Ram mandir pran prathistha event should be channeled towards unifying country Fareed Zakaria

Indian-American journalist and foreign policy expert Fareed Zakaria hoped the Ram Temple inauguration ceremony can be channelled in the direction of unifying the country rather than dividing it.

Speaking to India Today News Director Rahul Kanwal on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Zakaria said Hinduism was the most tolerant religion in the world.

On the ‘pran pratishtha’ of the idol of Lord Ram in Ayodhya on January 22, Zakaria said, “I am delighted, and I feel a certain Indian pride in seeing that…that kind of outpouring of positive sentiment. I just hope it can be channelled in the direction of unifying the country rather than dividing it.”

The consecration ceremony at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and over 8,000 dignitaries from all walks of life, including saints, are expected to attend the event.

Zakaria said India has always been a traditional society but was still “very patriarchal”.

“Women’s participation in the labour force in India is lower than in Saudi Arabia. That’s a very traditional home structure… What has happened is that this has been encouraged, politicised, even weaponised,” Zakaria said.

While he said that people should take pride in their religion and culture, the journalist underscored that the task of “leadership is to find a way for people to take pride in themselves without putting other people down”.

Zakaria, who is also a political commentator and author, said the BJP was “part of a political project to make Indian Muslims feel like second class citizens”.

“That’s unfortunate because I think the greatness of Hinduism has always been its incredible pluralism and tolerance. Hinduism is the most tolerant religion in the world. You can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian. You can believe in one God or three gods or a hundred. There’s so many of these passages in the Rig Veda that are extraordinary in their generosity of spirit,” he said.

Published By:

Abhishek De

Published On:

Jan 15, 2024

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