oppn parties Forked Tongues Cannot Wish Away Secularism

News Snippets

  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
  • Searching for Rajeev Kumar, ex-CP, Kolkata Police, the CBI approaches state DGP to know about his whereabouts
  • Ferry overturns in the river Godavari in Andhra. 46 feared dead
  • Supreme Court to hear pleas on Jammu & Kashmir today
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad moves Supreme Court for ordering the government to allow him to visit his family in J&K
  • GST Council meeting to focus on leakages and evasions, expected to tighten processes, especially regarding input tax credit
  • Finance minister, citing figures for July 2019, says that industrial production and fixed investment is showing signs of revival
  • Amit Shah's comment on Hindi as the unifying language draws the ire of MK Stalin and Siddaramaiah. Stalin says the country is India not Hindia
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Forked Tongues Cannot Wish Away Secularism

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The feeble apology that Anant Kumar Hedge issued in Parliament for saying that the BJP was there to change the “secular” nature of the Indian Constitution does not compensate for the mischief he has done. The Indian constitution is not dependant on the cosmetic “secular” inserted in the preamble in 1976 for its secular nature. Once the founding fathers had decided to make India the home for all people residing in the country at the time of Independence, the secular nature of our society and polity were ensured and locked. The constitution only recognizes and reinforces, in each of its chapters, that there are different religions, castes, communities and tribes living in this country and provides that each of them can maintain their separate identity while entrusting the government with the responsibility to ensure equality and safety of each of these groups, regardless of their number and the strength of each.

So how does Hegde think his party can ‘change’ the Constitution? Does he think that the BJP will rewrite the same? For long, ever since K B Hegdewar founded the RSS and propounded a theory of nation-building radically different from that of the Congress, it is the dream of his followers to turn India into a Hindu rashtra. While there is no harm in generating a spirit of nationalism in Hindus by uniting them as a community, telling them that India is just their nation and all others are outsiders and usurpers is not the way this great nation can be built. If Muslims, Christians and all non-Hindus who reside here did not feel India was their country, they would have left at the time of Independence. That they chose to stay here was as much because of their love for the nation as due to the assurance of the founding fathers that India would be a secular nation that would not discriminate against them.

There is a huge mismatch between what Prime Minister Narendra Modi says and what his fawning underlings propound. While Modi beats the drums for ‘sabka saath sabka vikas,’ his ministers and other party leaders give the impression that sabka means only of all Hindus and minorities are excluded from the grand vision of growth the prime minister has. No one, except for some political parties, wants the minorities to be unnecessarily appeased. But no one, except for some Hindutva hardliners, wants them to be crushed either. The strategy Hedge employed might be good for consolidating Hindu votes (as he was speaking in poll-bound Karnataka), but it is tearing apart the social fabric of India. The BJP must recognize that neither does it have the sanction of all Indians to do whatever it feels like nor has it been elected for eternity. Instead of following party agenda, the government must do what is good for the nation. Spreading hatred is definitely not. Apology is all right, but the likes of Hedge must be told to keep their forked tongues in check and if possible, to rectify their diseased thinking.