People’s issues must replace communalism as political agenda

By staff reporter

Lucknow : Some concerned citizens like Acharya Jugal Kishore Sharan Shashtri and Sandeep Pandey and non-governmental organisations, Ayodhya Ki Awaz, NAPM and People's Political Front have expressed concern over communalism in politics and underscored the need for replacing communalism with the issues confronting people as political agenda.

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In a joint statement released by Nasiruddin Haider Khan here Friday, they said: "The politics which makes people fight with each other in the name of religion is dangerous and has no place in a democracy."

Elaborating the situation prevailing in the region, they remarked: "During the present times all major political parties have become victim of opportunistic politics wherein they exploit the sentiments of people on the basis of caste and religion and are ready to enter into the most unprincipled alliances to capture power. This kind of politics is funded by capitalist money or siphoned-off resources meant for the development of the people. Needless to say this is anti-people.

"The communal politics of Hindutva focused on building a Ram temple in Ayodhya has not only pushed back the agenda of development in Ayodhya-Faizabad region but also caused harm to the nation. It has spread violence and venom in society.

"Recently, head priest of Ram Lalla temple at the disputed site of Babri Masjid-Ram Janam Bhumi Acharya Satyendra Das filed his nomination to contest the U.P. Assembly elections from Ayodhya. All his ten nominators were members of the Muslim community. Although his nomination papers were rejected on technical grounds, the Hindutva organisations are now demanding his removal from the post of head priest. This demand is quite unfair. We believe that Acharya Satyendra Das is the ideal priest for the Ram Lalla temple as he also enjoys the confidence of Muslim community and is in a position to play crucial role in case an attempt is made to reach a compromise on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janam Bhumi issue. Acharya Satyendra Das has always maintained that a peaceful solution of the dispute must be arrived at which would also preserve communal harmony. It is interesting to note that Acharya Satyendra Das is the second head priest of Ram Lalla temple at this site after Lal Das who doesn't endorse the aggressive brand of Hindutva politics. People like Acharya Satyendra Das symbolise the idea of communal harmony which is supported by the majority of people of not only Ayodhya but also the whole country. The people of Ayodhya have become sick of the temple issue being used by BJP, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal again and again to gain political mileage. The politics of temple is responsible for disturbing peace as well as the economy of Ayodhya, and local people, including the Hindu Sadhus, Sants and Mahanths, quite resent this.

"The development of this region will take place only when peace prevails here. The Babri Masjid-Ram Janam Bhumi issue must be resolved as soon as possible so that the huge amount of money being spent on the security of disputed site can be put to use for development of poor people of this region.

"We need a pro-people politics centred on people's issues like poverty, unemployment, corruption, exploitation of poor people, etc. and supported by people's resources. It is to strengthen the pro-people politics and to remove unnecessary attention from the communal politics that we have decided to support the Dalit leader Ram Samujh contesting as an independent from the Ayodhya constituency in the Assembly elections."