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‘Disrespecting Sanatan Dharma is against the Constitution,’ Union Minister says Congress’ stand not clear


In the latest development concerning controversial comments on Sanatan Dharma, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal has put the spotlight back on the Congress party. Meghwal emphasised the need for clear articulation from the Congress on its stand regarding Sanatan Dharma, asserting that those in constitutional roles should uphold respect for all faiths.

Meghwal, while speaking to ANI, shared his concerns about unclear statements from Congress leaders like KC Venugopal, Karti Chidambaram and Priyank Kharge. According to him, these statements have not been able to clarify the party’s position on Sanatan Dharma unequivocally. As per Meghwal, disregarding the principles of Sanatan Dharma contradicts the Indian Constitution.

“We believe people holding constitutional positions should be respectful of all religions. Disrespecting Sanatan Dharma is against the Constitution,” he said.

This comes against the backdrop of comments made by DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin that sparked a political row. Although Congress’s KC Venugopal did step into the debate, his input left questions unanswered.

The Congress party, as per Venugopal, follows the principle of ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhava’ – signifying the equality of all religions. He notes that all parties are free to express their perspectives on religious matters.

Priyank Kharge, son of Mallikarjun Kharge, had also weighed in on the issue. “Any religion that does not promote equality or does not treat you like humans is as good as a disease,” he argued. “Any religion that does not promote equality or does not ensure that you have the dignity of being human is not religion.”

When asked for clarification, Kharge said he was referring to religious discrimination and underscored his allegiance to the Constitution. He added that he was not bothered by the possibility of legal actions against him.

(With ANI inputs)

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Updated: 18 Sep 2023, 07:00 AM IST

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.