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    Home They Brought The Secularist Dead

    I have seen it before and I am seeing it even today. The staple diet for all the incompetent and corrupt in our political discourse is found at the most unlikely place that one can imagine. Call it a misfortune of our nation or pure disgrace to our democracy, the most communal lot among our political class exults by secularism, which in a way is like, Suresh Kalmadi hectoring on the importance of honesty. If you haven’t yet reckoned where I am pointing at, then, yes, I am talking about the most impaired and discredited English word of last three decades – Secularism. People from different walks of life have written in length on how this single word has created a political bastion for many while at the same time remaining hugely instrumental in indoctrinating the fear neurosis within an entire religion. Hence I am not going to reiterate those nasty facts again; neither am I intended to do that in this post.

    In a private function organized by the Congress party to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Pundit Nehru, among the speakers was the grand daughter-in-law of our first priminister. In her inaugural speech to throw open the conclave, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi went back to the tried-and-tested formula of national hoodwinking in the name of religion. “Secularism is a political necessity for India”, she thundered. If we for a second forget the intent, there is no doubt on the existence of truth in her words. For the first time I tend to agree with Mrs. Gandhi. For me Secularism is not only a political necessity but also a social obligation as well. Not only I but most of us would agree to this. That is why; none in last six decades ever came close to defy this standing of our nation. So what made Mrs. Gandhi to restate something which goes as, if not anything, at least a constitutional binding on us? It is even more startling when the said lines were told at the birth anniversary celebration of Pundit Nehru.

    Why she has to say something which each one of us knows? Is it her attempt at enlightening us lesser mortals or are there other goals to fulfill? If her objective was to equate the present flavor of Indian secularism with the vision of Pundit Nehru then I see a fundamental flaw right there (though she is not too far from the target). I am not sure what Pundit Nehru stood for but he is not the one who introduced the ‘Secularism’ clause in our constitution. In fact, Secularism as a way of life got introduced long after Pundit Nehru died. Had Pundit Nehru wanted, he could have done this virtuous work of socialism during his stay. But he never did. Why he never avowed India as a secular state in our constitution back then to start with has many answers to it. I am not going to dig into them since, during that volatile period post-independence, there could be strong compulsions to walk the other way and I give that benefit of doubt to Pundit Nehru as far as his objectives are concerned. While not declaring India as a secular state back then is pardonable, what is not explicable is the way Pundit Nehru purposefully misunderstood the veracity of this innocuous looking word called ‘Secularism’. Whether he misunderstood it by choice or ignorance is debatable but there stands no debate on one thing – Pundit Nehru was the architect of a filthy culture in our politics and that is the culture of political appeasement in the name of secularism. And when his grand daughter-in-law trumpets for secularism in a fraught attempt to eliminate the existential crisis that has popped up post May 16th for Congress, it does clear many questions on the direction of wind, both within Congress and many other secular parties, which unfortunately foresee Modi as a fatal opponent.

    There was this jamboree where leaders from different corners of the world were invited to speak about Nehru’s influence on international politics. Among many, there were representatives from different political outfits of India. From here on, the interesting part starts. Let’s look who all were there to make up the crowd other than the foreign emissaries. From Mamata Banarjee to Mulayam Singh Yadav; from Prakash Karat to Mayawati with Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav thrown in to fill up the remaining untaken chairs; it was in fact the entire spectrum of Indian political diaspora present there at Vigyan Bhawan to grace the occasion. And what was the missing entity in this gathering? Yes, the ruling party BJP and other sundry associates of NDA. Or maybe even BJD, which I am not too sure. Is this a coincidence or a well thought through planning by Congress to keep away the so called communal outfits from the purview of a reverent discussion around Pundit Nehru? Does it smell fishy? Well, maybe not on the face value but yes if you peep inside the close doors. For the life of me, I never thought to see both Ms. Banarjee and Mr. Karat partaking the same stage ever. Ditto stands for Mr. Mulayam Yadav and Ms. Mayawati. I would have taken such an unwanted gathering as a political and civility compulsion, had I not seen the kneejerk antiphon of Mr. Nitish Kumar and Mr. Lalu Yadav post May 16th. When seasoned enemies like Mr. Kumar and Mr. Yadav can join hands to wade off the imminent threat to their political careers, I don’t see any reason why other statured enemies of our politics can’t hug each other out of that fear of alienation. I could see the elephant in the Vigyan Bhawan but could only conclude in affirmative once I heard the likes of Ms. Banarjee post the big get-together euphoria. Who let the cat out of the bag?

