the politics in North India especially in Uttar Pradesh, Smt Priyankaji has kept the concern and dignity in her statement.

But, other statements of some other leaders like Shri. Kamal Nathji and Shri. Digvijay Singhji has disappointed me a lot. There are million people who are grieving in the memories of Babari Masjid even though they are accepting the court verdict because demolition was a kind of attack to their conscience. We are including that demography also. We can’t leave them in a despair. And sadly, the party has been left in defense by their statements.

It is clear that we are not against any temples or any other worshiping centers. Lord Ram is a cultural idol also. I have heard that there are traditional Muslim artists who make costumes and designs for the Ram Leela processions in Chandini Chowk, Old Delhi. We are with that sentiment. Personally, I am a believer. I visit and seek blessings of Lord Sreekristma every month at the famous Guruvayur Temple. As a Hindu, Lord Ram is also an inspiration for the values of plurality. But, indeed, the Ram idol which is masculine and aggressive that Sangh Parivar has been exhibiting is not my Ram or Hindu’s Ram. There are numerous other Ram temples in Ayodhya. Most of them are known as the birthplace of Lord Ram. And all of them are having a fraternity with other religious communities. I strongly believe that a temple built by Sangh Parivar with the intentions of extreme communal politics will not be bearing the sanctity of other Ram temples built upon devotion and tolerance.

This is an unprecedented situation in which COVID-19 pandemic became a huge threat to all of us. Our country is failing to control its spread. From Cabinet ministers to common people, nobody is exceptional from this pandemic. Still, our country is performing weak and miserable. Currently. worshiping centers are shut down or controlling entries due to this pandemic. Yet our country is after such big events. And this is sad that our priority is not in the health sector. Instead, it is set upon such religious-political issues.

We can’t chase an extreme religious nationalism with its soft prototype. We need to realise this situation and should accept an alternative, immediately. That should he upon the legacy of politics of unity, harmony, and tolerance. Let Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhai Patel be our models. I believe that what ultimately matters is not the failures we face, but it is matter that we are not bowing low for the temporary successes.

I thought I should convey to the Honorable President my disagreement to those leaders in this particular matter. Congress party always had these agreements and disagreements within. Maybe these ironies are the strength of this great party. Let the best happen in the future for its legacy. And I have trust in your leadership like millions of others have faith in you.

Yours truly,

Stay safe,

TN Prathapan MP

Kerala

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