The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) has declared its decision to abstain from the upcoming ceremony for the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. In an official announcement on Tuesday, the party revealed that its General Secretary, Sitaram Yechury, would not be present at the consecration ceremony scheduled for January 22. The CPI(M) alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were transforming a religious event into a tool for political advantage.
Vrinda Karat, another prominent leader from the party, emphasized that they would not participate in the event due to its politicization by the ruling party. The CPI(M) leader expressed respect for the religious freedom and beliefs of individuals but cautioned against the merging of religious ceremonies with politics, citing the potential weaponization of religion.
It’s worth noting that Sitaram Yechury had received an invitation from the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust the previous week. While Congress leaders, including president Mallikarjun Kharge, former party chief Sonia Gandhi, and the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, have also received invitations, the party has not yet disclosed its stance, promising clarity on January 22.
In response to the CPI(M)’s decision, Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi criticized the Left leaders, asserting, “The invitations have been sent to all. Those called by Lord Ram will only reach Ayodhya for the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of the Ram Temple.” Lekhi’s comments reflect the ongoing tensions between political parties over the intersection of religious events and political agendas.
A political party’s decision to boycott the ceremony in Ayodhya raises questions about its approach to religious sentiments especially to a particular one. By choosing to stay away from the consecration ceremony, the party seems to be playing into a narrative that pits religious ceremonies against political ideologies.