It’s once again secularism vs communalism



Congress leaders are not getting tired of making tall claims of completing their full five-year term at the Centre. Perhaps that’s the only achievement of the UPA government: that it can tom-tom in the coming polls. The public facing the brunt of skyrocketing prices are unlikely to buy any other achievement that the government would want to project.

Narendra Modi has already counted the days left for the general election – 220 days, of which 180 days of rule are by and large at the mercy of the Election Commission. If given the freedom, the EC can hold elections anytime during the last six months of the government’s tenure.

Nonetheless, the country is not heading for mid-term polls. The best could be early polls, though even that seems to be a remote possibility, even after the UPA government’s multi-million food security gamble.

Though the government for sure must have put the systems in place to execute their much-touted programme for the poor, scepticism still prevails on whether the advantage would reach the beneficiaries by the time they go to the polling booths to cast their vote. The pleasure lies in eating the cake, rather than having it.

What worries many like us, who belong to the middle class, is the price that the country is going to pay for this political stability. Political stability is important but only when it comes with progress and prosperity for the polity. Public memory may be ephemeral – they may forget the scams that tumbled out of the UPA 2 cupboards – but not the disturbing inflation that’s pinching their pockets and eroding their savings.

But the question that bothers me most is that by the time the country will go to polls, development agenda would take a backseat, though for all ostensible reasons the parties will talk only about that.

Comments like ‘The Congress hiding in a bunker wearing burqa of secularism’ followed by the rebuttal, ‘Burqa of secularism is better than nakedness of communalism’ are provoking debates in public forums like never before. The country has again started debating secularism vs communalism and this is precisely what the political parties want.

After all, both the Congress and the BJP are going to gain from a communal general election. Ideologically, they may be poles apart but they share the same agenda of decimating the regional forces.

Watch out the days ahead?

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  • Nripinder

    Well written

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  • Nripinder

    Well written

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  • TRUTH

    MODI WILL BE THE PM, NO MATTER WHAT YOU WRITE…..

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    Jay Gupta Reply:

    Yeah …Like Advani..in his dreams :)

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    lucky Reply:

    modi will never be PM , no matter what you think.

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  • Abhi

    “you cannot ignore a substantial chunk of the voting population in this country and still hope to become prime minister.”
    Simple. Ask the congress party. Why, they can ignore the MAJORITY of the voting population and still hope to come to power!

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  • ABHI

    Modi’s rise is about the worst nightmare the Congress party has had
    since they eliminated Subhash Chandra Bose some 70 years ago. Here is a
    man who can speak for the people of India and unite the country. The
    only way the Congress has been able to remain relevant is by using
    muscle power, and under the table deals bribing smaller parties and
    threatening them with extinction if they don’t accept the bribes. There
    is every indication that even these underhanded tactics are likely to
    fail against Modi. Yes, it is true, that many corrupt parties are likely
    to gather under one umbrella, but when even that proves insufficient,
    the corrupt and treasonous within our polity will have no place to hide.
    The only alliance they will be making will be with their jail cell or a
    noose around their neck.

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  • prabhu

    If Modi is responsible for post Godhra ,then who is responsible for allthese?

    (1) 1964 Communal riots in Rourkela & Jamshedpur | 2000 Killed |Ruling party CONG

    (2) 1947 Communal riots in #Bengal | 5000 Killed | Ruling partyCONG

    (3) August 1967 | 200 Killed | Communal riots in Ranchi | Party rulingagain CONG

    (4) 1969 | Communal riots in #Ahmedabad | More than 512 Killed |Ruling party happened to be CONG

    (5) 1970 | #Bhiwandi communal riots in # Maharashtra | Around 80killed | Ruling party CONG

    (6) April 1979 | Communal riots in #Jamshedpur, West Bengal | Morethan 125 killed | Ruling party CPIM

    (7) Auguest 1980 |#Moradabad Communal riots | Approx 2000 Killed |Ruling Party Congress

    (8) May 1984 | Communal riots in #Bhiwandi| 146 Killed, 611 Inj |Ruling party Congress | CM- Vasandada Patil |

    (9) OCT 1984 | Communal riots in #Delhi | 3000 Sikhs Killed | Rulingparty CONG

    (10) April 1985 | Communal riots in #Ahmedabad | 300 Killed | Rulingparty CONG |

    (11) July 1986 | Communal violence in #Ahmedabad | 59 Killed | Rulingparty CONG

    (12) Apr-May1987 | Communal violence in Meerut, UP | 81 killed |Ruling party CONG |

    (13) Feb 1983 | Communal violence in Nallie, Assam | 2000 killed| Ruling party CONG | PM – Indira Gandhi.

