December 14, 2007

Secularism derailed ???

December 15, 2002

This mad rant by Seema Mustafa suggests that the 'secularists' have been trounced in gujarat. If as she says erstwhile VHP and Bajrang Dal activists are now infiltrating the Congress, it is all for the good. So Hindutva will become part of both the parties and soon no one will dare use and anti-Hindu platform. We will then have true nationalism both in the ruling and the opposition parties.

I take the derailment of secularism as a positive development.

N.S. Rajaram

http://www.asianage .com/presentatio n/leftnavigation /opinion/ opinion/seculari sm-derailed. aspx
Secularism derailed

Seema Mustafa

It is almost unreal. This should have been 2002, but it is 2007 in Gujarat. What the Congress should have done in 2002 after the violence had consumed 2,000 souls, and left a trail of death and destruction, it is doing now in 2007, almost as if the five intervening years never happened. And the Congress just woke up, one fine day, to pick up the threads of 2002 without a word as to where it had been all these years, and why it had left the ground to the Ugly Indian (read Narendra Modi) and his men to convert into a one-team playing field.

There are those who will say and are saying better late than never. At least, there is a fight now, and the Congress is trying to give the Ugly Indian a run for his dirty money. It does not matter that it did not raise the issue for five years, it does not matter it is seeking help from those who were leading the mobs against the minorities at the time, the means do not matter, the end does. And the end is that the Ugly Indian must be defeated at all costs. But if this argument is to be accepted, then it is also to be accepted that the Ugly Indian is a charismatic leader for many in his state, has a special appeal for the women and the youth, and has a support base that makes him taller than other leaders in the BJP and the RSS, and indeed the Congress, within the state. So does that mean he has the legitimate right to continue in office, even though he has the blood of hundreds on his hands?

Democracy, they say, is what the people want and in Gujarat the people think they want the Ugly Indian. Otherwise, there is no explaining the crowds who endorse his every question with passionate shouts, who publicly call for executions, who assure the man that he is the best, and that he is their leader, not the BJP, not the RSS, not anyone. So if one accepts the argument that the fight in Gujarat is between secularism and communalism, then one will have to accept that the people of the state are communal as they are endorsing Modi and the violence that killed and traumatised thousands in 2002.

These arguments are fallacious. Gujarat is not communal. The Ugly Indian is communal, indeed, fascist. The Congress is not secular, as it is not waging a strictly secular fight in the state. It is taking the help of those who stood beside Modi and encouraged the mobs to kill the minorities in 2002. The Bajrang Dal man known for the victimisation of the Christian minorities in Dangs is the Youth Congress president. The former home minister who had personally sat in the control rooms to ensure that the police supported the killing mobs is one of the cheerleaders for the Congress in this campaign. These people will extract more than a pound of flesh after the elections. They are not in the game to dispense charity. And through it all, the minorities who have suffered through the years are still too scared and traumatised to think for themselves.

Secularism is a political ideology. And the task of political parties who take the oath under the Constitution of India is to make it a way of life. And until it is understood as such, the so called secular political parties like the Congress can only weave an uneasy, patchwork truce that will feed into the right, and strengthen the communal forces even if it manages to keep them out of power temporarily. One does not have to go too far back in history to demonstrate the truth of this statement. The Shah Bano judgment strengthened the Muslim fundamentalists in the short run, but eventually the communal agenda was hijacked by the Hindu fanatics who used the concession given by the government to the minorities on this issue to whip up passions over the Babri Masjid issue. The flirtation with the communal forces by the Congress leaders at the time did not make the communal forces secular. On the other hand, it shifted Congress politics to the right, infused it with a strong dose of communalism, and ensured that the party was never again able to take any decision free from fundamentalist influence.

It has taken the Congress five long years to enter the fray in Gujarat. Incalculable damage has been done in the meanwhile by the communal forces in the state that were able to operate freely, without any opposition. The secular voices were trampled in the process, with the Congress unable to muster the courage to lead from the front. The constant looking over the back approach, for fear of alienating one or the other vote bank, cost not just the party but also secularism in Gujarat, with the communal forces taking hold of every institution in the state. The victims of the 2002 violence have been virtually wiped out of existence, with their lives destroyed and no help even today in sight. No one is talking of their future, they barely exist in this campaign. The "merchants of death" epithet has been a little late in coming for the Ugly Indian, and the Prime Minister certainly did not add to anyone’s sense of confidence when he said that the people had been at the mercy of the BJP with only God to turn to. Where was the Congress? Where was the Central government?

