‘Secular’ political parties have initiated a concerted campaign against the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony to be conducted at Ram Janmabhoomi on the 5th of August. Suggestions have been made that the ceremony should be conducted through video conferencing and others have suggested that Prime Minister Modi should not attend it. Now, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has also entered the fray.
In an interview with Outlook Magazine, Asaduddin Owaisi said that Narendra Modi should clarify whether he is attending the event in his official capacity or as an individual. He said the same thing on Twitter and claimed that attending the event as the Prime Minister would violate his constitutional oath as secularism is part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
Attending Bhumi Pujan in official capacity will be a violation of @PMOIndia‘s constitutional oath. Secularism is part of the Basic Structure of Constitution— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) July 28, 2020
We can’t forget that for over 400 years Babri stood in Ayodhya & it was demolished by a criminal mob in 1992 https://t.co/qt2RCvJOK1
During the same interview, Asaduddin Owaisi also claimed that the nonexistent disputed structure at Ram Janmabhoomi will always remain a Mosque. He said, “Babri Masjid is a mosque and it will always remain as one. This is my faith. That cannot be taken away from me or anyone.” He added, “As far as Muslims and people who believe in justice are concerned, we will keep telling the new generation that our masjid was demolished. It doesn’t matter if our voices are suppressed. We will tell it in our own way.”
Asaduddin Owaisi remained insistent that faith had won over facts in the Ayodhya verdict. However, he appears to have mellowed down since the day of the verdict. He said, “Now that the Supreme Court has given the final verdict on Ayodhya, we have to accept it. As former CJI J S Verma rightly said, “the SC is supreme, but not infallible’’.”
The greater concern for the AIMIM supremo as of now appears to be the Place of worship Act 1991 which was recently challenged in the Court. The Act forbids the conversion of a place of worship and provides for the continued maintenance of the religious character of a particular place of worship as it existed on the 15th of August, 1947. The said Act is considered by to be the biggest impediment towards the reclamation of Kashi-Mathura.
Asaduddin Owaisi is of the opinion that the BJP government could repeal the Act. He told Outlook, “Yes, they can do it. They have the majority in the Parliament and it is as simple as that. If that happens, we will definitely take the battle to the courts. If Article 370 can be removed for Jammu and Kashmir, the same can be done by the BJP. Stripping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was a constitutional breach by the BJP government.” he also said that the Kashi Mathura case should be thrown out of the Court.
Asaduddin Owaisi was fiercely critical of the Ram Janmabhoomi verdict but he appears to have reconciled himself to the inevitability of the construction of a Bhavya Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. However, it is quite clear that he will not stop complaining about it any time soon.