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  • Vinay

    Writer so easily said that brutality of one riot was more than other. I wonder how you came to that judgement? Why forget other riots? The worst riot in Gujarat’s history happened in 1969 under Congress govt. Riots have happened in India even before independence. People lose so much due to them. But no one is ready to take actions to curb it. Thats the biggest issue.

    Also, see how many are convicted in 2002 riots and compare that to any riots in India’s history.

    Also, this is the first decade in Gujarat’s history after 1947 that was peaceful. You have to credit Modi for that. For 2002, he was new to govt as he just took over CM post 3 months back. He did everything he could. Please go ask 3 neighboring Congress ruled state CMs, why they did not send police for help when Modi asked for it the very next day.

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  • sher

    prime minister Dr N Modi the whole world will salute him one day

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  • Kushagra Bhatnagar

    As always excellent piece from Sujata.

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  • Deep

    Sujata, why is it that Muslims in Gujarat have moved on but you are unable to focus on the core issues on 2014 i.e. Development, healthcare, literacy and security? How long do we have to put up with your drivel?

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  • dharambir

    if ther is a person who have the ability to take our country in the right direction –its DR.MANMOHAN SINGH,but he needs full authority to do this. not to be bounded by coalition parties. and as of MODI or RAHUL ….forget them . RAHU; will surely become a good PM but needs little more time to know the working of indian governments by taking up home ministry or any ministry of significance. and as of MODI let him rest in peace in gujarat otherwise he will turn INDIA into pieces(hindu-muslim-sikh-isai)

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  • Rambo

    Modern day Jaichands?

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  • lokayukta

    The kind of traitors like the editors are there since the period of Ramayana, Mahabharata and these traitor’s acts were at peak when Islamic Invaders invaded India, they supported the intelligence, secrets, etc. of Indian Kings to the invaders for the sake of saving themselves and for small piece of money, so, those Islamic terrorists(invaders) could successfully defeat all the Kings of India, because there was no Unity among Hindus and over 50% of Hindus are all traitors like this editor, who are ready to sell their mother, sister, wife, etc. for the sake of saving self. So, this kind of traitors are curse to Hinduism and India and this curse could never be cured and this is like AIDS, only Hinduism has to die suffering this AIDS

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  • Om Bansal

    This writer seems to have a mindset of Dynastic politics. in a Democratic Party there are going to be different views & should be aired as such. How airing his views yashwant Sinha becomes Anti Modi. Why the scribe start seeing
    Conspiracies against Modi. This psuedo secularist writer is obviously prejudiced against BJP .

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    Nikunj Shah Reply:

    Even I feel, looking at the writer’s past blogs, seems to be pro-Congress or anti-BJP.

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  • Bharat

    Who enacted Terrorist act against Hundreds of Hindus…In US, few died bcuz of pressure cooker blast..Here they burnt the whole bogey full of women and children…

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  • G.Nandakumar

    suggest that you research and write about the riots in Gujarat between 1960 and 1990. You would lose your fascination with the Congress.

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  • jaya

    Sujata: You are simply full of it. This article simply lacks any semblance of scholastic attribute. It does not even flow well, it is disjoint & you simply connect dots in some bizarre way.

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  • Pollkhole

    This writeup echoes that our national motto is “Satyamevajayate”!

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  • I need Answers

    One side of the story.

    About Ishrat Jahan case, its NOT only IB and Gujarat govt which is is telling Ishrat was not innocent, but even American investigators and even LeT have also told the same. But, those things are intentionally being ignored by CBI and the media as they have dedicated themselves to support Sonia. With its plan to catch Modi through Godhra riots failed, CBI is ordered to chase him before 2014 elections on any other case, somehow, irrespective of he was really involved in that case or not.

    About Godhra riots, SC has already given its verdict and media and political parties are still attacking Modi as prime accused. Here also, as the verdict is not in favor, intentionally ignoring that. Last year, there was riots in Assam, which made the life of original assamees very tough. Modi had taken actions to control Godhra riots in lesser time than Assam CM started taking actions to control last years Assam riots. But nobody is worried about that because its Congress ruled state.

    About Uttarakhand, give a single official statement of Modi or his office or BJP, where it tells Modi rescued 15000 people. It is one more conspiracy created to attack Modi by the media, because no other Congress team or individuals had even thought of going there and Modi went. Congress felt it lost the ground there and hence needed a weapon to attack Modi. Otherwise, how will be Modi’s visit becomes VIP visit and not Rahul Gandhi’s?

