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2003: Indian Muslim Statements
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AIMMM Protests against Puja on Independence Day in Gujarat

Requests Secular Forces and Political Parties to Reaffirm Commitment to Secular Order

New Delhi, 13 August, 2003: Shri Syed Shahabuddin, President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), has issued the following Statement:

"The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) protests against the inclusion by the ever-innovative Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi, of the performance of Sahasralinga Puja and Shiv Tandav Nritya, which are purely Hindu rituals, in the official programme for the Independence Day, 2003. However, Shri Modi is not the pioneer as there have been increasing instances of performance of Hindu rituals on official functions and the Hinduisation of school culture.

In UP, a few years back, the schools were instructed to perform Saraswati Vandana at the beginning of the school day. In Gujarat itself the Modi Government had ordered all schools to perform Dharati Pujan on Independence Day 2001 on pain of punishment. The recitation of religious hymns and performance of Dharti Puja as part of the official drill at the foundation laying ceremony of public sector projects and of Hindu rituals at the inauguration of any government programme by the Ministers, including the Prime Minister, has become a routine. All these signify contradictions in and departures from the secular order.

The AIMMM looks upon these developments with concern not only as unconstitutional religious seepage across the line of separation between state and religion and as deliberate movement towards Hinduisation of the polity but also as a conspiracy to create a gulf between the state and the religious minorities.

The AIMMM requests the secular forces, including the political parties, to protest against such trends, reaffirm their commitment to secularism and to reaffirm the national consensus on non-identification of the Indian state with Hinduism which, no doubt, commands overwhelming majority in the country, as it did during 1947-1950 when we adopted our secular Constitution."

Sd/- Syed Shahabuddin
N-44, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi - 110 025 Phone: 2632 6780 Fax: 2632 7346
  Email: q



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