During the inaugural ceremony of India’s new Parliament, Surah Rahman was recited

The new parliament building in New Delhi, India, was recently inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an event that stirred both praise and controversy. However, the inclusion of the recitation of Surah Rahman, a chapter from the Holy Quran, during the ceremony has sparked a heated debate, particularly considering Modi’s complex relationship with the Muslim community.

The ceremony, held on Sunday, witnessed the boycott of several opposition parties, underscoring the underlying tensions. Modi, who is known for his Hindu nationalist beliefs, has faced criticism in the past for allegedly prioritizing the Hindu majority over the Muslim population in India.

While the inauguration featured Hindu priests performing traditional rituals and chanting religious hymns, reflecting a predominantly Hindu ambiance, the recitation of Surah Rahman, a revered Islamic chapter, caught many by surprise and drew criticism from various quarters.

Detractors, including opponents of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and members of the Muslim community, have accused the Prime Minister of employing this gesture as a superficial display of inclusivity while deeper concerns regarding his treatment of Muslims persist.

Critics argue that this symbolic act alone does not absolve Modi from the broader allegations of religious discrimination that have surrounded his tenure. They point to contentious incidents such as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and his handling of the 2002 Gujarat riots during his time as Chief Minister of Gujarat. These events have fueled claims that Modi’s government policies disproportionately affect the Muslim population in India, leading to a sense of marginalization among them.

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