West Bengal Minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury on Tuesday accused the BJP of trying to create religious division in society through its Rath Yatras. The TMC government in Bengal had denied permission to the BJP for the Rath Yatras which were scheduled to begin from Coochbehar on Friday.
Siddiqullah, who is also the president of the West Bengal Jamiat-e-Ulama, stated, “The BJP’s main target is to create a division among the people on religious line in Bengal. The rath yatra is being organised to serve that purpose. It should not be allowed in the state. They want to disturb the harmony in the state.”
The Minister for library and mass education also claimed that all the steps taken by the NDA government at the Center were anti-Muslim. He said, “All the steps taken by this government is against the Muslims. Under this regime, Muslims and Dalits have been lynched.” He added, “India is a secular country and every community has the right to perform his religious activities. The BJP does not have the right to dictate us on what we should do and what we should not.”
Amusingly enough, Siddiqullah is the same person who had stated earlier that the Quran will prevail over the Constitution. Expressing his displeasure towards the ordinance banning instant Triple Talaq, he had said, “For us, our holy scripture, the Quran Sharif, is supreme and if any constitutional provision or any law contradicts the Quran, then our scripture will prevail and not the law or Constitution. BJP is playing the religion card and is playing with the Constitution. The ordinance will have no effect on Muslims. No one will adhere to it, but will follow the religion and the holy book.”
Siddiqullah perfectly captures the essence of Indian liberalism and secularism. While the BJP, the party of Hindutva, can be accused of creating religious divide for holding Rath Yatras, ministers from the Muslim community can assert the supremacy of Quran over the Indian Constitution and yet preach the virtues of secularism without attracting any attention from liberals.
The TMC minority leader has a history of controversies. He had once courted controversy after it was found that he was using a Red Beacon even though he had questioned others for doing the same. Red Beacons were outlawed for VVIPs from 1st May and since then most have complied with the order. He had also deemed the Supreme Court’s verdict on Triple talaq ‘unconstitutional’.