Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Pseudo secularists at large

Sonia Gandhi has once again accused the previous NDA government of being communal. In her own words:
"The former Government was a communal Government. It tried to damage the history. The freedom struggle of the country was also distorted."
Reference: Indiainfo

Nothing new in such an accusation by Sonia and other leaders of the ruling UPA. But ironically, this time the supremo of the self-proclaimed secular party was addressing a rally of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, a known Islamic Organisation. Rediff has also covered this news in detail. Excerpts from the Rediff article:

Never before had a public rally attracted so many Congressmen in a function other than their own. Not only Congress leaders, including president Sonia Gandhi and her political advisor Ahmed Patel, but also Railway minister Lalu Prashad Yadav and Indian National Lok Dal leader Chaudhary Ajit Singh shared the dais.

It was the 28th general session of a leading Muslim group Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind in New Delhi Sunday evening.

The stage was set and speakers after speakers did every bit to woo Muslims who had come here from across the country. The police said it was 300,000-strong gathering at the Ramlila Grounds.Among other Congress leaders were Mohsina Kidwai, Digvijay Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Mani Shankar Aiyer and Shakeel Ahmed Khan.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has a long association with Indian National Congress, an association which started during the freedom struggle. The Congress party has consistently relied on Jamiat to woo its Muslim vote bank. In recent times, it has become a non-political socio-cultural organisation. However, it still retains its identity as an Islamic Organisation, its main agenda being the nation-wide reservation for Muslims in education & jobs. Post Gujrat riots, the Jamiat carried out a protest & jail-bharo movement. The secretary of the group, Maulana Mahmood is quoted in this Tribune article as making the following statement:
“If you desire that the disgraceful chapter of Gujarat is not rewritten, direct your state governments to provide reservation for Muslims in every walk of life."
This proves the Jamiat to be a hard-liner, in principle. How come, then, attending the rally of such an organisation is a secular activity? All the politicians assembled in that rally were worried about their Muslim vote bank and tried their best to retain Muslim voters, as is evident from the speeches offerred by the UPA leaders. Still, they have the audacity to brand themselves as secular. Makes me wonder, how come Advani attending a Janmastami function or Atalji attending a Sadhu-Samavesh make them communal? For the country, the UPA leaders' style of veiled-communalism (or pseduo-secularisim) is definitely as fatal as the Togadia style communalism.

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