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Biased governance

Filed on December 6, 2014

In July 2012, the state government of Gujarat had cited Article 27 of the Indian Constitution before the Supreme Court to claim that it was not liable to pay for reconstruction of religious monuments as the constitution forbade the government “from imposing tax for promotion of a religion”.


This is in response to the news report titled ‘Damage to Muslim shrines violation of minority rights’ (KT, November 28). The Gujarat government’s attitude towards payment of compensation for reparation of religious monuments destroyed during the 2002 Gujarat riots (numbering over 500 and mostly belonging to the Muslim community) has once again exposed its communal nature.

In July 2012, the state government of Gujarat had cited Article 27 of the Indian Constitution before the Supreme Court to claim that it was not liable to pay for reconstruction of religious monuments as the constitution forbade the government “from imposing tax for promotion of a religion”.

At present, the state government has offered to pay a minuscule amount of Rs50,000 for each monument, which has been categorically rejected by the Islamic Relief Committee, Gujarat. Ironically, Gujarat government’s former chief minister and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi had once proudly announced at a rally held on September 9, 2002, that his government had sanctioned Rs80 million for the development of the Bahucharaji Devi Temple.

When flash floods struck Uttarakhand in June 2013, Modi stepped out of his ambit and requested the then chief minister Vijay Bahuguna to give the task of the reconstruction of Kedarnath Temple to the Gujarat government.

While the Gujarat government maintains a benevolent attitude towards Hindu temples by sanctioning funds and voluntarily offering reconstruction, it has been highly biased in its duty towards Islamic monuments. However, this should not come as a surprise to anyone because the history of Bharatiya Janata Party is well known.

The political rise of the BJP is courtesy its role in the demolition of Babri Mosque in Ayodhya where they seek to construct a grand temple.

With the BJP in power at the Centre, the safety of minorities is definitely under suspicion. The communal riots in New Delhi’s Trilokpuri area and the burning down of the St. Sebastian Church in the city are a testimony to the growing communal unrest under the BJP regime.

Saif Ahmad Khan, by email

This letter expresses the personal views of the author and does not reflect the opinion of Khaleej Times.


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