Jai Guru Deva!
Among several myths that were busted by Indian Elections of 2014, there is a tacit message to the politicians: "We ARE middle class; we PAY taxes for the common good of this country but not safeguarding secularism or any other ism that sound politically romantic; you better meet our expectations or GET LOST!" This message is clear and unequivocal. This blog post is a postmortem analysis of why and how secularism as a political argument failed to attract the masses and why today secularism is treated as unpatriotic, anti-national and synonymous to minority appeasement. As a close observer of Indian politics I am trying to chronicle ten instances which enhanced secularism as taboo. Years passed since some of these incidents yet I allude to them as they had successfully created a negative psyche about secularism among the Indian masses.
1. Manmohan singh's Minorities first comment:
As the prime minister of world's largest democracy Manmohan Singh was expected to articulate his stance and opinions on various issues. Albeit special instances he didn’t bother to do that in his decade long stay at 7 RCR New Delhi. But one such instance where he was very talkative was about the first right of minorities on the resources of this country. He failed to understand that the social landscape of this country has changed drastically in the last couple of decades and saying that somebody should have a preference only because of birth is neither understood nor condoned by the masses.
2. M F Hussain problem:
Padmavibhushan awardee M F Hussain was never a congenial personality but the kind of support he enjoyed in the print and electronic media irked a lot of Hindus. Lets accept that religion is a sensitive issue in India and attacking one religion and claiming the championship of liberalism-pluralism etc would make no sense. M F Hussain himself accepted in 2006 that he ran away to Qatar because of the legal advice which effectively means he ran away from this country failing to defend himself before the court of law. Prima Facie he is a fugitive of law. Actually, Mr N.Ram of The Hindu had written a detailed article how and why M F Hussain is champion of liberal thinking. However, many an Indian didn’t shared the same view. By supporting such person with all the enthusiasm in the world, mainstream media only did a damage its own credibility.
3. Batla House Encounter:
A brave officer of the Delhi Police had laid down his life discharging his duties as the law enforcement officer and at the time of elections union minister Salman Khurshid says Sonia Gandhi had shed tears knowing that muslims are killed in the Batla house encounter. By giving such an irresponsible statement, Mr. Khurshid had belittled the sanctity of valour displayed by the brave officer. This was one of the outrageous statements supporting terrorists in the name of secularism. Indian public just did not accept this.
4. Threat from Bangladeshi immigrants:
It is an open secret that muslim immigrants from Bangladesh are changing the socio political landscape of bengal and assam. Reluctance of so called secular parties to take any action against the immigrants is shocking to say the least. Counting them as their vote bank to retain power is perhaps the lowest pedestal which the secular parties can touch. They did not even have the courage to acknowledge that the problem is turning chronic and some action is the need of the hour.
5. Homage to OBL by Indian Muslims:
After Osama was killed by the American Marines, there were reports in electronic media that several mosques have held special prayers for him. Even the Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid went on record saying that as a muslim he will pray for Osama. What message are these people giving? Did they ever bother to think about the implications of such a reckless and regressive statement? If Osama's death needs sympathy as a muslim his philosophy deserves the tag "Islamic Terrorism", Period!
6. 26/11 and the nonsense:
As the country is regrouping after a great tragedy called 26/11 one of the ministers of Maharashtra Govt. went on saying "Small things happen in Big Cities". Not less than 183 people have lost their life and a responsible minister says its a small thing. My Foot! This is perhaps a classic case of adding insult to injury. Though the minister was temporarily ripped of his minister status he was reinstated within few months. This whole episode sent a message to the public: "Whatever happens, this is the way we are and we dont change!"
7. Anti Hindu rants by Owaisi, Karunanidhi et al:
This is perhaps the most telling part of secular parties. Every Tom Dick and Harry makes controversial rather insulting comments about Hindu religion, Hindu Gods etc and gets away in the name of freedom of speech. Karunanidhi asks "In which college did Rama studied Engg?" Definitely not the one benami owned by his nephew or grand nephew. And Owaisi says we will clear India of Hindus within 15minutes forgetting that it was a Hindu doctor who treated him when a fellow muslim sent an array of bullets into his chest. However, more disgusting part was the apathy of Hyderabad police to take any action against him. It was after the outrage in social media that the FIR was lodged against him. What an irony!
Majority of Hindus didnt take these as stray incidents and perceive them as a systematic assault on Hindu identity. When the culprits of these heinous acts proclaims themselves as secular, naturally all the wrong doings of these individuals are attributed to that ideology.
8. Media, Internet Hindus etc:
Sagarika Ghose coined a word "internet hindus" demonizing the hindus in the name of plural thinking and diversity. I wonder if she had the courage to say Islamic Terrorism when the country reeled under the series of bomb blasts. More significant point to note is the over enthusiasm of media personnel to malign hindus and hindu religion. There was an article in CNN IBN claiming the pre Narasimha Rao era slow growth rate of India as "Hindu" rate of growth. The channel might cry foul saying the word was invented by some economist. However, my question is, doesnt the media have any responsibility while discharging their duties? particularly when dealing about sensitive things like religion.
9. Only Gujarath policy:
The secular parties always used the Gujarath riots as the reason for terrorism, reason for growing extremism in muslim community. But they conveniently forget that the riots were started by the local muslim corporator who had planned the killings of karsevaks in the Sabarmati Express. It should be noted that there was a purchase of dozens of litres of kerosene few days before the incident and the coach was locked from outside to ensure that the karsevaks have no chance of escape. Not many people supported the riots and loss of lives (both hindus and muslims), but by pointing out to the same thing again and again the secular parties lost their mileage very soon. Thus ended with the perception of "Cry Foul" parties.
10. International Politics:
All the barriers of secular baton are keen to criticize Israel and support the demand for separate palestine country. The communist approach of holding Israel alone for the bloodshed of middle east is seen as "Islamic Communism" and it lost its steam as social media became very active in establishing the terrorist acts done by Arab terrorists. In this context, I want to recall that as many as ten Arab nations did not agree to lower their flags when Israeli athletes were killed by Arab terrorists in Munich Olympics. This just shows the level of hatred the arabs have towards Israel and they expect Israel to be reasonable to them. How silly!