Deliberate distortion of the term ‘secularism’ by Mr. Rajnath Singh, Union home minister

Strongly criticizing the deliberation of Mr. Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister in the Parliament on secularism Comrade Provash Ghosh, the General Secretary of SUCI (Communist), has issued the following statement today, 29th November 2015.

“We strongly disapprove the deliberate distortion of the concept of ‘Secularism’ by Mr. Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister to suit the agenda of the RSS, BJP and other members of the Sangh Parivar as well as of Shiv Sena. Every student of history knows that the concept of secularism evolved in western Renaissance during the rising period of capitalism and at the advent of Parliamentary democracy by discarding feudal autocracy and religion based obsolete feudal ideas, and denoted non-recognition of any super natural entity. A truly secular state neither encourages nor discourages religion; it puts religion in its proper place by making religion a purely personal affair of faith having no connection with the state. As in a secular state religion has no role in politics, in education and in public affairs so also in a truly secular democratic society both the believers and the non-believers enjoy equal rights.

So, historically and scientifically, and in all sense secularism cannot mean any other thing than ‘Dharmanirapekshta’ (neutral to religion). But Mr. Rajnath Singh says secularism means ‘Pant Nirapekshta’ (neutral to sects) and not Dharmanirapekshta.

This statement clearly sanctifies the role of religion in politics, education and in all public affairs and encourages the religion oriented parties and forces to play role in politics. One has to understand the simple fact that a state which instead following the principles of true secularism patronizes on single religion reduces itself to a theocratic state, while a state which patronizes all religions reduces itself to a multi-theocratic state. Mr. Rajnath Sing is advocating for such an understanding of secularism. Further, the very argument of Mr. Singh that secularism is a concept of Western Countries and hence not applicable to Indian condition is another misinterpretation as the very concept of Parliamentary democracy, which he too eulogizes like all bourgeois ideologs, also has its origin in Western countries. Such a definition of secularism cannot but vitiate the socio-political-cultural atmosphere of the country.

It is high time that all true secular democratic parties and forces unitedly raise their voice against such a motivated effort to mislead the people so that the growing mass struggles on burning problems of life do not develop on true secular principles.

At the same time we appeal to the people to stubbornly resist the growing communal frenzy in the country, restore democratic norms and values and create a congenial atmosphere in which democratic mass movement can freely develop.

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