Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued a statement on reasons why the party’s General secretary Sitaram Yechuy rejected the invitation to attend the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. In a statement issued on Tuesday, December 26, the CPI(M) said the party respects everyone’s right to believe and practise any religion of their choice.
“The CPI(M) policy has been to respect religious beliefs and safeguard the right of every individual to pursue their belief. It believes that religion is a personal choice and not to be converted into an instrument for political gain. Therefore, we will not be attending the ceremony,” the statement by the party’s Polit Bureau said.
The statement also drew attention to how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) converted a religious event into a state-sponsored one. It said, “It is most unfortunate that the BJP and RSS have converted a religious ceremony into a state sponsored event directly involving the Prime Minister, the UP [Uttar Pradesh] Chief Minister and other government functionaries. A fundamental principle of governance in India as reiterated by the Supreme Court is that the state in India, under the Constitution should have no religious affiliation. This is being violated by the ruling regime in the organisation of the event.”
Babri Masjid, built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur in 1528 was demolished by kar sevaks belonging to Hindu majoritarian outfits on December 6, 1992. The demolition, which happened as a result of a concerted Ram Janmabhoomi movement, resulted in communal riots over months which led to over 2,000 deaths. The Babri Masjid has been a contested site since 1885 as religious leaders and Hindutva outfits considered it to be Ram Janambhoomi or the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.
A legal fight ensued in 1950 when Gopal Visharad Sharma approached Faizabad district court for the right to worship idols of Ram Lalla, which were placed there in 1949. On September 30, 2010, the High Court in a 2:1 majority, ruled a three-way division of the disputed area between the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Nine years later in 2019, the Supreme Court granted the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to deity Ram Lalla and directed the Uttar Pradesh government to allot five acres of land to Muslims for building a mosque. Though the Supreme Court referred to the mosque's demolition as "an egregious violation of the rule of law," the verdict was criticised for accepting the logic of "faith over fact" and granting legal possession of land to those responsible for the demolition.