I am not an atheist, declares CM siddaramaiah

Chants ‘Jai Shri Ram’ with public, says slogan not anyone’s private property; Throws open Rama Sita Lakshmana Temple
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurates the Rama Sita Lakshmana temple and the 33-ft statue of Lord Anjaneya, in Hirandahalli, near Bengaluru on Monday.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurates the Rama Sita Lakshmana temple and the 33-ft statue of Lord Anjaneya, in Hirandahalli, near Bengaluru on Monday.(Photo | Express)

BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who did not declare a holiday for the consecration of Ram Lalla at Ayodhya on Monday, made a point that he is not an atheist. He inaugurated the Rama Sita Lakshmana Temple and the 33-ft monolithic Anjaneya Swamy statue at Hirandahalli village of Bidarahalli hobli in Mahadevapura in Bengaluru East.

Chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram!’ along with the public, he said the slogan is not someone’s private property, but belonged to every devotee of Lord Ram. He also participated in the Maha Kumbhabhisheka organised by the Sri Rama Temple Trust, which built the temple.

“God does not accept worship if you are unrighteous (adharma) and inhuman, and worship in a dramatic manner. The ideal of Sri Rama is that all people should live with equality and love,” he remarked.

Claiming that he is not an atheist but a believer in God, he said he has built a temple for Sri Rama in his village. ”There are temples for Rama in villages across the state, and everyone worships Rama according to their faith,” he said. No religion preaches hate based on caste and religion, and Sri Rama was a social person, as he valued the words of even a madiwala (washerman) and went into exile to keep the promise he had made to his father, Siddaramaiah elaborated, adding that Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Sita and Anjaneya cannot be separated as they are family members.

“Rashtrakavi Kuvempu’s aspiration of Karnataka as a garden of peace for all races lies in the ideal and personality of Sri Rama. The message of Ramayana and Mahabharata is that man should not hate man. Valmiki, who belonged to a scheduled caste, wrote the Ramayana and gave it to the world. Basavanna said God is present in our soul and body,” the CM said, and cited ‘vachanas’.

Ministers Byrati Suresh and Eshwar Khandre, BJP MLA Manjula and her husband, former ministers Aravind Limbavali and HM Revanna, and CM’s political secretary Govindaraju were present.

‘Condemn campaign against Congress’

CM Siddaramaiah said he condemns the propaganda that the Congress is against Sri Rama, and said the Ram Mandir should not be politicised as Sri Ramachandra is the god of all Hindus and not just the BJP. “We (Congress) are also devotees of Sri Ramachandra. BJP is trying to project that we are against Sri Rama and it is not right to slander us,” he told reporters here. “Mahatma Gandhi used to recite Raghupati Raghava Rajaram and even breathed his last, saying ‘Hey Ram’.

Replying to a query on a holiday for the Ram Lalla consecration, Siddaramaiah maintained that many states, including Delhi, Punjab, Telangana, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala had not declared a holiday on Monday. “Building a Ram Rajya was our dream. Five guarantees implemented with the objective of realising it are successful today. Life will be meaningful if we follow Rama’s ideal, Hanuman’s loyalty. Best wishes for the inauguration of Sri Rama Mandir in Ayodhya,” DCM D K Shivakumar posted on ‘X’.

BJP using Ram temple as poll plank, says Siddu

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday accused the BJP of using the Ram temple as an election issue and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain to the people the status of the implementation of BJP’s election promises, including doubling farmers’ income. The CM mentioned “I Modi is a true devotee of Ram, he should tell people how many of the promises made to the people of this country through the BJP election manifesto were implemented and how many are yet to be implemented”. “In your election manifesto, you promised to double farmers’ income. But what did you do for this?” he questioned Modi. “You have not doubled the income of farmers, nor have you given drought relief to drought-stricken farmers. Similarly, you promised to build a cooperative union for the empowerment of all the states. But, today the states have also been robbed of their fair share. Along with this, you have increased cess and surcharges.”

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