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Indian Secularists Hollowness Exposed
|by Dr. Subhash Kapila|
India's vociferous votaries of secularism comprise in the main the Congress Party, the Leftists Communist parties and the others like the Samajwadi Party and Laloo Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal. They are backed up by leading English media channels and in particular some of their main anchors. Then there is a whole tribe of academics, pseudo-intellectuals, a couple of film artistes, artists and NGOs.
India's secularism had always been there down the centuries and as stressed in some of my writings that India's secularism was existential secularism. This existential secularism was not brought about by the rulers of the day by trumpeting from the ramparts of their forts or brayed from their palaces. It lay in the ancient Hindu ethos and I repeat in the ancient Hindu ethos and Hindu scriptures which extolled tolerance and respect for all religions. It was for this reason that people persecuted in other lands headed for India as a haven of tolerance.
Then what was the necessity for India's politicians after Independence to emerge as noisy votaries of this ancient heritage of India. India's Muslims who had opted to stay back in free India did so on their own volition secure in the belief that even in free India their religious freedoms would be respected and be secure. They had not voiced concerns on this account.
Then why and why again one is forced to ask the question did the Congress Party and the others in tow made India's secularism into a political credo and into a new political 'ism' when contemporary circumstances did not warrant it?
The short and simple answer is that it was done for political gain to carve out captive vote- banks in the Indian Muslims segment by inducing in them the insecurities created from myths that the emerging Hindu political voice was a threat to Indian Muslims and that the Congress Party was their only saviour. The rest of the so called 'secularists' followed suit.
The passage of time and events have proved to the Indian Muslims that in free India their only saviour is the goodwill and traditional toleranceof the majority community of Hindus and not the political parties which extol secularism only as political rhetoric.
The hollowness of India's secularists stands exposed by two recent events namely the Nandigram massacres in Communist ruled West Bengal and the hounding out from Kolkatta of the Bangladesh author Taslima Nasreen who has taken refuge in India to escape religious persecution in her own country.
In Nandigram massacre the majority of the people killed and wounded were Muslims as reported in the media and thousands had to flee from the area under attack from Communist Parties cadres with the official machinery paralysed from intervening as the ruling party cadres were involved. Nor did any atonement was forthcoming from the top rung of Communist Parties leaders for the massacre.
The Congress Party and the other political parties professing 'political secularism' and who do not waste a moment to vent their spleen on the Godhra incidents in Gujarat were noticeably silent on the Nandigram massacres. Were the Nandigram Muslims different from the Gujarat Muslims meriting different yardsticks ?
The only difference was who was ruling West Bengal and who was ruling Gujarat. Political expediency demanded that the Congress Party and the remainder tribe of secularists remained muted. Nor did one notice the Congress Party rushing there on a fact finding and succour mission. As she does elsewhere.
In the Taslima Nasreen incident she was hounded out of West Bengal by the Communist Government under pressure from Indian Muslim fundamentalist organizations who for no reasons other than political, timed their violent protests following Nandigram.
India's secularism as propounded by the Congress Party and the Communist Parties and the fundamental freedom of expression granted by the Indian State demanded that her expulsion from West Bengal did not take place. That it did from under pressure from Muslim fundamentalist organizations and the Congress Party ruling at the Centre could not prevent it exposes the utter hollowness of the Indian secularists.
Both these abhorrent events not only exposed the hollowness of the Indian secularists but also their 'split secularist psyche' as different and double standards were displayed for the sake of political expediency in both these reprehensible incidents.
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