People can follow whatever religion they like but should not offend other faiths: Athawale

Last updated: October 09, 2022 at 7:33 p.m. IST

A video clip showing AAP Delhi Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam at an event where hundreds made a pledge to convert to Buddhism while Hindu deities were denounced went viral.  (File Photo/News18)

A video clip showing AAP Delhi Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam at an event where hundreds made a pledge to convert to Buddhism while Hindu deities were denounced went viral. (File Photo/News18)

Athawale condemned the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over a controversial religious conversion event, saying the party should be taught a lesson, claiming that its leader and Delhi Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal has often spoken out against the Hindu religion

Union minister and BJP ally Ramdas Athawale said Sunday that while people have a constitutional right to follow the religion they like, they should not defame or insult other religions.

He condemned the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for a controversial religious conversion event and said the party should be taught a lesson, claiming that its leader and Delhi Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal has often spoken out against the Hindu religion.

“I condemn this incident. Insulting other faiths goes against the spirit of the Constitution that BR Ambedkar gave us. It envisions harmony between all religions and Ambedkar has always been in favor of it,” Athawale said. Noting that he is a Buddhist himself, the Republican Party leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi also believes in the philosophy of Buddhism and the ideals espoused by Ambedkar.

After a video clip showing Rajendra Pal Gautam, the minister of AAP in Delhi, at an event where hundreds made a pledge to convert to Buddhism while Hindu deities were denounced, the BJP went viral and has targeted the party taken. Gautam had noted that the vows made at the event were part of the 22 vows Ambedkar took when he converted to Buddhism. He later apologized when the BJP targeted the AAP.

Athawale said: “People have a constitutional right to follow the faith they like, but they should not defame or insult other faiths. It is not good. This is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. The constitution given by Ambedkar is for harmony among all religions.” Hindus are like our brothers and it is not appropriate to speak against their gods, he said, adding that he has always worked to bring people of different religions together.

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