Here I speak
With General Elections 2014 just around the corner, political parties are not likely to have time to consult a dictionary. But it would serve at least the Congress party well to consult one, to check the meaning of the word ‘secular’ that it keeps brandishing as its USP in a multifaith country like ours.
According to the Oxford dictionary, the word ‘secular’ have nothing to do with any spiritual or religious matters. If so, then what was Sonia Gandhi – president of the nation’s largest ‘secular’ party’ Congress, actually attempting to do on April 1 when she met a delegation led by: Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari. Will her appeal to secure Muslim votes through the Shahi Imam be called a secular effort or was it tad bit…..?
The courting of the Bukharis by the Gandhis is not new, it has a history too. Thirty-five years ago, in 1979, relations between the two had become bitter due to the actions of Sanjay Gandhi against the community during the Emergency. Later, both Mrs Indira and her son Sanjay Gandhi had gone to Jama Masjid and apologised to the then Shahi Imam, Abdullah Bukhari.
The Jama Masjid’s Imams’ in this perspective do not qualify as secular leaders. The Shahi Imam is the religious leader of the Muslim community and his influence extends only to Muslims. If being secular is what the Congress projects itself to be, why was then the Congress president meeting and appealing for votes from a particular community’s leader, especially when the model code of conduct had been imposed in view of general elections?
And what are these so-called ‘secular’ votes that Mrs Gandhi was appealing for, from the Imam? Votes of Muslims, isn’t it? Does it then mean that, the Muslim votes are secular and Hindu votes communal? One needs to think.
The Congress party, ever since India became independent, has worn the cloak of secularism and in its guise, has played dirty communal politics. And this is not a mere right wing rant; evidence cries loud to justify the claims made.
Consider this: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address at Vigyan Bhawan, sometime back, had said, “The first right on the resources of this country belongs to Muslims.” It’s a shame that country’s top most leader openly made a statement that defied the Constitution of India. The document that governs us clearly says that nobody is above anybody in this country, and all are equal before law.
Equally shocking is the fact that Mrs Sonia Gandhi reaches out to a religious leader, who had openly said a few years ago, “I’m a supporter of Osama bin Laden.”
As a common man, an aam aadmi may I ask, “Where are we living, in India or Afghanistan or Pakistan?”
It is evident that Congress party is as communal as any other avowed communal party of this country. Here are some more facts that bear testimony to the said: During the 1969 communal riots in Ahmedabad, in which more than 512 people were killed and many thousands were killed in the entire state in the unrest spanning over six months, the ruling party was Congress.
Can we forget the infamous October 1984 riots in Delhi in which 2733 Sikhs were killed- which was a Congress-led genocide on India’s minorities? Or the 1983 communal violence in Nellie, Assam; the 1989 Bhagalpur riots and the Dec 1992 – Jan 1993 Mumbai riots, in which thousands of Indians from all religious background were killed. It was Congress to dismay who was the ruling party in all these states when the riots took place.
How many more riots the Congress party wants us to witness to make us realise, that the secular veil is just a way of covering their hands drenched in ‘bloody politics’?
In light of these facts, the Congress’ attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the 2002 riots in the state rings absolutely hollow. And the Congress motor mouth Digvijay Singh should take a look at the above quoted figures before accusing Mr Modi.
While commenting as usual after the BJP manifesto was released, Digvijay Singh recently said that “The BJP is a confused party on whether to side with the Right-wing religious fundamentalism or with socialism”. If Mr. Singh was insinuating that voting for Congress implied voting for socialism, then the Congress-led rule of the country for a majority of years since Independence have not brought about any equality in India. Instead, Congress rule has only made the rich richer and rendered the poor poorer, whether Hindu or Muslim; Congress rule has only broadened the divide between India and Bharat.
What the Congress is not realising despite its desperation to seek Muslim votes (which it calls secular votes), that the community has begun to see through the dirty politics of the country’s largest party. The Imam’s younger brother, Syed Yahya Bukhari, who is the president of the Jama Masjid United Forum, has himself criticised the Shahi Imam, for meeting the president of a party that has betrayed the trust of Muslims. He said that the Congress rule has only “Restricted Muslim growth and weakened it. It is the most communal party in India… and maximum mass killings and riots have happened during the Congress regime.”
In view of the above, Congress should stop garnering votes in the name of its secular credentials. It is a communal party in disguise, and as communal as it blames other political outfits to be. It’s high time the party stalwarts become aware of the definition of secularism, as is given in the Indian Constitution.
(The opinion expressed in this column is solely that of the writer – Nameless Indian)