Yogi Aditya Nath’s statement on secularism violates the very spirit of the Constitution

Yogi’s views clearly indicate that he is not only talking about changing the democratic structure of this country, he is also not willing to accept the fundamental spirit of the constitution.

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Tasleem Khan

What is the biggest lie of Independent India? Secularism or the comparison of Modi government with Ram Rajya?

And when the chief minister of the largest state of India says it while admitting that he can’t be secular, then it is horrifying and a blatant lie. More so, because 20 percent population of the state of Uttar Pradesh belongs to minority communities. But Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has clearly said that he can be anything else than secular.

Although it is futile to expect Yogi Aditya Nath to be secular because he has sprung from fundamentalist Hindutva, so-called nationalism, cow vigilantism and anti-Muslim minority thought process. But the repercussions of his statement are frightening because he now occupies a constitutional post. What did Yogi Aditya Nath say?

In a programme organised by a daily in Chhatisgarh capital Raipur, Yogi did not mince his words when he said secularism is the biggest lie which has been used since independence and it has only caused damage to the country. In response to a question asked in that programme, Yogi Aditya Nath said, “ I believe the biggest lie in India after independence is the word secularism. The people who introduced this word and people who still use this word, should apologise to the country and its citizens.”

He further said, “No system can be secular. A political system can be panth nirapeksh (sect-neutral). If someone tells us that governance should follow a certain cult, then it is not possible. If I have to consider the state of UP, then I will have to take into consideration the 22crore people living in the state. I am responsible for their safety and their sentiments. But I am not sitting here for appeasing one particular community. I am sect-neutral but can’t be secular.”

He did not stop at that. He raised the question of history also. He said, presenting history in a distorted manner is nothing less than sedition. After that, he claimed that in Europe the word Paki’ is considered to be very derogatory. “The most insulting word in Europe is ‘Paki’. Pakistan itself has become synonymous with abuse.”

Yogi Aditya Nath’s views clearly indicate that he is not only talking about changing the democratic structure of this country, he is also not willing to accept the fundamental spirit of the constitution. The preamble of our Constitution says India would be a “SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC”

The makers of the Constitution wrote this Preamble after much thought and deliberation on the question whether a government can function efficiently on the basis of religion.

History is witness to the fact that governance on basis of religion can be dangerous. That is why there was this provision in Indian Constitution that the government will not function on basis of any religion. In a country as diverse as India where there are so many different religions, communities, languages, cultures and traditions, encouraging a particular one can be extremely harmful.

Some people may consider the diversity of India a weakness, or some may conspire to use it for their own vested interests, but the fact remains that the makers of the constitution made this very unity in diversity a formula of our country’s strong unity. This strength is called secularism.

That is why the Indian republic was declared secular, meaning thereby, that state in its functioning will not give importance to any religion. Religion and religious organisations will have their place, religious faith, customs and traditions will also continue as they are but the government will neither follow a particular religion nor oppose any religion.

Thus, it was made clear in the constitution that the Indian government does not need any religion, but every citizen of the country is free to follow any religion or faith. The government should see that there should be nothing forced on its people in matters of faith and religion.

When the Constitution has clearly defined secularism then why this argument? When a person holding constitutional post issues such statement, it only reeks only of malice.

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Published: 15 Nov 2017, 7:55 AM