CPI MP opposes Doordarshan telecasting 'religious function' in Ayodhya, writes to I&B minister
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Ayodhya on August 5 for the "bhoomi pujan" ceremony to begin the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
CPI MP Binoy Viswam has written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, opposing the telecast of the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Doordarshan as it would be "contrary to the accepted norms of national integrity".
In his letter to Javadekar, Viswam said section 12(2)(a) of the Prasar Bharati Act, which governs the functioning of Doordarshan, clearly states that the objective of the national broadcaster is "upholding the unity and integrity of the country and the values enshrined in the Constitution".
"As the national broadcaster for a country that is founded on the principles of secularism and religious harmony, the use of Doordarshan to broadcast the religious function at Ayodhya on 5th August is contrary to the accepted norms of national integrity.
"In a secular democracy, state practice and organisations must be kept devoid of religious inclinations and attempts must be made to ensure that the religious sentiments of all communities are respected," the Communist Party of India (CPI) leader said.
Given the historicity of the dispute over the land where the religious function is to take place, it would be mature for the government to resist the "attempts to politicise" the issue and ensure that the secular image of the country is not compromised, he added.
Viswam further pointed out that as a broadcasting channel governed by an arm of the government, the use of Doordarshan to telecast the religious function in Ayodhya must be avoided.
"As the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, it is incumbent on you to ensure that the organisations under your leadership uphold the constitutional values that govern our country," the Left leader said.
The "bhoomi pujan" ceremony of the Ram temple in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya on August 5 will be telecast live on Doordarshan, trustees of the temple said on Sunday.
(With PTI inputs)