    There are still so many questions which Congress and the media need to answer before attacking Modi. But they are good at selective ignorance/selective picking.

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  • Nisha

    `Thank god for some of the sane voices like yours.

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  • Nisha

    `Thank god for some of the sane voices like yours.

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  • Anonymous

    This is the reason why the so called Internet Nationalists hate writers like you.

    1) Embroidery the truth: may it be 15,000 or 1500, he claimed no figure in his speech. Yet you are using it as placards. Lets see, someone has to make arrangements for the people to be taken back from Hardidwar to Gujarat? or do you want to let them rot in Haridwar?? Shows your s1ck mentality

    2) Appeasement ? where does the question of appeasement come from? It is your employers who indulge in appeasement policies, remember Batla House encounter, Reservation for Muslims, and now Sohrabbudin n Ishrat Jehan case.

    3) Policy for empowerment can’t be equated to appeasement until and unless you get your eyes away from cash paid by the CONgress and actually get to read the Empowerment Paper.

    4) If there was no, then you would have shouted at top of your voice about Modi being anti Muslim, shows your duplicity….

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  • Anonymous

    This is the reason why the so called Internet Nationalists hate writers like you.

    1) Embroidery the truth: may it be 15,000 or 1500, he claimed no figure in his speech. Yet you are using it as placards. Lets see, someone has to make arrangements for the people to be taken back from Hardidwar to Gujarat? or do you want to let them rot in Haridwar?? Shows your s1ck mentality

    2) Appeasement ? where does the question of appeasement come from? It is your employers who indulge in appeasement policies, remember Batla House encounter, Reservation for Muslims, and now Sohrabbudin n Ishrat Jehan case.

    3) Policy for empowerment can’t be equated to appeasement until and unless you get your eyes away from cash paid by the CONgress and actually get to read the Empowerment Paper.

    4) If there was no, then you would have shouted at top of your voice about Modi being anti Muslim, shows your duplicity….

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  • Courage

    Through Modi behind the Bar ,Then definitely BJP will Won

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  • Courage

    Through Modi behind the Bar ,Then definitely BJP will Won

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  • Leo power zone

    targetting modi by bjp top leadersmeans-suicidal for them., the ultimate gain only to upa-2,pl. think and is our request to bjp top leaders.

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  • Guest

    Whether someone translates the Koran into Sanskrit – pray who would read it ! – or a vision document is brought out or not, the minorities, the Muslims being the largest, most of all, should be treated with dignity and respect and their safety should be something that they can take for granted. That is the letter and spirit of the Constitution and that is also realpolitik, which can only be ignored only at great peril.

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  • Nikunj Shah

    The writer here has issues only with BJP and Modi, or in a broad sense, anyone who is anti-Congress, check previous blogs. If Congress engineers a riot of any form or indulges in corruption, she will never discuss it in her blogs, you won’t find anti-Congress articles or blogs from the writer. In fact, by replying to this blog, I realize I am wasting time, coz when she has decided she wants to ignore Congress’s demerits and channel all her energies in writing against BJP, Modi. Basically, if there is any national issue which is anti Congress, the writer will waste no time in defending the Congress. All previous blogs are testimony to this. The writer is okay if Sharad Pawar becomes PM as according to the writer, he is not convicted in any corruption case contrary to public perception.
    I am not defending Modi for 2002, if Modi is guilty, so is the Congress for 1984 Massacre; but what happened ? Has anything been done on that part ? Not really. Then why just label one party ? All of the writer’s blogs give me a feeling that they are pro-Congress, directly or indirectly. According to the writer, we must allow a “Secular” party like Congress to continue to govern us despite their massive corruption scams but not give BJP a chance at the Centre because it is non-secular. So, Secularism should not be compromised even if lakhs of crores of scams continue to happen. Blatant defence of Congress and leaving no stone unturned to slam BJP is not the definition of unbiased journalism.

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  • S. Kumar

    Take a break from your Modi phobia,Sunita. Such hysteria is not good for your and your ilk’s mental and physical health. Modi’s caravan keeps moving on steadily, frightened puppies are getting crazier.

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  • Shah

    Its a very dangerous direction. It will once again divert attention from real issues of good governance and let these parties play divide and rules for many years to come. All meanwhile India lags behind in progress to other countries. Shame on our politicians. Actually they r the ones who need to be given death penalty for treason.

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  • Niladrinath Mohanty

    BJP when accused of communalism never denies it thereby it accepts it is communal. At least it is some straight admission. But Congress on the other hand by harping too much on secularism is promoting communalism and proves to be the most communal party. the main issue before the country is to eliminate poverty, spread education, empower people economically not who is a Hindu, Muslim or a dalit. Congress party is destroying the nation.

