Don’t misuse religion for political gains, Brinda Karat to AAP’s currency comment

The CPI(M) leader said that the Delhi Chief Minister's remark is polluting the beliefs of millions of people.

Brinda Karat

New Delhi: Slamming Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his appeal to put Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi on currency notes, senior leader of the Communist Party of India(Marxist) Brinda Karat on Thursday asked the AAP national convenor to not misuse religion for political purposes like BJP.

Kejriwal had appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider including the images of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on currency notes in India to “improve the economic situation of the country”.

“I think he is making a mockery of religion and religious belief. There is a limit to how religion can be used as an instrument. Till now Kejriwal ji was talking about health, education, and development. Now, what is making him so desperate to compete with the BJP that he is misusing religion and religious beliefs to narrow political purposes,” Karat told ANI.

The CPI(M) leader said that the Delhi Chief Minister’s remark is polluting the beliefs of millions of people.
“I think this is a disservice to the country and people should stand up to oppose the misuse of religion for political purposes,” he added.

BJP’s national spokesperson, Sambit Patra also hit back at the AAP national convenor and said that Kejriwal’s politics had taken a U-turn.

“He’s the same man who declined to ever go to Ayodhya’s Ram temple, claiming God won’t accept the prayers offered there… he’s the same man who laughed and called exodus of Kashmiri Pandits a lie, in Parliament,” said Patra.

Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said, “Today I appeal to the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Indian currency there is a photo of Gandhi Ji, let that be, on the other side of currency, a photo of Shri Ganesh Ji and Lakshmi Ji should be put.”

The Delhi CM also clarified his position, saying he wanted images of the Hindu deities as an addition to and not a replacement of Mahatma Gandhi’s image on rupee notes and used Indonesia as an example of a country that has images of Ganesha on some notes.

“As I said we have to make a lot of effort to improve the economic situation of our country. But also with that, we need blessings from Gods and Goddesses. The whole country will get blessings if, on currency notes, there is a photo of Ganesh Ji and Lakshmi Ji on one side and Gandhi Ji on another side,” Kejriwal said in his address.

Kejriwal added that ‘the economy is passing through a vulnerable phase’.

“If Indonesia can do it; choose Ganesh Ji, so can we… I will write to the center tomorrow or the day after tomorrow to appeal for it… we need the almighty’s blessings apart from the efforts to settle the economic condition of the country,” Kejriwal said.

Lord Ganesha is inscribed on the 20,000 rupiah note of Indonesia. 

Meanwhile, India’s foreign exchange reserves during the week that ended on October 14 fell to an over-two-year low of USD 528.367 billion, a drop of USD 4.5 billion from the previous week. RBI data showed that the country’s foreign exchange reserves were at USD 532.868 billion the preceding week.

According to RBI’s data, India’s foreign currency assets, which are the biggest component of the forex reserves, declined by USD 2.828 billion to USD 468.668 billion during the week. The value of gold reserves dropped by USD 1.5 billion to USD 37.453 billion during the week.

The value of India’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) with the International Monetary Fund declined by USD 149 million to USD 17.433 billion during the week under review, the RBI data showed.

The reserves have been falling for months now because of RBI’s likely intervention in the market to defend the depreciating rupee against a surging US dollar.

For the record, the Indian rupee has been weakening over the past few weeks to hit fresh new all-time lows as the US dollar strengthened against major global currencies.

Courtesy: The Daily Siasat



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