Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Secularism' redefined?

Secularism' redefined?
By Amba Charan Vashishtha

Today's (May 11) The Statesman carried a news saying that Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, the head of the All-India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) pads for 'secular forces' to join hands to prevent BJP from coming into power in Assam.
It is an irony — and to a great extent, hypocrisy — if a person like Ajmal claims himself to be a 'secular'. Though nobody, not the Constitution  and even courts, have so far defined secularism, yet if people like Ajmal claim themselves to be 'secular', then god save this pious concept.
Reality is that many political parties which have confined their membership to one community, like the Indian Union Muslim League and others, claim themselves to be 'secular' outfits while they condemn BJP, RSS, Shiv Sena and others who join hands with NDA as 'communal'. This is true of JD (U) even. Till JD (U) was having a coalition government in Bihar with BJP and had joined NDA government at the Centre, both BJP and RSS were not 'communal' for it. But when for political and electoral opportunism, JD (U) snapped its about 18-19 years old political-cum-electoral association, BJP and its allies instantly became rank 'communalists'.
The fact of the matter is that practically every political party, except the Congress, has at one time or the other shared power with or got outside support of BJP — the same BJP whom they today condemn as 'communal' and, to a great extent, untouchable.
Late V. P. Singh had no qualms of conscience to accept the outside support of 'communal' BJP to occupy the chair of Prime Minister which, he knew, he  could never without it. But the moment it withdrew support, it became 'communal'.
In the sixties during the Samyukta Vidhayak Dal governments formed in various State, even communists shared power with Jana Sangh, the earlier avtar of BJP of today. BJP, it looks, becomes 'secular' and 'communal' to these 'secular' parties depending upon whether they need it for power or not.

When will our political parties stop befooling the public on the issue of 'communalism' and 'secularism' with their hypocritical conduct?

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