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Communal Bogey

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An ongoing narrative being pushed energetically by the opposition parties – as well as their proxies on social media – is that the present government’s deeds are taking India towards a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. This is a deliberate attempt to scare the minorities and obtain their support. Going by the uninformed and violent protests across the country against the CAA, this stratagem seems to be working.

With around eighty percent of the population being Hindu at the time of Independence, could India’s constitution have been against the natural consciousness of its people? Is the Constitution alien to the Hindus? If it was accepted then, it must have had its foundations in India’s civilisational beliefs. Is it the opposition’s argument that the present constitution violates these beliefs and was forced upon the people by some more enlightened minority? Can any legally elected government go against the wishes of the people? The fact is that even the original preamble was tampered with later at a time when democratic functioning was under stress and words like ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ added to it. The constitution makers had not used the word secular because they did not feel it was needed as the inherent nature of the people was exactly that – ‘Sarv Dharma Sambhav’. The word secular implied a more western separation between faith and state. And they certainly didn’t consider India a ‘socialist’ country.

The fact of the matter is that the present day government is under fire because it is actually working decisively to implement the letter and spirit of the constitution. For too long being secular has meant taking the majority for granted and using the minorities as electoral fodder. This meant that even the Directive Principals were overlooked and treated as mere embellishment to the Constitution. It was always the objective of the founding fathers to take India in a certain direction where a modern value system would be adopted by every individual of society. The foundation of this was to be laid through social justice, equal opportunity and political equality. Instead, in the quest to retain power, ghettos were created that excluded the purpose of these high principles.

Hindus want the present constitution to be implemented, which would make it as much a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ as a Muslim or any other rashtra. It would serve the purpose of each individual, irrespective of any other identity – as Indian citizens. That person’s perspective would determine what kind of rashtra it would seem. Every person is distinctive, but that does not mean different, which some people would like it to be for their personal purposes.