At the Times Lit Fest, fireworks literally flew as the BJP MP Subramanian Swamy and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi engaged in a most fierce political debate that was moderated by Rajdeep Sardesai on the theme “Does India need a Ram temple?”
The debate touched upon two key points, namely, the demolition of Babri Masjid and the construction of the Ram temple, which BJP MP Subramanian Swamy is strongly pitching for with the NDA government. However, Swamy repeatedly stated that he would support the construction of Babri-Masjid mosque across the Saryu river.
When asked about rebuilding Babri Masjid, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy stated, “I am all for it. I will tell the government to build the grandest Babri Masjid across the Saryu river but not on the Ramajanambhoomi site.”
During the discussion, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi took several potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with statements like, “Modi is the Sultan of Delhi, who has issued over a hundred farmaan within two years of governance.”
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy shared his definition of ”secularism” by saying, “Secularism is when all secular activities will be done in a secular way, meaning that Prime Minister, President and MPs of this country are chosen in a secular way no matter which religion they belong to.”
When asked to define what secularism means to him, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi took a dig at BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s definition of secularism and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ”brand of secularism”‘, saying: “Secularism is not simply saying that you are a secular PM and then saying ‘Jai Shri Ram’ at rallies.”
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi added, “I am an Indian and a patriot. I have faith in the Constitution and the Supreme Court. This country has always celebrated religion and even celebrated people who do not believe in God.”
Pitching for a middle path between BJP MP Subramanian Swamy and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, the moderator suggested that a hospital for the poor be built at the Ram janmabhoomi site.