Excessive Secularism As Dangerous As Religious Fundamentalism
The title of this post actually appeared in a news report. The statement is an important one but it will be buried in those corners where reality is usually buried. It is borrowed from Mark Tully, the British journalist who is as much Indian in spirit as any other. It is a statement he made at a launch function for his book ‘Non-stop India’ at Chennai on December 14. Here’s the full quote from The Hindu’s report: “Excessive secularism, which feeds the fire of people who like to present India as a country that does not respect its majority, is just as dangerous as religious fundamentalism, Mr. Tully said”. Why does it take a British journalist to state the obvious? The Indian mainstream media does not even want to touch or discuss this issue at all. More of this later.
Let me first pick on Ms.Cacofonix herself. In her latest article, “Our time starts now”, in the Hindustan Times (December 14), Sagarika Ghose laments the inability of the ruling class to adapt to a fast-changing world. She then asks if Indians are still afraid of change. The ruling class did change, didn’t it? They introduced the concept of secularism, twisted it, misused it, abused it, banked on it – all in the name of change and equality!
In another post of mine about Shashi Tharoor’s idea of secularism I had mentioned that in India secularism means don’t offend muslims. There is another side to it too. The one that goes all out to please muslims, break or bend all laws and rules applicable to other citizens for the muslims, dole out excessive concessions to muslims for votes. This is what secularism has come to mean: Appease muslims at any and all costs to the nation’s fabric.
Yesterday, December 13, was the 10th anniversary of the attack on the Indian Parliament. The politicians and media are still debating why Afzal Guru, the master-mind of the attack hasn’t been executed in accordance with the SC order. Is the answer so hard to find? Quite simply, the Congress party is unwilling to administer justice to a muslim perpetrator of mass murder. This will not happen anytime soon considering elections to Uttar Pradesh and a few more states are around the corner. Hmmm, that brings elections into focus. That also means another round of excessive secularism. Salman Khurshid has announced plans for a further reservation in Central govt jobs for muslims. This is followed by Rahul Gandhi’s assurance to muslim clerics that Madrasas will be kept out of RTE Act. This is being offered despite the fact that many madrasas are funded by the govt. And the media? They are busy just announcing this as grand election strategies instead of condemning such actions as politics of appeasement, vote-bank and a blot on secularism.
The consistent propaganda by the Congress, the leftists and the media has reached such levels that unless you are willing to dress up in muslim garb, wear a skull cap or join prayers in their dargahs you are not a confirmed secularist. Celebrity journalists are even past writing about this horrendous crime being committed by politicians by damaging the concept of equality of citizens under a democracy. Reservations as a policy is now half a century old and has produced very little progress among those whom it was intended for. And then media celebs like Sagarika Ghose talk about change and modernisation. People like Kancha Iliah talk about excising the Vedas. Take one look at Rahul Gandhi, a man-child who has nothing intelligent to say or no real programme to offer, but the media hangs on to his every word as if it were gospel. Has the culture of slavery to the dynasty in the media changed? No, not at all. They still crawl when asked to bend. Barkha Dutt frequently asks why muslims are being stereotyped. Haha! Take that for intelligence of a journalist! You sport a beard, sometimes without a moustache, a long flowing Kurta, wear a skull cap – sure, I could mistake you for a Christian priest. Then all the black or white burqas and veils, I could mistake them for Jain women, wouldn’t I? And when such media celebs find time they are busy brokering cabinet berths so when will they find time to talk about appeasement or secularism? That’s where a journalist from outside sees facts for what they are; the dangers of excessive secularism.
It took a Britisher, Richard Attenborough, to make a full length feature film about Gandhi. It took yet another Britisher, this time journalist Mark Tully, to point out the folly of excessive secularism. In the same report by The Hindu I quoted earlier, there is another observation that Tully makes that will be remain buried in a corner where truths are usually buried: “Noting that even at the bitter height of Partition, India did not slip into becoming a Hindu nation, Mr. Tully said Hinduism in fact had a lot to do with India’s pluralism”.
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