Guv's call for reopening places of worship ill-timed

Updated: 16 October, 2020 07:34 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

This opinion piece has always warned against unnecessary pressure on governments to open religious places.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari

It is hugely unfortunate that a war of words has broken out between the governor and the chief minister of Maharashtra over the reopening of places of worship.

The contents of the letters, in the public domain after being reported about, read like bickering and potshots between political parties rather than between two persons holding such important positions in the state.

This opinion piece has always warned against unnecessary pressure on governments to open religious places. Religion being such a highly emotive and fractious issue, it is inevitable that politicians will try to push buttons or pretend to be overly concerned about people when it comes to opening religious institutions.

It is despicable to try and whip up sentiments by holding morchas and dharnas at places of worship. Visiting holy places is not a certificate of how religious or devout one is. There is a real danger in opening up all such institutions considering COVID numbers.

This is a poor attempt at scoring political brownie points and actually drives a wedge in the society when we need unity, smooth functioning and the realisation that we are fighting a big and still relatively unknown adversary. It is completely shocking that leaders and political representatives call each other names and question ideologies, using the opening up of religious places as an excuse.

While trading of barbs and accusations is part of the political discourse, using the virus as a trigger for a battleground needs to be condemned.

One needs to look at the welfare of the people, the crowds that had gathered in some places because of festivals and the state of our frontline workers before mindlessly calling to open up, BJP. This is a shameful and ill-timed exchange that has been started by the governor, one that this state fighting COVID, could have done without.

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First Published: 16 October, 2020 06:32 IST

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