oppn parties Forked Tongues Cannot Wish Away Secularism

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
Forked Tongues Cannot Wish Away Secularism

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-12-29 13:42:48

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.