Don’t rake up religious issues for political gains, says former Union home secretary Madhav Godbole

Godbole resigned as the Union home secretary after Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, subsequently taking voluntary retirement
The city-based bureaucrat has penned a book ‘The Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir Dilemma: An Acid Test for India’s Constitution.’(Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
The city-based bureaucrat has penned a book ‘The Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir Dilemma: An Acid Test for India’s Constitution.’(Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 06, 2020 04:17 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | By Nadeem Inamdar

Engaging in religious issues to gain public attention will distract India’s capability and development process, said city-based bureaucrat and former Union home secretary Madhav Godbole, after the foundation stone laying ceremony of Ram Temple at Ayodhya, on Wednesday.

Godbole resigned as the Union home secretary after Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, subsequently taking voluntary retirement. He held several high positions in the bureaucracy and the government.

The city-based bureaucrat has penned a book ‘The Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir Dilemma: An Acid Test for India’s Constitution.’

“I hope this is not the beginning of a new chapter. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been saying that this is just the beginning and next would be Mathura and Kashi,” said Godbole.

“Reopening religious issues affect and divides the society at large. Politicians rake up religious issues for political gains,” he said.

Stressing on the need of a political consensus among all parties regarding no changes to be made to the character of religious institutions, Godbole said, “There is parliamentary legislation and the character of any religious institution must not change and these issues must be discussed in national integration council and this body has been put in the limbo.”

“Religion must be separated from politics,” he added.

Godbole lamented that the Parliament which was supposed to keep the government in check for its excesses has failed to discharge its constitutional duty.

“Parliament as a body is non- functional and they must function to be effective in making the government adhere to the constitutional and secular principles of the country,” he said.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021