<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session II (Winter Session) </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session II (Winter Session) Wednesday, December 22, 1999/Pausa 1, 1921 (Saka )

Title: Regarding construction of Temple by the Hindu Jagran Manch and Vishwa Hindu Parishad in the Dang and Surat Districts of Gujarat.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The `Zero Hour' is over now.

SHRI SURESH KURUP (KOTTAYAM): I want to raise an important matter. I have given a notice also.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Many hon. Members have given notices.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI SURESH KURUP : Sir, a very serious situation is prevailing in Gujarat.

MR. CHAIRMAN: This is not possible. You can raise it tomorrow.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI SURESH KURUP: Sir, this is a very sensitive issue. The shilanyas is going to take place.

SHRI MANI SHANKAR AIYAR (MAYILADUTURAI): Sir, secularism is a part of our Constitution. There is an assault on our Constitution taking place in Gujarat as well as Karnataka. You may extend the `Zero Hour' by a few minutes to enable us to raise this issue. ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: He can raise it tomorrow also.

SHRI MANI SHANKAR AIYAR : There are some issues that cannot wait and the protection of secularism is an issue which cannot wait.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Shri Kurup, you may please finish with a very brief mention.

SHRI SURESH KURUP (KOTTAYAM): The Government of Gujarat has allowed the Hindu Jagran Manch and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to go ahead with the shilanyas in a village neighbouring Surat. The site is a disputed one. ... (Interruptions) The entire Christian community has protested against it. For quite some time the Sangh parivar has been targeting the Christian community in Gujarat. ... (Interruptions) It was during the last Christmas season that in the Dang district of Gujarat, the Christian community was attacked. ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: You please finish it now.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI SURESH KURUP : Churches were systematically attacked there.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please take your seat.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI C.P. RADHAKRISHNAN : This is a non-issue. They want to make an issue out of it. ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, I cannot allow a debate on this now.

SHRI MANI SHANKAR AIYAR : Sir, please give me a few minutes to associate myself.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right, you just have to associate yourself.

SHRI MANI SHANKAR AIYAR : I will do it in one sentence.

SHRI C.P. RADHAKRISHNAN : This is totally a non-issue. They are trying to project the Government of Gujarat as an anti-Christian Government. This will create unnecessary tensions between the Christians and the Hindus. ... (Interruptions) This is an evil design to create tension all over India. This should not be allowed. ... (Interruptions)

Sir, he is asking who I am. I am a Member of Parliament. He should know that only Members of Parliament can enter the House. ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: You please take your seat.

SHRI RAJIV PRATAP RUDY (CHHAPRA): Mr. Chairman, Sir, under what rule is this going on?

MR. CHAIRMAN: I now call Shri Indrajit Gupta.

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MR. CHAIRMAN: I cannot allow everybody now. This is not a debate.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI INDRAJIT GUPTA (MIDNAPORE): Will you please listen for a minute? You are going on talking all the time with all the Members. ... (Interruptions)

I am saying that incident to which a reference has been made and has been widely reported by all sections of the Press is something that

will contribute to communal tension apart from anything else.

Anything which contributes to communal tension in this country deserves the attention and the concern of the House, especially, in light of what has happened recently in Gujarat. Several such incidents have taken place. My hon. friend here seems to think that nothing has taken place. According to him, these are our inventions. The Member says that it is a non-issue. If it was a non-issue why did the Prime Minister go there? I would like to know it. It is a matter of great concern. We only wanted to know the exact position because the Gujarat Government has done something which in my humble opinion should not have been done if it did not want to contribute to this escalation of communal tension. That is why we are very anxious to see that this matter is resolved.... (Interruptions) The Home Minister is here.

MR. CHAIRMAN : I cannot direct the Minister to react.

SHRI MANI SHANKAR AIYAR : I wish to associate myself to what has been said by Shri Suresh Kurup.... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Minister, would you like to say something?

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