India is a secular country. We wish politics not to have anything to do with religion and our faith not to get polluted with politics. It is a different matter if the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, by whose name our ?secularists? swear so often said: Politics without religion is like a body without a soul a corpse which must only be buried or consigned to flames.
At the same time, we have complete freedom of thought, belief and expression. That gives us the freedom in the conduct of our family and social affairs. That is why while being secular in our public behaviour, we can be otherwise in our individual and personal life and in family. Simultaneously, we also wish politics not to come in clash with our family affairs. We may belong to different political ideologies, but as a family we continue to be one, a single united entity. This gives people belonging to a single family the liberty to play on different political turfs without any domestic conflict. But when it is a matter of inheriting the political legacy and heritage, it becomes one'sprivate property to be inherited by the clan alone. We have two different, divergent principles, one for the family and another, quite the opposite, for politics and people.
We, in politics, have messiahs of the dalits, other backward classes, minorities, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. They are ready to stake their political career for their well-being at great personal sacrifice, although they know it for sure that such sacrifices have a basketful of rewards, political and electoral. These sections, for them, are then supreme and all other things secondary. We have Shri V.P. Singh, the messiah of the Mandal castes, minorities, those who have encroached upon government lands and constructed jhuggi-jhompris on unauthorised lands and what not. Then we have Shri Arjun Singh who too claims to be no less a messiah of the minorities. He is ready to reap a bumper politico-electoral crop by sowing the fields of politics with the seed of sacrifice of merit and the career of the intelligent in favour of reservation on religious basis.
Both V.P. Singh and Arjun Singh have many things in common too. Both belong to the erstwhile ruler families; the first known as the Raja of Manda in UP and the other Raja of Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. Both had their political grooming in Congress culture whatever may have been their role during the freedom struggle. (It is a different matter if his personal and political ambitions inspired Shri V.P. Singh to rise in revolt against late Rajiv Gandhi and Congress on Bofors issue, which has now become irrelevant for him and he wishes to forget it.)
Another similarity is that when it comes to the marriage of their sons and daughters, the dalit and minority messiahs never look beyond the royalty. The latest is the report of the likely engagement and marriage of Mr. Arjun Singh'sgrandson with the royal Nepal Rana family princess who was in the centre of controversy over the royal carnage that catapulted the present King on the throne. May the couple live in happiness and peace for ever!
The principles and morals in politics of these feudal rulers fetch them votes and power they otherwise lost with the ushering in of democracy in the country. Yet, they continue to be glued to the grooves of royalty providing them feudal grandeur of the past they can never shed even after 58 years. They may re-write the country history to secularise it; but they cannot afford to secularise and democratise their royal mindset. True also. Family and political principles should always remain apart, as long as they fetch them fortune both in politics and family.