Guest post by T.R. Ramaswami
A hotly debated recent subject is secularism and the statement that the minority vote is so important that it will decide the fate of any election. You cannot have “secularism” and the concept of a “minority vote”. This is an insult to both, the minority and the majority. It implies that the minority individuals have no will of their own and are no better than a herd of buffaloes. But there is one more angle. If the majority voters are about 70 crores (80% of the voters) and the minority is only 12 crores then how does the majority allow the minority vote to be the deciding factor? So here is a clarion call for the majority. Come out to vote. This call is not to ask you to vote for this or that party but ONLY TO VOTE. After all in a democracy the majority decides and what it wants prevails. Right? And remember – if the majority does not vote then it has no right to wail or complain that the minority is deciding the polls. They will. And bad netas are elected when good citizens do not vote.
SECULARISM – THE WAY AHEAD
With elections just begun, some of the recent balderdash relating to ‘secularism’ needs to be clarified. “Secularism’ means that the state does not sponsor or have an official religion and all citizens are allowed to practice any religion of their choice. But the state unfairly supports some religions by way of subsidies. There is also another important religious choice like NOTA – Atheism. In fact atheists are the most secular. But secularism has been made political by first introducing the word in the Constitution during a turbulent time – the EMERGENCY. Were we not secular from 1947-1975? India is not secular because that word is there in the Constitution. It is there because the majority in this country belongs to a secular religion. Show me one country in the world which has a minority religion of more than 10% and is secular. If we are secular then we need a secular civil code. Let us formulate one and throw it open WITHOUT COMPULSION to all Indians. There are many who want to boot the religious clergy of mullahs, bishops and purohits out of their lives. In one generation religion will cease to be a vote garnering issue.
MOST SECULAR CONGRESS LEADER
In the media and electoral brawl on secularism, minority votes, etc people seem to have forgotten the most secular leader of the Congress. Unfortunately his death changed the course of Indian history. Many Hindus and even members of the RSS and BJP shed copious tears on his death and the minority heaved a sigh of relief. He was so secular that he would have put the RSS and BJP to shame making them look like boy scouts. The secular leader – Sanjay Gandhi.
I write with reference to the letter “An Appeal to the Secular” (ET 8 Apr 2014) signed by Achin Vanaik and many others. This letter represents the height of unsecularism and a biased hypocritical view. Such a letter should not name anyone, but it chose to – Narendra Modi – for the so-called progrom of 2002. Where were these worthies when Sikhs were slaughtered in 1984? Was that secular? And even more Muslims – estimates are between 30-50 thousand – were slaughtered in 1948 after Operation Polo. The Sunderlal Report is still under wraps like the Henderson-Brookes Report. Was Sonia Gandhi’s sucking up to the Imam secular? Would you have remained silent if Modi had met the Sankaracharyas? Now will you have the decency and fairness to publish this letter or confirm your true colours which you have revealed by publishing the above referred letter?