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Shashi Tharoor Responds to DK Shivakumar’s Statement on “We Are All Hindus”

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Shashi Tharoor said he would contest in Thiruvananthapuram if the party asked him to do so. (File)

Thiruvananthapuram:

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor backed Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Tuesday regarding his remarks about the Karnataka government celebrating the consecration of the Ram temple at Ayodhya across the state.

Reacting to a query on DK Shivakumar’s statement on Monday, in which he defended his government’s decision to celebrate the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple on January 22, saying “ultimately we are all Hindus,” Shashi Tharoor said the Karnataka leader also expressed his respect for all religions.

Talking to PTI on the sidelines of a function here, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) member said, “We respect everyone’s right to worship as you see fit, and that remains the Congress position.” He said the Congress party as such was not invited to the consecration ceremony but only three individual leaders of the party were given non-transferable invitations.

“They have announced that the invitations are for the named individuals only. And therefore it is not a party invitation. So it is for the named individuals to make a decision (on whether to participate in the function or not). Let us leave them the right to make their own decisions,” Shashi Tharoor said.

He said the Congress party was very critical of what had happened to the Babri Masjid, and he had personally written against it, which happened 25 years ago.

“But once the Supreme Court took a decision, and the Supreme Court ruled on the matter, we said that was the end of the debate. There is no point now rehashing the past. The courts have taken a decision. Of course, a beautiful Masjid must also be built to compensate the worshipers of the Muslim community and the beautiful temple has also been built,” Shashi Tharoor said.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP said he does not see the need to participate in a ‘political function’, as goes to the temples to pray and not to do politics.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, former party chief Sonia Gandhi and the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have received invitations for the consecration ceremony.

Shashi Tharoor said he would contest in Thiruvananthapuram if the party asked him to do so.

“I’m very grateful to have had the trust of the people of Thiruvananthapuram for three terms already. And it is up to the party to decide whether they’d like to ask me to do it once more. If so, I will certainly come back. I mean, I’m already here most of the time, but I will. I will be amongst the people and seek their confidence,” he said.

Referring to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the CWC member said it is going to be a battle for the soul of India. The election would decide what type of India we wanted to create for future generations, he added.

“Is it going to be in India where we focus on what unites us, where we see the common humanity in all of us, where we don’t allow ourselves to be divided by religion, by caste, by community, by language, and so on? Or is it going to be a divided India built on fear and intimidation by the government? If it is the latter, India, then many of us will feel deeply deeply that the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and all those who accompanied them in the freedom struggle are being betrayed,” Shashi Tharoor said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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