As our ‘secular’ media is going berserk on the fact that Yogi refused to wear a skull cap in the Mazar of Kabir Das when it was offered by a person there. For some news channels, it was a ‘breaking news’. Many maulanas, ‘intellectuals’ and politicians of ‘secular’ parties were called by various channels to debate it. They presented various arguments to say that Yogi was ‘communal’ to not wear the skull cap.
They said that as he is the Chief Minister of the largest state of India which has around 20% Muslim population and he has hurt the sentiments of those Muslims. Some other said that he holds the constitutional position and for him, all religions should be equal. Yet others said that he hates Muslims that’s why he refused to wear the skull cap. There were other arguments as well.
Now let’s see the arguments one by one. Yes, he is the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and all religions should be equal to him. Now, how is not wearing a skull cap is discriminatory to everyone? It is his personal choice whether to wear it not. As for those people who have gone berserk by saying over and over again that the ‘secularism is in danger’, there is no such Constitutional duty to wear a skull cap if offered by anyone. So, the angle of constitutional argument does not even arise.
Secondly, some said that sentiments of Muslims of Uttar Pradesh have been hurt. If we go by this argument, then we are a country of around 135 crore people and everyone’s sentiment is hurt by some way or the other every second. Someone’s sentiment is hurt by a movie based on queen Padmini. Someone’s sentiment is hurt by a book of Taslima Nasreen and Salman Rushdie, someone’s sentiment is hurt if someone else eats beef. Someone’s sentiment is hurt by a song featuring a boy and girl winking at each other. Someone’s sentiment is hurt when they see some wordings of a burger company. Someone’s sentiment is hurt by not being allowed to celebrate with firecrackers. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second someone’s sentiment is hurt.
So, should every so-called ‘hurt sentiments’ be given this much importance that it blocks the personal rights and choices of a person? Secularism does not mean that you will be forced to wear a skull cap just to keep someone’s sentiment from being hurt.
The third argument is that Modi, Yogi, and other BJP leaders do wear turbans when they visit Gurudwara so why they are refusing to wear a skull cap. Again, here the simple counter-argument is it’s their choice to wear whatever they want. Just because they wear turbans in Gurudwaras, they can’t be forced to wear a skull cap. This country and its constitution give that much of personal liberty to each and every citizen.
The fourth argument is that Yogi is communal that’s why he did not wear the skull cap. So, had he taken that skull cap, he would have been proved a ‘secular’? Are these kinds of symbolism going to define the ‘secularism’ in this country? Whoever agrees to wear a skull cap is ‘secular’ and who refuses is ‘communal’. It’s really funny and rather juvenile to take the essence of secularism to these binaries.
‘Secularism’ did not arrive in this country when Indira Gandhi as a PM introduced this word into Constitution during the emergency. If that’s the argument someone is giving then, he or she is essentially saying that our great Constitution maker Baba Saheb Ambedkar was either communal or was unaware of a word called ‘secularism’. Secularism is the essence of this country for thousands of years and this cannot be judged by one narrow incident involving CM Yogi Adityanath.
All our ‘liberals’ are so obsessed by this word ‘Secularism’ that they use it so loosely that it has become one of the most hated words by a vast proportion of the population of this country. They should understand that secularism does not mean ‘appeasement’ by wearing skullcaps and throwing Iftaar Parties. This includes RSS and BJP as well. This appeasement of one community majority or minority over a period of time only leads to hatred between the communities. This is the primary reason as to why there is so much feeling of victimhood among the majority community and when ‘liberals’ and ‘intellectuals’ and our ‘secular media raises these types of issues of CM Yogi refusing to wear a skullcap leads to more poisoning of relations between the communities as people go into a defensive mode.
So, it is my earnest request to all the ‘seculars’ that if you want to wear a skull cap, do wear it, but don’t shame a person who does not want to wear it. If you are doing that, you are further sowing seeds of hatred. This particular quote is perfectly apt to describe this incident and the people who are shouting discrimination: “When you are Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression”.