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July 01, 2007
Organiser Home
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July 01, 2007

Page: 3/42

Home > 2007 Issues > July 01, 2007

Hindu is a bad word in secular India

THE parleys preceding the selection of the presidential nominee have proved Hindus are the new untouchables under the UPA regime. The Left parties are fanatically anti-Hindu. Sonia Gandhi?s most preferred choice for the presidency was Home Minister Shivraj Patil. The Left rejected him outright on the specious ground that he was allegedly soft on Hindutva. Quizzed for a more specific charge, a CPI leader said as Lok Sabha Speaker Patil was soft to the BJP opposition. Only a paranoid mind could think so absurd.

Dr Karan Singh?s lament was more touching. He went to the CPM headquarters and other Left leaders canvassing support for his candidature, since for long he entertained such ambitions and in the Congress party he was a serious contender. At the end of the day, he discovered that being a Hindu, that too a practicing one, was a major disqualification under the present dispensation. He complained, ?I hear it was the Left which vetoed me. I speak about Vedanta and that bugged the Left.? This comment came on a day UNESCO recognised Rig Veda as a World Heritage.

The Communists are not religious but they are parochial. Remember the raucous they created in the Lok Sabha when the DMK minister T.R. Balu announced the setting-up of a marine institute in Chennai? They proposed the name of Pranab Mukherjee because of their love for the fellow Bengali.

In the name of woman empowerment they projected the candidature of Pratibha Patil and buttressed her secular credentials citing her opposition to the Rajasthan Freedom of Religion Bill, which sought to put some checks on the evangelical activities of the church. Perhaps this was the main point that went in her favour in Congress president Sonia Gandhi?s estimation.

But within a day of her nomination the Left which enthusiastically paraded her as the new symbol of emancipation started denouncing her from a purely communal angle. Pratibha Patil, attending a function in Udaipur to mark the 467th birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap said: ?Women have always been respected in Indian culture. The purdah system was introduced to protect them from the Muslim invaders??

This statement was described as an affront to the Muslims and the Left and their inhouse historians started dishing out half-baked theories on the existence of purdah in India even before the Muslim invasion. Even the Muslim clergy jumped into the fray to protect purdah and the parties who were celebrating women emancipation immediately started parroting the virtues of the veil and its historic and religious sanctity to protect womanhood. In the brouhaha they even forgot that Pratibha Patil?s remarks had nothing to do with the veil that Muslim women wear.

They finally pressurised their honourable presidential candidate to ?apologise and retract?. This she refused, instead issued a clarification.

Their enthusiasm and commitment to protect Muslim interest knows no bound even if they sound and behave lunatic. Equally eloquent is their silence on the issue of the controversial Dalit Christian quota introduced in the Delhi University?s St. Stephens College, though it was unconstitutional and the college is entirely run on government grant. That is a different story and we will deal with it later.

Political parties in India are particularly allergic to the Hindu tag. It is fine to be Muslim, Christian, Bengali, Maharashtrian or woman. All honourable and politically correct sobriquets. But to have a Hindu identity is the undoing in Indian politics. Why is it that the Indian politician is so single mindedly anti-Hindu? Why is it that Hindu sentiments are routinely trampled upon in the public space though Hindus constitute more than 85 per cent of the population in the country? It is often the Hindu politicians who systematically undermine Hindu interests in the name of secular politics. The BJP is perhaps the only party that is not ashamed of Hindu antecedents.

Secular distortion has reached a stage in India that even people like Shivraj Patil, Dr Karan Singh and Pratibha Patil have to prove again and again that they are not all that rooted in the religion into which they were born. Secularism has not known such distortion anywhere else in the world.

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