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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wherever temples were destroyed, they should be rebuilt: Goa CM Pramod Sawant

The BJP leader says his government has budgeted funds for renovating temples destroyed during Portuguese rule, adding, ‘We have to take people from the beach to the temple’.

Written by Deeptimaan Tiwary | New Delhi |
Updated: May 22, 2022 5:32:13 pm
Goa CM Pramod Sawant (File)

As the Gyanvapi mosque case is in court, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said all the temples destroyed in the past must be rebuilt. He said that in his state, he had made budgetary allocations for renovating temples destroyed by the Portuguese.

“In the 450 years of Portuguese rule, there was a destruction of Hindu culture and many people were converted. Temples of the state were destroyed. We are going to rejuvenate all of this. What’s wrong in that? I believe wherever there are temples in destroyed condition, they should be rebuilt. This is my firm opinion,” Sawant said, adding that his government had already budgeted funds for temple renovation.

Sawant said that beyond the beaches, the state government was promoting cultural and spiritual tourism in the hinterland and coaxing people to visit temples. “In every village, there are a couple of temples. We have to take people from the beach to the temple,” Sawant said.

As many states discuss a uniform civil code (UCC), Sawant said Goa already has it in place. “I say proudly that Goa has been following a uniform civil code since its liberation. I believe all other states must follow the UCC. We have discussed the Goa UCC with other chief ministers also,” he said.

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Prafulla Ketkar, editor of the RSS mouthpiece Organiser who was interviewing Sawant, said Goa’s uniform civil code should be part of the discussions because if it had not affected the minorities there, people elsewhere should not be scared.

Sawant also sought to blame the then government for the delay in Goa’s liberation. “India got independent in 1947. Goa achieved liberation in 1961. I wish to ask who is responsible for this 14-year delay. This should be discussed on an open platform. People from across the country struggled for the liberation of Goa and had to take bullets from the Portuguese. That should also be discussed,” he said.

Sawant said that the government was also working on restarting mining in the state, which has been banned since 2012. He said the state would become self-reliant in the next five years.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to stay the proceedings before a Varanasi court on the issue of the Gyanvapi mosque even as it asked the district magistrate to secure the area where a shivling was claimed to have been found during a videographic survey of the mosque without impeding Muslims’ rights to access and offer namaz at the mosque.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha, hearing an appeal by the management committee of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, said there was a lack of clarity on whether the trial court, in its May 16 order, had directed only protection of the purported ‘shivling’ or also granted the other reliefs sought– to restrict to 20 the number of Muslims who can enter the mosque and offer namaz, and to stop the use of the wazukhana for ablution.

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