Writers, activists back Maharashtra Chief Minister's decision not to open places of worship

Over 100 persons, including Nemade, fellow writers Rangnath Pathare and Shanta Gokhale, anti-superstition activist Mukta Dabholkar and banking sector activist Vishwas Utagi wrote a letter to Thackeray, expressing their support.

PTI
MUMBAI: Writers including Jnanpith recipient Bhalchandra Nemade and several activists on Friday came out in support of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's decision not to reopen places of worship in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Over 100 persons, including Nemade, fellow writers Rangnath Pathare and Shanta Gokhale, anti-superstition activist Mukta Dabholkar and banking sector activist Vishwas Utagi wrote a letter to Thackeray, expressing their support.

The chief minister is facing criticism from opposition BJP which is pressing for reopening of temples. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had recently written to him, questioning his Hindutva ideology for refusing to reopen temples and other religious places.


"Your government is already facing the challenge of getting the wheels of economy moving, and you faced another pressure from the governor himself for opening religious places," the letter signed by Nemade and Pathare, both eminent Marathi novelists, and others, said.

"Even Article 25 of the Indian Constitution empowers the government to prioritise health over religious issues. We strongly object to reaping political benefits out of people's faith. If religious places are opened, it would pose a major threat to people's lives," the letter stated.
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