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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightSaffronising India-...

Saffronising India- End of secularism and socialism

Saffronising India- End of secularism and socialism

With the BJP government winning singlehandedly in the national elections and assuming power, the RSS-BJP has been attempting to transform India into a Hindu nation adopting various strategies to accomplish their mission.

The Ministers and the senior leaders in the ruling party have the same temperament towards the minority communities as well as the same agenda. Many senior leaders had made highly communal remarks spreading hatred and the government had remained silent on all the occasions. There seems to be no criteria for selecting and appointing the party representatives in the Modi government. While the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has asked the Centre to declare Bhagwad Gita as a 'Rashtriya Granth' (national book), the Human Resource Development Ministry had earlier attempted to make Sanskrit compulsory in the school curriculum. The recently concluded Science Congress saw a mixing of mythology and science and scientific facts being derived from ancient Vedic scripts. The recent re-conversion or the “Ghar Vapasi” of the minorities to Hinduism invited wide criticism from all sides. RSS followers with no adequate qualification have also been appointed as the heads of government institutions. The BJP government issued an advertisement to commemorate India’s 66th Republic Day and the words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ were removed from the preamble of India’s Constitution.

In 1976, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister had introduced India as a ‘Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic’ and the constitutional reforms were passed by the Parliament. The erstwhile governments had not made an effort to amend that. But the BJP due to its huge majority and stupendous victory in the polls decided to move on with the saffronising agenda. BJP is facing yet another controversy after its main ally Shiv Sena said that it wants the words 'socialist' and 'secular' removed from the Preamble of the Constitution of India. Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut had stated that since the country belongs to the Hindus, they would dominate the people of all other religions. Dr B R Ambedkar, the principal architect of the Indian constitution reasoned that there was no need to add the term ‘secular’ as the entire Constitution embodied the concept of a secular state. This therefore meant that there would be no discrimination on the grounds of religion and all the citizens would be given equal rights and status.

The words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were not a part of the Preamble of the Constitution of India when it was adopted in 1949. Indira Gandhi, during the time of emergency, introduced these two words for ‘political reasons’ after the 42nd amendment in 1976. The present government covets an India where the religious minorities are oppressed by denying their fundamental rights and degraded as secondary citizens, a country where myths and superstitions based on the age old religious scripts are popularized and the capitalists who have an aversion for social justice and economic equality are supported. The goals would be easier to accomplish if words like ‘secularism’ and ‘socialism’ are removed from the Constitution. Secularism is gradually losing its significance and would die out soon if the current predicament of the country persists. India would no longer be a secular socialist democratic republic then.

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