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The rise of pseudo secularism in India
Being an atheist by practice, I generally do not believe much in religion, but in the wake of this recent ritual of writers surrendering their awards, I am compelled to wield my pen as I do not support appeasement politics, in totally or even in its partial avatar.

A couple of days back noted Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen in her interview with Times of India questioned the double standards of these writers, who in a bid to make headlines are surrendering their awards.

In her interview she raised a question which none of these writers would be able to answer. Nasreen said that when her book was banned in West Bengal and five fatwas were issued against her, most of these writers chose to remain silent, and on the contrary a few writers even went to the West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to impose a ban on her book. So, aren't these double standards?

She quoted to TOI, "They have decided to raise voice against injustices by returning their awards. There is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes somebody gets an idea, others like it. But, Many writers are guilty of double standards when it comes to dissent."

On being asked about her views on secularism in India she said, "Most secular people are pro-Muslim and anti-Hindu. They protest against acts of Hindu fundamentalists and defend the heinous acts of Muslim fundamentalists. Politicians appease Muslims for votes. This annoys many Hindus. In Canning, a Hindu village in West Bengal was burnt down by Muslim fanatics in 2013. If Muslims were brutally persecuted in India, they would have left India for neighbouring Muslim countries like Hindu minorities have been leaving Bangladesh and Pakistan since partition."

A few of these critically acclaimed writers have said that their protest is against the growing trend of intolerance in India. I would have found merits in their allegations, if they had not been targeted towards the BJP and PM Modi alone. In their present form, these allegations seem to sideline other political parties, who masquerade themselves as secular, but in reality are communal to their very core. 

The leader of this defiant writer brigade is none other than Nayantara Sahgal, the niece of Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India who agreed to the partition of the country on religious lines. She won her Sahitya Akademi Award in 1986, two years after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Was she unperturbed or ignorant towards how a minority, the Sikhs were slaughtered and burned alive? Or perhaps the stench of the burning flesh of innocent Sikhs failed to reach her nostrils. Is it not a clear case of selective criticism and favoring the Congress, as Rajiv Gandhi was a relative of Nayantara Sahgal?

It so happened that the 1984 anti-Sikh riots were masterminded by the Congress under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi. The main culprits of the 1984 riots were Congress leaders HKL Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and Lalit Maken (late brother of Congress leader Ajay Maken). None of them were ever convicted by any of the courts for the manslaughter of innocent Sikhs, as they were Congressmen. May I ask Nayantara Sahgal, Why? So I have reasons to assume that she was either naìˆve or ignorant. This is what I call selective criticism.

The worst part is that the buck does not stop here. Writers like Nayantara Sahgal are much respected and critically acclaimed, so I cannot even imagine comparing myself with them, as I consider myself a novice. But still, thinking logically, it baffles me how secularism is being redefined by such writers at the cost of the nation. Their so called dissent has done nothing but to add to the unrest already prevailing in the country.  

Secularism means, running governance in a nation which has nothing to do with religion. But has the Congress ever followed it? No, never. The problem with writers like Sahgal is that they never miss an opportunity to raise the bogey of the Sangh Parivar, who is a sworn enemy of the Congress, even if it means inflicting suffering and misery to the people of India.

So does an average Indian like me think on the lines of these writers? No, not at all. The theories floated by writers like Nayantara Sahgal are delusional in nature, and aimed only at deviating public attention from genuine issues of concern.

The definition of secularism in India greatly differs from other countries, and all thanks to a majority of years the Congress has been in power since Independence. In other countries secularism means keeping the state away from religion, but in India it means the state has the ultimate authority to meddle with religion and indulge in appeasement politics as much as possible.

As per the Congress, secularism means continuously hammering into the psyche of the Hindus and implicating that anything bad that happens to minorities is due to the Hindus and the BJP aka Sangh Parivar. If a renowned artist like MF Hussain paints our Hindu gods/goddesses nude, we are supposed to accept it, in the name of creativity. We Hindus are not supposed to chose what our children will be taught in schools. Our mere existence in this country seems under threat as our customs and religion are mocked at, only for appeasing minorities.

So twisted has the mindset become in this country that if you say something good about Hinduism, BJP or RSS, you are immediately dubbed as communal, and as soon as you say something good about Islam or Christianity, you instantly become secular and liberal.  

If this continues, Hindus, who form a majority of this country will feel suffocated. The Muslim community of this country should also understand that these pseudo seculars have no intention of working for their betterment. Their only intention is to use them as vote banks, as they have been doing so since eternity.

The major loser of this pseudo secularism has been the Muslim community, as they still remain backward. These pseudo seculars like Congress have been pitching both communities against each other as it is a profitable business for them. Playing the secular card for them means that they don't have to work, build roads, and worry about education. Just appease a community and wear the cloak of secularism and then pose as someone who is trying to protect the country from so-called communal forces like the BJP, and their job is done.

So, all Indians should keep aside their religion and come together to fight against these pseudo seculars or so-called seculars as proud Indians, as it is only then that the true secular fabric of this country will remain intact. 

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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