February 21, 2008
THE DISCIPLINE OF DEMOCRACY:
Has the BJP become pseudo-secular? (Amulya Ganguli, February 21, 2008, Rediff)
Has the anti-north Indian violence in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra made the Bharatiya Janata Party wake up to the values of Indian pluralism? Such a presumption is possible if one reads the latest editorial in the RSS journal, Organiser, for it suggests that the party is veering dangerously close to the pseudo-secular line. Arguing that Raj Thackeray has 'got his priorities wrong', the editorial says 'any attempt to divide the country in the name of caste, region, language or religion strikes at the root of Indianness and politicians who play such a divisive game to further their obnoxious self-interest should be abhorred.'
Well, well, well. Wonders will never cease. Or has L K Advani been re-reading Mohammed Ali Jinnah's peroration on how everyone can do his own thing where religion is concerned and that politicians have no business to interfere? In what can sound like music to the ears of secularists, Organiser goes on to say that 'for centuries it (Mumbai) has been the confluence of cultural streams, it beckoned people from all walks of life and created a proud, glorious tradition.'
Either the writer got carried away his own eloquence or the party is in for a serious rethink. The most interesting passage, of course, in this paean to multiculturalism relates to the attempts to divide the country in the name of religion. Yet, this is exactly what the BJP and the Sangh Parivar have been doing all their lives. Their entire focus has always been on widening the Hindu-Muslim divide and mocking those favouring a composite culture as bleeding heart liberals and Muslim appeasers.
The reasons, however, for the dawning of sense -- if it is really that and not a temporary lapse into sanity -- are not far to seek.
That darn End of History, democratic parties have no choice but protestantism. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2008 1:08 PM