Prominent Dalit leaders condemn fund raising drive for Ram Mandir construction

By Gowtham K

Gulbarga: Opposing the fund collection drive launched by Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust for the construction of Ram Temple at the site where 450 year old Babri masjid was stood in Ayodhya, senior Dalit leader Gurushant Pattedar said the BJP-led government’s move to collect funds for this was unconstitutional.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, the Dalit leader said that PM Modi was collecting funds from common people through the trust in the name of constructing Ram temple. “The government should neither collect funds from citizens nor allocate budget for construction of the Ram Temple,” he added.

The government should instead focus on using public funds for the comprehensive development of society, Pattedar said.

As any union government in the past hadn’t worked for the interest of any community in common by provoking others, here the ruling BJP was attacked by the senior leader by skinning out the union government’s evil intention.

Many rural areas in India are still devoid of basic facilities such as roads, schools, hospitals, Pattedar said, and urged the government to spend funds on establishing hospitals, school buildings, residential hostels and irrigation projects.

Other political leaders and Dalit organizations also criticized fund drive terming it ‘unconstitutional”.  Dalit outfits are at the forefront in condemning this provocative door to door fund raising campaign. Member Parliament from Tamil Nadu and VCK chief Thirumavalavan has condemned the drive in the strongest possible terms who is highly critical of the Supreme Court verdict on the Babri masjid- ram mandir dispute calling it an act of injustice to Muslims.

Meanwhile, many analysts questioned the drive pointing out that huge wealth was amassed allegedly by the Sangh Parivar before and after pulling down the historic mosque in December6, 1992 in Ayodhya by “karsevaks” whom Liberhan commission called them as “Hindu militants”. The Commission had inquired about the demolition of the Babri masjid.

They said there is no dearth of money for the construction of a temple.

Political observers see the fundraising campaign as a deliberate attempt to foment communal passions of people in order to divert their attention from burning issues such as skyrocketing prices of essential commodities and failure of the BJP-led governments and in many states.

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