Reopening places of worship: Maha Guv talks of ‘Hindutva’; CM Thackeray focuses on saving lives
Maha Guv wrote to CM Thackeray appealing to reopen open places of worship. He asked if the CM has turned ‘secular’ to which Thackeray retorted saying ‘secularism’ is an integral part of Constitution
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has informed Governor B S Koshyari that a decision on reopening places of religious worship will be taken after careful consideration of the COVID-19 situation in the state.
Responding to a letter by Koshyari a day earlier, Thackeray on Tuesday wrote to the Governor, saying the state government will consider his request to reopen these places.
“You have been a strong votary of Hindutva. You had publicly espoused your devotion for Lord Rama by visiting Ayodhya after taking charge as Chief Minister. You had visited the Vitthal Rukmini Mandir in Pandharpur and performed the puja on Ashadhi Ekadashi," Governor Koshyari had written in the letter as quoted by NDTV.
"I wonder if you are receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of places of worship time and again or have you turned 'secular' yourselves, a term you hated?" the letter further read.
To which, Maharashtra Chief Minister retorted saying that he doesn’t need a validation of his Hindutva from the Governor and that the secularism is a key component of the Constitution. "Isn't secularism a key component of the Constitution, by which you swore while taking oath as the state governor," Thackeray said.
Responding to the Governor’s letter, Thackeray also wondered if to Koshyari Hindutva meant merely reopening places of religious worship and if not opening them was to him being secular.
The chief minister also mentioned that as imposition of lockdown suddenly was wrong, so will it be to lift all the restrictions suddenly.
"While considering the sentiments and beliefs of the people, it is also important to take care of their lives and it is wrong to impose and lift lockdown suddenly," he said in the letter.
In his letter, Governor Koshyari had mentioned that he has received three representations from delegations demanding that places of religious worship be reopened.
In response, Thackeray pointed out that it was a coincidence that all the three letters Koshyari mentioned were from BJP office-bearers and supporters.
An RSS veteran, Koshyari has been BJP's vice president and first president of that party's unit in Uttarakhand, where he also served as chief minister.