KATHMANDU, June 4: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has clarified that his involvement in a religious program at Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh during his official visit to India was only a symbol of cultural diplomacy. The PM donned ochre clothes on the occasion.
“There has been a protocol that the main guest should wear ochre clothes at the Mahakaleshwar Temple. If I had denied donning the clothes, people of India would have a deep feeling for the Prime Minister. Why should we not take it as a cultural diplomacy?” said the PM at a press meeting at the Tribhuvan International Airport upon his return home from his official visit to India. One should not be against religion in the name of secularism, he was of the view.
“I have been pro-secular since childhood. But secularism does not mean going against religion. The state should equally treat all religions. It should not support a particular religion and ignore another. I am not only a communist but also a Prime Minister. All should be brought along. It is the responsibility of all of us to honor all religions and communities.”
In another context, talking about religious tourism in Ujjain, he said the government of Nepal had focused on the development of religious tourism in Nepal.