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  • vivek

    The real question is whether the inherent culture of Sanatan Dharma is not really secular”?. Sanatan Dharma, which means the Ultimate Truth that applies to each and every individual.

    If secular Hinduism means giving freedom to each individual to pursue their own truth, it seems in alignment with Sanatan Dharma.

    It is when Secularism dilutes or goes astray from the deeper values of Sanatan Dharma that all problems begin.

    May we realize that Secularism or Faithful-ism are simply labels. What matters is the dedication of one’s heart and soul to the Truth.

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  • Rana Bhoumick

    Sunita, only one part of a sentence of this write-up arrests my attention, the rest is usual spin expected from any “dalal”. Quote “What worries many like us, who belong to the middle class, is the price…”

    Come come, I accept your humility in good grace, but I cannot for once believe that being the dalal of the 4th wealthiest politician of the world for so many years has left you yet “struggling” in the middle-class even NOW??

    It is the sacrosanct duty of the person whose dalali you have been dutifully doing along with your illustrious colleagues as Barkha (of RANDITV awarded Padma Shri”) Rajdeep & Sagarika (running a network etc), Sujata and now, you are imputing that lesser dalals are not compensated as much. That is s terrible injustice inflicted upon you.

    Nothing wrong with the 4th wealthiest politician of the world looting the treasury, has been on with impunity since independence, but leaving you to “wallow” in the middle-class is unbearable to my sensibilities , when other dalals are moving around in luxury cars and reside in penthouses.

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  • Rana Bhoumick

    Sunita, only one part of a sentence of this write-up arrests my
    attention, the rest is usual spin expected from any “dala!”. Quote
    “What worries many like us, who belong to the middle class, is the
    price…”
    Come come, I accept your humility in good grace, but I
    cannot for once believe that being the dala! of the 4th wealthiest
    politician of the world for so many years has left you yet “struggling”
    in the middle-class even NOW??
    It is the sacrosanct duty of the
    person whose dala!i you have been dutifully doing along with your
    illustrious colleagues as Barkha (of RANDITV awarded Padma Shri”)
    Rajdeep & Sagarika (running a network etc), Sujata and now, you are
    imputing that lesser dala!s are not compensated as much. That is s
    terrible injustice inflicted upon you.
    Nothing wrong with the 4th
    wealthiest politician of the world looting the treasury, has been on
    with impunity since independence, but leaving you to “wallow” in the
    middle-class is unbearable to my sensibilities , when other dala!s are
    moving around in luxury cars and reside in penthouses.

    [Reply]

  • Rana Bhoumick

    Sunita, only one part of a sentence of this write-up arrests my
    attention, the rest is usual spin expected from any “dalal”. Quote
    “What worries many like us, who belong to the middle class, is the
    price…”

    Come come, I accept your humility in good grace, but I
    cannot for once believe that being the dalal of the 4th wealthiest
    politician of the world for so many years has left you yet “struggling”
    in the middle-class even NOW??
    It is the sacrosanct duty of the
    person whose dalali you have been dutifully doing along with your
    illustrious colleagues as Barkha (of RAND!TV awarded Padma Shri”)
    Rajdeep & Sagarika (running a network etc), Sujata and now, you are
    imputing that lesser dalals are not compensated as much. That is s
    terrible injustice inflicted upon you.
    Nothing wrong with the 4th
    wealthiest politician of the world looting the treasury, has been on
    with impunity since independence, but leaving you to “wallow” in the
    middle-class is unbearable to my sensibilities , when other dalals are
    moving around in luxury cars and reside in penthouses.

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  • Praveen Saxena

    The frequency of Sunita Behen’s blogs shall increase …as the action scene shifts to UP for a very exciting General Election. . She and her Lucknow Bureau are in for exciting times..and many front page stories.

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  • Parmeshwar Roongta

    The Indian people are least bothered about secularism or communalism.Therefore, in my view, there will be other far more mundane issues that will attract the attention of the common man.

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  • Kaypee Endee

    I don’t agree with some passionate comments made here. However, you too are being biased. Congress is sure of their policy of minority appeasement, and RSS is sure of its opposition to it. BJP is confused. Similar dilemmas, contradictions and acts of omission? and commission? (in Gujarat) make BJP’s acceptability difficult. But you will also remember that when such party comes to power, these contradictions don’t allow it to follow a deeply sectarian path. Will you believe that under MM Joshi, more funds went to madrassas than before and soon after (I don’t have recent figures).

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