Stop Haj subsidy forthwith, 10-yrs long time: RSS
New Delhi: RSS has welcomed the Supreme Court ruling asking the government to phase out Haj subsidy to Muslim pilgrims and maintained that such "competitive political stunts" should be stopped immediately as it goes against the secular tenets of the country.
"To begin with, it was an unwise decision to bestow favours on one community in a nation that is pledged to treating all religions equal," RSS mouthpiece Organiser said in the editorial of its latest edition.
The article states that it required the rap of judges to end this subsidy which successive governments have only gone on increasing over the years.
"Over the years, sponsoring pilgrimage has become a competitive political stunt in India," RSS said, adding that the ten year period given by the apex court to remove Haj subsidy is too long and it should have been "stopped forthwith".
The editorial states that there was always a basic question against the Haj subsidy.
"How can a secular government pay for the expenditure of a religious ritual of believers of one sect?..... A substantial section of Muslims also opposed the Haj subsidy, terming it as unislamic to accept money to perform Haj," the article said.
It further states that this practice had tempted the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments to ask for subsidy for Christians travelling to Jerusalem.
The RSS mouthpiece goes on to suggest that the money being spent on Haj subsidy- it was Rs 826 Crore in 2009- should be spent on upkeep of pilgrimage centres across the country as only a handful of them are well-maintained.
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