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Thursday, April 18, 2024

“Apologize or Vacate: Mani Shankar Aiyar and Daughter Receive Threats Amidst Ayodhya Protest Fast”

India"Apologize or Vacate: Mani Shankar Aiyar and Daughter Receive Threats Amidst Ayodhya Protest Fast"

In an affluent South Delhi neighborhood, a homeowner’s association has demanded an apology from former Congress minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and his daughter, lawyer Suranya Aiyar, for her fasting at home in protest against the perceived triumphalism surrounding the inauguration of Ayodhya’s Ram temple. The alternative presented was to “move out.” This vigilante action garnered support from the BJP, with BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya characterizing it as “a message for everyone.”

Suranya Aiyar, responding to the demand, stated that she neither lives in nor owns or rents any property in the mentioned neighborhood. She learned about the demand only through media reports and had not received any communication from the homeowner’s association. On January 19, she had posted on Facebook, expressing anguish over the growing atmosphere of Hindu chauvinism and intimidation in Delhi due to the upcoming Ayodhya event. She announced her decision to go on a fast as a protest against what she perceived as the misuse of Hinduism and nationalism in Ayodhya.

Aiyar’s concerns were fueled by communal incidents during temple celebrations across India, despite the Prime Minister’s call for humility during the inauguration. She criticized the event in Ayodhya as a “celebration of wickedness, a desecration of Hinduism, and an affront to our civilizational heritage.” She fasted as an act of protest and sorrow.

As she began her fast, Delhi police issued an advisory against hooliganism and unauthorized rallies during the celebrations. The president of the Jangpura Extension Welfare Association, Kapil Kakkar, wrote a letter to both Mani Shankar Aiyar and his daughter, condemning Suranya Aiyar’s actions as a hate speech. He urged the former minister to disassociate from his daughter’s protest and suggested that if they still wished to oppose the Ram temple consecration, they should consider moving to another locality where such views might be more acceptable.

Attempts to reach the former minister for a response were unsuccessful. Amit Malviya, in support of the homeowner’s association’s stance, tweeted the letter, emphasizing it as a message against disrespecting Hindu beliefs. Other political parties have not publicly reacted to the incident.

Kakkar clarified that the letter was sent by registered post and stated that it wasn’t an eviction notice but a request for an apology or relocation. Suranya Aiyar, in response, announced her decision not to speak to the media, citing concerns about the toxicity and confusion spread by the media in India.

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