More Than Secularism

Modi or no Modi, openly autocratic forms of rule exist and would go on if we wear the blinkers of secularism.

Narendra Modi’s convoluted explanation, in a recent interview, as to why he did not wear a Muslim head cap brought to the fore, once more, the deliberation on secularism. As though there was still a doubt about his or his party’s attitude towards Muslims, once more the professional seculars waxed eloquent on television screens to show Modi what the entire world already knew. Even Bollywood was not behind in exhibiting its concern for secularism. In the heat of elections, the first-past-the-post type that we have, all this practically amounted to favouring the Congress because eventually all other parties would coagulate into two camps barring, hopefully, the communists and the “confused” Aam Aadami Party (AAP). Neither of the latter two entities will anyway be consequential in the post-election configuration, communists for their historical wrongs which they keep calling rights, and AAP, for having squandered the people’s ire against the rotten mode of politics so recklessly and so soon. For many years “secularism” has provided a protective shield to the misdoings of all the so-called secular parties. But everything has its limit. When the misdoings and ineptitudes of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) crossed this boundary and are now propelling the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power, what can one say or do? It is not a question of secularism; this positing of two factors throws up a larger question of whether the Indian people really have a choice!

Is Congress Secular?

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