On 19th January 2024, Suranya Aiyar posted that she would be observing a fast from January 20 to 23 as a way to protest against Ram Temple’s consecration in Ayodhya. She posted that “With the forthcoming event in Ayodhya on January 22, the atmosphere here in Delhi, already famous for being polluted in a material sense, has thickened to a spiritually poisonous and unbreathable concentrate of Hindu chauvinism, malice and bullying.
I am deeply anguished by all this as an Indian and as a Hindu. And after thinking hard about what I can do, I have decided to go on a fast starting Saturday the 20th and ending on Tuesday the 23rd a day after the January 22nd production at Ayodhya.
I am doing this first and foremost as an expression of my love and sorrow to my Muslim fellow citizens of India. I cannot let this moment pass without saying as loud as I can to my Muslim brothers and sisters that I love you and that I condemn and repudiate what is being done in the name of Hinduism and nationalism in Ayodhya.”
The RWA Notice
Soon after a notice was posted online by the Jangpura Extension Welfare Association (JEWA)’s president Dr Kapil Kakar, dated 27th January. The letter said “A Hate speech and act by a resident like you Ms Aiyar for announcing a 3 day fast, in a peace loving locality where, mostly resident’s inhabiting here came from Pakistan after losing all their wealth and fortune is highly unfortunate.
We request you to kindly follow the norms of a good citizen and do not provoke anyone by creating hatred and mistrust amongst people.”
The notice also stated “What Ms Aiyar, said through social media was certainly unbecoming of an educated person, who should have understood that the Ram Mandir was being built after 500 years and that too after 5-0 Supreme court verdict. You might take the cover of freedom of speech but, please remember as per Supreme Court of India Freedom of Speech cannot be absolute.”
The letter ended with “And my request to Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar is to condemn the act of your daughter Ms. Suranya Ayar, which RWA will highly appreciate, since already mentioned above as it’s not in good taste for the colony and the society as a whole. In case you still think, what you have done in protesting against the consecration of Ram mandir at Ayodhya, we would suggest you to kindly move out to another colony, where people and RWA’s can turn blind eye to such hatred.”
Suranya Aiyar also posted a Facebook video clarifying that she was not a resident of the Jangpura Extention and had never received such a notice.
She said “The relevant Residents Welfare Association is from a colony where I do not live!” and that “I have not myself received [the notice], I have only heard of this from the journalist.”
She also spoke about the role of media in all this saying “I have decided for the moment not to speak to the media as right now the media in India is only spreading toxicity and confusion.”
In her post, she wrote “You all know me. I have studied, worked and done activism with people of all political backgrounds for nearly half a century now in India. So I leave my work here on my Facebook and YouTube pages for you to think for yourselves.
I am going to try and avoid a media circus as I believe that we all in India deserve better. Let us stop abusing each other and try some thinking instead. Jai Hind!”
The JEWA president Dr Kakar was also quoted by The Quint saying, “We felt that the first 2-3 minutes of the video were not in abrasive and not in good taste, which is why we sent them the letter… the letter was sent to them through registered post. It was also shared on our WhatsApp. We don’t know how it went viral.”
Another resident of Jangpura Extension spoke about how there was a “misunderstanding that there is only one RWA in Jangpura” and said “JEWA is one of the oldest RWAs, but it is not the only one which represents people of the colony… this letter is politically motivated. I do not know why this is a big problem.
People have such different views on the Ram Mandir issue. But that doesn’t mean you condemn it, and go behind her parents and ask them to leave. It’s not a society, it’s an open colony. You can’t just ask someone to leave.”
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