Yogi’s diatribe against secularism is an affront to Indian Constitution

Though Yogi has sworn by the Constitution of India while taking the charge of the CM’s office in Uttar Pradesh, his despise of secularism is an indictment of the Constitution

Yogi’s diatribe against secularism is an affront to Indian Constitution

Arun Srivastava

With rightist ideas and beliefs blowing across the globe, India becoming the victim of the rightist virus has not come as a surprise. A fractured political economy and degenerated social ethics simply provided the most fertile ground to the rightist forces to sow the seeds of fascism and anti-secular ideas in the country.

The RSS, the vanguard of the fascist rightist politics, though started the process of engraining the idea in the most venomous matter just after the Partition of the country, and multiplied its efforts in 2014, once its protégé Narendra Modi became the prime minister.

The RSS not only took to indoctrinating the common Hindus, but its forerunner leaders resorted to terrorise and threaten the people who mustered courage to question and oppose the move. The statement made by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday is testimony to it. He not only decried secularism as the biggest ‘threat’ to India getting recognition on the global stage but even warned that people ‘creating false propaganda’ about the country for a ‘meagre sum of money’ would face the heat (obviously implying the consequences).

He did not nurse any inhibition or fear when he issued this warning. He simply reiterated what he and his other rightist vigilantes have been saying or doing. India was respected by the global fraternity for being one of the most vibrant democratic and secular countries in the world. But as per Yogi, "This word 'secularism' is the biggest threat to develop India's prosperous traditions and give it a spot on the global stage.”

In his eyes, the people championing the cause of secularism are enemies of the country and they are misguiding the public for their own benefit.

His poor knowledge of religion and religious history is manifest in his observation that Buddhism had originated from Hinduism. This was nothing but a deliberate attempt to humiliate the Dalits who in protest of the Brahminical exploitation and Hindutva repression have been embracing Buddhism.

It is really sad to witness that these people survive behind the veneer of fantasy, in their make-believe world. They romanticise the vision of the expansion of Indian boundaries. Obviously, to achieve the ‘New India’ as perceived by the RSS, it’s not necessary to strive for augmentation of the basic human indices; instead all it needs is preparing a strong saffron brigade of warriors.

Though Yogi has sworn by the Constitution of India while taking the charge of the CM’s office, his despise of secularism is an indictment of the Constitution; he clearly does not believe in the basic tenets of the Constitution. It would have been morally correct for Yogi to quit and spearhead his party’s campaign. How can he vilify the Constitution by virtue of which he is ruling UP?

Yogi blaming parochialism and constricted mentality of certain sections for depriving the country of its justifiable pride in history clearly implies that he needs to learn some history lessons. It is utopian to believe that he would become secular. But he owes an explanation to the country for saying; “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.”

By implication, Yogi has also insulted leaders such as Baba Saheb Ambedkar, who framed the Constitution. Only a politically bankrupt person can inflict such an accusation on the framers of the Constitution. They had a particular vision for the country, which was why they declared the Indian republic as secular, meaning thereby, that the 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.

The BJP’s brand of Hindu nationalism since the 2014 election has called into question the future viability of the country’s secularist tradition and its commitment to diversity.

(IPA Service)

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