UP Elections and the Secular Conundrum
The discourse in some sections of the media after the results of UP State assembly elections is quite amusing. The writers and reporters praise the Prime Minister for his stupendous victory. However, they also underscore a rather disturbing and dangerous idea that doesn’t escape the eyes of the reader.
I would like to introduce the reader to a tweet by a certain noted historian named Ramachandra Guha .
Second Class Citizenship
He was quoting from the article The fear of the Hindu Rashtra. Before such a learned person starts quoting such misleading opinions that reinforce a sense of victimization, he must realize that Muslims have been treated at par with Hindus in all spheres of public life.
The three Khans of Bollywood Amir, Shah Rukh and Salman have millions of fans. They are more successful than Hindu actors. The top musician in this country is A R Rahman. The top scientist in ISRO, DRDO and the people’s president of this country, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam was respected by everyone. The “second- class citizen” theory falls dead with these examples.
However, the learned historians and liberals feel that Muslims will not be respected in India just because BJP won an election and Muslim MLAs were not fielded by the party. The assumption of many of these intellectuals is : Only Muslim candidates can represent the interests of Muslim community.
The is argument is similar to the one made by M.A Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Unfortunately, the Muslim masses bought this argument at that point of time. The Muslims who stayed back, were those who felt that they were safe and secure among Hindus. India, opted for secularism and rejected the accusation of the Muslim League.
Now, it is ironic that the same party, that stood for high values by rejecting such accusations, now echoes the opinions of Jinnah, the creator of Pakistan. Why can’t the liberal bandwagon accept that “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” involves the development of Muslims of UP as well?
A road, an electricity line or a water tap does not distinguish a Muslim from a Hindu. The BSP, SP and Congress have been given enough opportunities to bring ‘development’ to the state of UP. However, they served their own interests during their term and in the end, went to Syed Bukhari before every elections and sought the transfer of Muslim votes “to keep BJP at bay”. Any liberal who has some integrity would call this a fraud inflicted on the entire state including the Muslim electorate.
Socialism and Secularism
One realizes how muddled our intellectuals are, when one reads the editorial section. They claim the sole authority on the appropriate ideology that is suitable for this country. Anyone who comes up with a better one is “crushing dissent.” This sounds hilarious to me.
I read another interesting article published in The Hindu. The writer claims (emphasis added):
“Think of a few simple facts. Here is a party which even after the Gujarat riots is virtually contemptuous or indifferent to the Muslim, clear that this critical election did not need the help of any Muslim candidates. Mr. Modi has also told Dalits that their politics, like minoritarianism, is doomed.
The two great concepts that created the compost heap of Indian electoral politics, the vote banks which has acquired a reified life of their own, are socialism and secularism. Mr. Modi, in rendering them effete, has also created a set of closures we must understand. It is clear that while mobility is an aspirational dream, dissent today is an almost extinct possibility between the inanity of the left and the liberals and the hostility of the BJP regime.
What we are facing is individual aspiration but a death of the old categories which at one time created the romance and the Utopian around words such as justice and equality.”
For this gentleman, justice and equality are utopian, hence we must opt for socialism and secularism even though they have not delivered any results. I feel glad that the common man doesn’t take such inane theories seriously.
Redistribution of wealth does not result in prosperity. It must also involve creation of new wealth. Negating this basic idea is the fundamental flaw of socialism. Opportunity to earn one’s own bread and opportunities for social mobility are not the priorities of this model. Hence, it has failed and fallen in all places where it was considered a panacea for all problems.
Secularism is a modern concept where in the state dissociates religion from its activities and also encourages public life and law to be equal for all religions. The flagship achievement of the secular bandwagon in India is the reversal of Shah Bano verdict and the endorsement of triple talaq. I rest my case here.
A New India
The Supreme Court has declared that secular nature of the Indian constitution is a basic feature that can’t be modified by the Parliament. Somehow, no one mentions this in their editorials. Anyway, the secular polity of India is safe even in the absence of Muslim MLAs in any ruling party.
Hindus can also work for the betterment of Muslims. Likewise, Muslims can also participate in the nation building exercise. India will never become an orthodox Hindu Nation. Let us all feel glad that distorted versions of secularism are no longer in vogue. I hope that all our intellectuals come out of their secular conundrum and support progressive agendas.