Mamta’s Eid gift–a distorted secularism

A distorted secularism is seemingly occupying the main stage of Indian body politic, or else the unprecedented instance of browbeating would not have marked a congregation for peaceful prayer on Eid after the holy month of Ramadaan; the month of fasting; the holiest period for the Islamic faith. Bharatiya Janata Party, which kept campaigning against what it called pseudo secularism of Congress, is now in for demeaning the the Bengal Chief Minister’s antagonism for ‘Jai Shri Ram’ which the party uses as a tease phrase to mess with the Didi. ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is not to chant to vex people, but the Rambhaktas are doing it in their new found land Bengal encouraged by people’s mandate BJP has secured there. It is strange that Mamta Benerjee’s Eid gift to the faithful congregated at Red Road in Kolkata is an assurance against BJP’s whatever she meant. However, whatever she said in her address to 25 000 faithful, who had gathered for peace, was not a wish for peace but against the spirit of any religion in which people make festivals an occasion of befriending with even those who are hostile. It is an outlandish sense of inclusiveness with a single section of people and posing as championing their cause. The political sense in the seeming war call ‘hum se Jo…’ is unbecoming to have come from a dais wherefrom prayers go up to seek blessings from the heavens. Already West Bengal, which has seen political changes right from the days of Indian National Congress to Trunmul Congress through a phase of over thirty years in which leftists ruled, violence and aggressiveness remained common feature as a characteristic of Bengal politics, and now if chief minister’s retaliative rhetoric, that too from a religious dais, is not healthy sign of future politics. Similarly, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Giriraj Singh’s taunt at the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is no less ugly as it aims at criticising or worse, ridiculing the latter’s hospitality at an Iftar party which, of course, was a religious event in its elemental state. There is no dearth of examples in the history of politics wherein political events were organised in the name of festivals with a religious background. If Jai Shri Ram is mixing religion and politics, as Mamta Benerjee, puts it, speaking from a religious dais and hurling threats for reasons of political nature is like an act of depriving a traditional event of religious importance of its sacred character, and not only Mamta Benerjee, Giriraj Singh as well seek apology. If they do not do, their parties must take up the issue, lest such practice as of using not only religious dais but also religious events and festival occasions should be vogue. After a long time of disturbed politics, the people of the country have broken the myth of vote bank in the name of caste, creed and community people of which had remained confused for a long time. If such politics of instigation and provocation is allowed to continue, the country can have little hope.

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