    Post May 16th there is an anxiety among many in different political parties. And, the fear is to envisage how they can become irrelevant in Indian politics in double quick time. Though there could be political differences, still these opportunist politicians are glued by a common thread. And, that thread is the lust for power and entitlement. May 16th results wiped many political parties out of their skeletons since the ugly throw up of the reality was too hard to digest for their party leaders. From UP to Tamil Nadu; from Maharashtra to Odisha, the shocks of the results were far too strong for these leaders to ignore. Desperate situation calls for desperate measures. And the situation is frantic for almost all political parties, starting with Congress at the top. That is the reason why an attempted unification of many state level parties before elections got disintegrated even before it started but now the same parties are showering love at each other as if there is no tomorrow. How this sudden change of priority manifested among so many people at the same time? There has to be something more than the standard rubbish excuse of ‘Similar Ideology’ that these political parties would make you believe. This is as incongruous as it can get. I can guarantee you a peaceful cohabitation between India and Pakistan if you can guarantee something similar between TMC and CPI(M). Similarly anything can be assured against the possibility a peaceful coexistence between SP and BSP. DMK and AIDMK are not too far behind when it comes to the pathological hate they harbor among each other. But to surprise all, all of them not only shared the same dais but also showed that exemplary love for each other as if they were long lost brothers and sisters. The once arrogant Ms. Banarjee, who even claimed, TMC would join Congress or CPI(M) in future, only on her dead body, seems to have toned down from her past stand and now gleefully harvests the idea of a future collaboration if the status quo demands. How I pity our dear Didi and her flabbergasting act to even shame the chameleon. Only if I could ask Ms. Banarjee what that interesting demanding situation could be.

    Though these freebooters are riding the same sinking boat, they just can’t join hands out of the blue. They know the voters are far smarter now than what they were 10 years back. Even the social media isn’t helping them in walloping their reeking intents any more. They have to find a solid reason to justify their collaboration so that fingers are not raised. And what better reason there could be than the pretext to stick to the Nehruvian ways of secularism? Just to be double sure, even Sonia Gandhi has assured the nation that secularism is a necessity. That should be good enough to forget the age old differences and go on for a ‘Kiss Of Love’ march in open. Those knives which earlier were perpetually out to cut the throats of the opponents at the slenderest chance must now be put back to the butcher blocks for the time being. That is perhaps why Nitish and Lalu have already hugged while Mamata and Karat are in the verge of repeating the spectacle. Not far behind are Mayawati and Mulayam. You see, all attempts are intended to uphold the idea of secularism in India, which seems to be in grave danger after a highly communal faggot called Modi became the PM. Hence, the gentlemen and ladies of India must forget their petty differences and converge to safeguard the idea that greats like Pundit Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi taught us.

    Secularism has to take a whole new meaning under the passionate patronage of these mega state leaders with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi leading from the front. All secular forces must unite to fight the evil called Narendra Modi so that our nation doesn’t become another failed state like Pakistan. For that, we have to spread the sweet fragrance of secularism across India. In Bengal we must ensure the terrorists get all the help, starting from Voter-ID to ration card and give them safe heavens to plan and execute terror attacks across India. In UP we should overlook the unholy trinity of Mullahs, Mafias and the political scoundrels. In J&K we must cajole the separatists and see to it that they continue carrying their anti-India activities unhindered. In Maharashtra we must felicitate Azad Maidan type agitations again and again. We must try everything possible to break India so that secularism can live long. We must exercise every trick in the book to subvert Hindus and Hinduism so that the rest secular lot can be safeguarded from the communal Hindus. In short – we must try everything in our capacity to spread the Nehruvian version of Marxist secularism, which otherwise would be lost under the communal atmosphere architected by Narendra Modi and his team.

    But hey, don’t repeat the mistake of distributing free laptops with your photograph as the default and permanent screensaver. People do watch this Modi chap on those laptops and vote against you. Why self-destruct yourself in the name of visionless advertisements? After all secularism is at threat in this country; laptops can wait.

    1 comment:

    1. The title took me back to my school days, when we had this English poem by Tennyson in our text book - Home they brought her warrior dead. I revisited the poem and found two passages from the poem - which struck a resonance with what is happening now. Here they are:
      Home they brought her warrior dead:
      She nor swoon'd nor utter'd cry:
      All her maidens, watching, said,
      "She must weep or she will die."
      The polls brought the congress dead and Sonia uttered no word about the tragic loss.
      Rose a nurse of ninety years,
      Set his child upon her knee—
      Like summer tempest came her tears—
      "Sweet my child, I live for thee."
      Explains why Sonia has started crying about secularism - for her sweet child Rahul.