Even now the Congress is contesting these elections, as a senior journalist from the state said, with an eye on everything else but the people of Gujarat. The elections are a launching pad for Rahul Gandhi; the elections are to convince the country about the strength of Sonia Gandhi; the elections are to tell the Muslims that the Congress has the courage to fight the Ugly Indian; the elections are to get the green card to proceed with the India-US civilian nuclear energy agreement; the elections are to get the space to pursue policies despite opposition from the Left and others. That is why it is so important to win, and that is why the Congress has opened its doors for every communal character to walk in and pick up one of the hundreds of secular badges lying around for consumption.

If the elections had been for secularism, the Congress would have contested these differently. For one, it would not have hesitated for even a second to take the plunge in 2002, regardless of the consequences. Two, it would have redoubled efforts to win over the people of the state long before this election was held. It would have worked to rehabilitate the victims of the violence, it would have stood by the oppressed and the victimised, it would have worked with the tribals and the adivasis, and it would have held meetings, seminars, conferences to spread secularism as the only doctrine capable of defeating the Ugly Indian. It would have hit Modi where it hurt, and exposed him to his people as a megalomaniac, peddling development for personal gains, and using religion to divide and kill. The same Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and what have you, all the Congress "stars" should have proved their worth and their commitment to Indian democracy by seizing Gujarat as a challenge and putting their entire strength into isolating and defeating the Ugly Indian and the forces he represents.

This is not happening now. The Congress might win, or lose, it will still remain at best a fractured verdict. The politics of Modi is not on trial, as it should have been. It cannot be as those who were part of his politics are now with the Congress, and do not regret the 2002 violence. The fight appears to have become personal, although to be fair, this is not how the Congress wanted it to be. But it should have expected it, considering the fact that many campaigning for it today admit that they are with the Congress because of the personal characteristics of Modi that they cannot tolerate. He, on the other hand, appears to be revelling in the criticism, as it gives him a chance to project himself more and more aggressively.

This would not have been the position had the Congress worked in Gujarat from day one, and instead of using the elections to score brownie points used it as a battleground for secularism. A campaign for development, for justice, for equal rights, for dignity and respect — all ingredients of secularism — cannot be waged through last minute, opportunistic alliances. It has to be taken carefully and yet firmly into the state, particularly one as corrupted as it has become under the Ugly Indian, with his distortions and falsehoods and doctrine of hate, over the years through a decisive campaign that has little to do with electoral victory but more to do with saving the nation.

If this had been done by the Congress, victory today would have been solid and real. The Ugly Indian would have collapsed, never to walk again.


Anonymous said...

This Seema Mustafa is an Islamic propaganda spinster. If her definition of secularism is where one community by virtue of their numbers gets preferential treatment than that is not secularism and that is not worth protecting. India was created as a place where all religions get equal standing, not a place where the majorities rights are trampled for the minorities. You can never hear a Muslim apologise for the riots they have ever caused, like the innumerable riots in Hyderabad, etc. They will try and condecend towards Gujarath as if the case there was something they have not done numerous times themselves. They are more willing to believe that the police instigated the mobs than that the Muslims torched the railway coaches that started it all. They cant express their surprise, shock and bewilderment at the fact that Hindu's didnt actually take attacks on them lying down but rather hit back at the Muslims communities that were either covertly or overtly helping and aiding anti-India and anti-hindu elements. The whole plausible deniablity thing blew up in their faces and now they dont know what to do.

Anonymous said...

The media blitz in Gujarat has created an impression all around the world, that it was only the muslims that lost their lives in Gujarat. Why is the media silent about the death of hundred of hindus in Gujarat violence, as if nothing happened to the hindus at all ????
The Congress party has a history of being a Pseudo secularist that has thrived on muslim vote bank. But what is truly dangerous is the current Gandhi family lead by Sonia Maino, that is a actually a product of muslim(Firoz Gandhi)-Christian(Sonia) lineage, that has nothing to do with hindus !! No wonder the hindus are under attack and not secure, under these anti hindu forces !!!
Also these Seema Mustafas, Sishir Gupatas, Karan Thapars and Rajdip Sardesais, who have taken upon themselves the moral duty of fighting for secularism in India, are actually the agents of Pseudo secularism. These western oriented media persons have no sense of nationalism, are on the payroll of western thinktanks, and are the real enemies of the nation !!
It is time to expose the true faces of these media persons !!