Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Uttar Pradesh, Harnath Singh Yadav raised the issue of "arbitrary and unconstitutional provisions" of the Places of Worship Act 1991 in Rajya Sabha on Monday (5 February).
“The Places of Worship Act 1991 says that the character of every place of worship as of 15 August 1947 cannot be changed, except Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. This law violates principles of equality and secularism defined in the Constitution," he said.
"The Act stops judicial review, which is a foundational feature of the Constitution. It also enforces an arbitrary and illogical cutoff date that reduces the religious rights of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains," Yadav added.
"This law implies that the forceful encroachment by foreign invaders on Gyanvapi, Shri Krishna Janmoabhoomi and other temples is right. It differentiates between Lord Ram and Lord Krishna while both are incarnations of Lord Vishnu," he said.
Asserting that there cannot be two different laws for two similar situations and that the doors of courts cannot be closed for any citizen, he reiterated that the law is unconstitutional and negatively affects the country's religious harmony.
Recently, Govind Dev Giri Maharaj, the treasurer of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, had called on the Muslim side to voluntarily relinquish control of the Gyanvapi and Mathura mosques to facilitate a peaceful resolution of disputes.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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