HUBBALLI – Claiming that he never opposed Ram Temple in Ayodhya but was against using it for political gain, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said he is a Hindu but opposed to Hindutva,
He even claimed that he had constructed many Ram temples in the rural areas of Karnataka.
“Were we ever opposed to the Ram Temple? Our objection is only using the temple for political gain. It should not be used against people of other faith. The BJP is using it for political gain,” Siddaramaiah was quoted by PTI as saying.
“I am a Hindu. How can I be anti-Hindu? I am opposed to Hindutva and politics around Hindu faith. All the faiths are equal according to the Indian Constitution,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.
He was replying to a query on BJP’s charge that he was anti-Hindu. BJP national general secretary C T Ravi had in the past called him ‘Siddaramullah Khan’, a name accepted by Siddaramaiah as a complement because it endorsed his secular credential.
Siddaramaiah said India has a multi-religious culture where everyone should be taken along and each one should be seen as a human being. That is what the Constitution says and we should abide by it, he said.
The Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka assembly said his party is always against those who promote communalism and do caste and religion based politics.
When asked about Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s statement questioning the RSS’ role in the freedom struggle, Siddaramaiah said no one from the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS took part in India’s independence movement.
Siddaramaiah said the RSS came into being in 1925 and Keshav Baliram Hedgewar was the RSS founder and later Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar headed the organisation.
“Did anyone of them or the RSS office bearers take part in the freedom struggle? The freedom struggle was at its peak during that period. Did they participate in the struggle? No. Please tell me that from 1925 to 1947 who all from Hindu Mahasabha or the RSS participated in the freedom struggle?” the Congress leader asked.