Growing religious intolerance in India
The twin suicide bombings at two Lahore churches last Sunday which left 15 dead and hundreds injured again highlight the plight of minorities in Pakistan who continue to live under the shadow of terror. Pakistan is an extreme example of religious intolerance. But in India, where democracy, secularism and constitutiolism are deep-rooted, commul harmony is widely celebrated.
However, recent events triggered by fundamentalist Hindu elements in the country have raised questions on India’s secularism. In the last two months there were as many as five attacks on different churches across Delhi. Events like “ghar-wapsi” and compulsory teachings of the Bhagwad Gita in schools have upset the common populace. Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy recently said that a mosque, unlike a temple, is not a religious place. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on Mother Teresa received huge criticism. The enhanced ban on sale or possession of beef and draconian punishments for cow slaughter in states like Maharastra and Harya reflect religious majoritarianism.
All these suggest that the Hindu fundamentalist groups have suddenly become bolder under the BJP led government at the Centre. Also, US President Barack Obama during his visit to India sounded very concerned about India’s growing religious intolerance. This is very unfortute, as the BJP’s mandate was for good governce and inclusive development, not for pushing a Hindutva agenda. For a tion that aspires to be the next superpower, religious intolerance or Hindu majoritarianism has no place in the society. The government must act tough on any violator of commul harmony.
Subramaniam Swami, hitherto known for his depth of knowledge and intelligence, has degraded himself before the people of Assam with some of his irresponsible comments. We do not require such sermons from a member of the tiol executive committee of the BJP and of the stature of Subramaniam Swami. His comments reek of commul disharmony. He further went to the extent of terming the state BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharya an illiterate. His irresponsible utterance of certain comments prompts us to endorse our Chief Minister’s stand and we certainly welcome if a ban is imposed on his entry into Assam.
Our state has already been in turmoil with many burning issues and entry and comments of such so-called erudite leaders will compound the situation beyond measure. It seems, Swamiji is up and doing to destroy the good works of our Prime Minister. Now, our people should seriously think of a ‘change’ from misrule of the congress and the comments of leaders like Swamiji will certainly prove to be counterproductive.