Time to rethink : Saffron surge and the secular debacle

Posted on: Monday, June 2, 2014 | Posted by: Art of Living Universe


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“What appears is not and what does not, is” This ancient saying aptly describes the Indian political scenario. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) claims to be secular but just peel a few layers and you will find that it is steeped deep in communalism. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), on the other hand, which is accused of communalism, does all that it can to get rid of this label and walk that extra mile. No doubt scams, price rise, all pervading corruption, negative industrial growth (from +10% to -2.5%) and unemployment played a major role, but above all it was the communal attitude of the party and its overt tilt towards the Muslim minority that derailed the UPA.
India in general and Hindus in particular are largely secular, yet in this election they voted out all those parties who espoused secularism. People did not buy into repeated fear psychosis of the communal bogey. Perhaps, the Congress did not expect the Hindu majority to join together as one voice since they have always been divided on linguistic and caste-based lines.
Soon after assuming the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr. Manmohan Singh openly declared that minorities had the first right on India’s resources, driving a dagger through the hearts of Hindus, who had stood by him. Not once, during his entire tenure did the Prime Minister even acknowledge the magnanimity of the majority community. While many complained that they were not treated with dignity, sops were doled out for minorities to the tune of thousands of crores.
Principals were asked to identify minority students and open bank accounts through which scholarships were given. In some states ruled by UPA allies, a child gets Rs. 30,000 just for being from the minority community. This created a wedge in the classroom psyche and caused heartburn to other poor students from the majority. However, no such facilities were extended to the Hindu minority in Jammu & Kashmir and the North East. Poverty and illiteracy have no religion – every religion has poor people. Giving benefits based on religion is unconstitutional and such practises by political parties angered people. ‘The Majority Report’ a thorough research document written by two retired IPS officers (Shri Ram Kumar Ohri and Shri Jai Prakash Sharma) makes an interesting read on the subject.

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