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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

“The Kafirs, the cowards, flee” Mamata Banerjee shows what Indian ‘secularism’ is all about

Secularism took a drastic new turn. This time, it was Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s turn to display this type of secularism. 

On the day of Pran Prathishta, Mamata Banerjee organised a “Sanhati Yatra” – a Rally of Solidarity as a response to the Pran Pratistha ceremony of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya. She concluded the event by addressing an ‘All Faith’ congregation.

You can watch her 30-minute speech here:

Suvendu Adhikari, Leader of Opposition in WB, shared a post on social media platform X where he identified the ‘Keywords’ from her speech, seemingly intended to promote “Peace and Brotherhood” among different communities. She has used the words fighting, death, burning, war, blood, murder, set on fire, riot, enemy, dead body, etc, multiple times throughout her speech in Bengali. 

Compare this with the words spoken by PM Narendra Modi during his apolitical speech at Ayodhya, which conveyed messages of Harmony, Spirituality, Peace, Development, and Unity. 

It is blatantly clear where the kind of secularism fostered by politicians works – is it genuinely promoting communal harmony or the kind attempting to escalate communal tensions?

At a time when we are looking ahead to realise the dream of a developed Bharat, a Viksit Bharat, one section of the politicians is continuing appeasement. The highlight of Mamata’s speech is when Mamata Banerjee says, “In this battle, we will fight. Those who are kafir, those who are scared, they die. Those who fight, they survive, they do the work.” She even used the words “Allah ka kasam” meaning I swear by Allah.

Deconstructing secularism preached and practised by politicians in Bharat

On the day of Pran Prathishta, several leftists and celebrities shared pictures of the “modified” Preamble to indicate the word “Secular”. They questioned why and how the Prime Minister of a so-called secular state can participate in a religious function. It seems that Bharatiyas have misunderstood the true meaning of secularism, and the one followed in the country is miles away from the actual intended policy.

In Bharat, secularism primarily means pandering to Abrahamics. But in doing so, people fail to recognise the potential pitfalls. This appeasement-type secularism can and is contributing to keeping Hindus divided and misinformed. No one bats an eyelid when the head of a state participates in an Islamic or a Christian festival. However, they find it problematic when it comes to anything remotely Hindu. Is ignoring Hindu interests the meaning of secularism? Well, politicians here in this country seem to think so. Thanks to a certain community, we can see what countries in the West are going through today. 

The need for a more inclusive and equitable understanding of secularism should be emphasised to foster true harmony and unity.

True secularism should ideally transcend religious boundaries and ensure equal representation and respect for all faiths. The objective is to establish a framework that encourages mutual understanding, cooperation, and respect among all citizens. Exclusive pandering to any particular religious group may inadvertently alienate others, fostering discord and misunderstanding. A commitment to these principles contributes to the larger goal of ‘Viksit Bharat,’ where development and unity flourish on the foundation of harmonious coexistence among diverse cultures and religions.

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