Line demarcating religion and state becoming thinner: Kerala CM on Ayodhya ceremony

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday sharply criticised the state role in the Ram Temple consecration at Ayodhya, saying the line that demarcates religion and state seems to be "getting thinner and thinner."
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday sharply criticised the state role in the Ram Temple consecration at Ayodhya, saying the line that demarcates religion and state seems to be "getting thinner and thinner."

Few hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the consecration of the Ram Temple, Vijayan in a message said that a time has come when the inauguration of a religious place of worship in the country was being celebrated as a state event.

"This is a major departure from the times when our constitutional office bearers have been cautioned from taking part in religious events, as it would cast aspersions on our credentials as a secular state," he said.

The CM said India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had often opined that Indian secularism means the separation of religion and state.

"We even have a strong tradition of maintaining that separation. However, of late, the line that demarcates religion and state seems to be getting thinner and thinner," Vijayan said.

Therefore, those who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of India have to ensure that every person in the country enjoys the right to profess their religion in equal measure.

"At the same time, we cannot be promoting one religion above all others, or demean one religion beneath every other," he added.

The Marxist veteran pointed out that secularism was the soul of the democratic republic of India and has been part of our identity as a nation right from the days of our national movement.

"Those belonging to different faiths and those who were not part of any religion had taken an active part in our freedom struggle. This nation belongs to all people and all sections of Indian society, in equal measure," he further said.

The CM also said that religion is a private affair and the Indian Constitution has stated that all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and have the right to freely profess, practise and propagate religion.

He called on everyone to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities.

"May India prosper further by developing scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform," the CM said.

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