Showing posts with label communalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label communalism. Show all posts

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?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

POINT TO PONDER Present election re-defining secularism?

Present election re-defining secularism?

It is difficult to determine who is secular and who not. Actually, 'secularism' is a notion and conception which is self-assessed and self-proclaimed. What a political party or individual claims is something opposite that looks to their opponent.

It is no secret or surprise that even the Indian Union Muslim League and other political organizations whose membership is restricted only to Muslims proclaim themselves to 'secular'. They exhort other political parties not to do anything that divides the 'secular' vote, a synonym for Muslim vote.

When the 'secular' Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi called on Abdullah Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid a few days back, Bukhari too spoke of the need for unity of the 'secular' vote and to ensure that it is not divided.  Bukhari claims to be the leader of Muslims and, at the same time, 'secular. He later obliged Mrs. Gandhi by calling Muslims to vote for Congress.

Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party is another political organization that professes itself to be the 'secular' icon and, at the same time, the only protagonist of Muslims. That is why Mulayam Singh also attracts the epithet of 'Mian" Mulayam. One of the leading lights of this 'secular' hoard is its prominent leader Azam Khan and presently a Minister in UP's Akhilesh government.  On April 8, 2014 he declared that it was not Hindu but Muslim soldiers who should be credited for the Kargil victory against Pakistan in 1999 war.

In the last Bihar Vidhan Sabha elections another 'secular' conglomerate in the State declared that it would ally with the party which promises to make Muslim  the State's chief minister. To corner 'secular' votes the leader took an Osama bin Laden look-alike during campaigning in the hope that Indian Muslims would be humoured with this gesture of his to vote for his party.

Another self-acclaimed die-hard 'secular' is the Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav of Bihar who has been sentenced to five years of jail in the fodder scam, presently on bail. He too pretends openly that Muslims are with him.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar does not wish to lag behind in this 'secular' marathon. He derides other parties' professions on this score. There are many other 'secular' groups who openly appeal for Muslim community vote during  the ongoing elections and previous ones too.

In the present election to the 16th Lok Sabha and some State assemblies there is free for all, everybody scouting for Muslim votes in the open. This appeal is being vociferously made despite the fact that under the Representation of the People Act 1951 imploring for votes in the name of religion is a crime. Anybody doing so can not only be tried for violation of law but if such a person gets elected, his election can as well be set aside on this count.

Further, all this is going on under the prying eye of the too vigilant and alert Election Commission of India.

What does all this boil down to — appealing to the Muslim community for votes in the name of religion is an act of secularism and doing so in the name of non-Muslims an unpardonable crime of 'communalism'?                                   *** 

Also published in the May 2014 issue of SOUTH ASIA POLITICS monthly.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Does it not attract rod of election law?
Who calls the shots in Manmohan government?

Addressing an election meeting in a communally sensitive city of Vadodra in Gujarat, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, according to BBC Hindi (December 11, 2012), gave credit to Congress President, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, for the appointment of first-ever Muslim as the chief of the Intelligence Bureau. This only Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and no other person (even in Congress?) could do so, he claimed. (
It raises many questions. It establishes the fact that it is the writ of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi which runs in the administration and Prime Minister (for for that matter, Home Minister) are just puppets whose strings are in her hands. It also proves that the Manmohan government is functioning under some extra-constitutional authority like the Congress President who can have full powers in the organization but has no ostensive role in government.
Shinde's claim that it is only Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is a humiliation of the person selected. It gives the impression that he had no merit except the fact that he belonged to the Muslim community.  It is also a fact that he has superseded three-four officers senior to him.
It also raises a question whether any person can be selected/appointed to a post solely on the basis of his belonging to a particular religion/community?
Since Mr. Shinde has made this claim during election campaign in Gujarat, he is not only guilty of indulging in communalism and making a communal appeal to the electorate to vote for Congress, he has also violated the election law.
It remains surprising that the Election Commission has, so far, not taken note of this grave violation of law by a person none other than the Home Minister of India himself.
If the Election Commission could take action against late Bal Thackery for making a communal appeal during elections, why can't it against Mr. Shinde?