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A citizen must not forget that Indian secularism is different from the west. We do not follow the concept of mere ‘separation of the state from the Church’ but the Constituent Assembly debates open up to the minds of our founding fathers that secularism in India is actually ‘pluralism’ and this word has no connection with minority appeasement or Hindu bashing.

Freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution is not merely a fundamental right but also a responsibility to use speech carefully else it may pave a route to disaster. In the fresh case at hand, Salman Khurshid has written a book on the Ayodhya judgment in which he narrates how the RSS’s campaign in India is similar to that of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in West Asia. He was joined by his party colleague Rashid Alvi who held that those who chant the name of Lord Ram are not devotees but demons. It seems that mere targeting and abusing the religious tenets of the majority is the secularism of the Congress party.

A citizen must not forget that Indian secularism is different from the west. We do not follow the concept of mere ‘separation of the state from the Church’ but the Constituent Assembly debates open up to the minds of our founding fathers that secularism in India is actually ‘pluralism’ and this word has no connection with minority appeasement or Hindu bashing.  

Rahul Gandhi comes up with a video message from a ‘hide out’ to further the confusion between Hinduism and Hindutva. He looked totally confused on the subject matter when he says that Hindus don’t kill. Such statements provide force to those forces who have been saying that the Congress before Sonia Gandhi (1998) was secular but under her, it has become a pro-Muslim party.

It will take a lot of effort for someone to decipher how secular is Congress’ ‘secularism’ when it has alliances with the most fanatic and bigoted parties in different parts of the country – Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala, Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF in Assam, Furfura Sharif Chief in West Bengal and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. 

Minority appeasement and sheer hatred towards the majority community don’t make one secular. It might be a trick to start getting back the minority vote bank from regional entities but even the liberal Hindus are certainly not impressed.  

Then there this new girl on the block – Kangana Ranaut, an actress from Bollywood – who has become the most reliable source of disinformation and raking up controversies that are hurtful to the country. Someone should tell her that freedom struggle in India commenced the moment the first Imperialist established foothold on Indian soil and continued even after 1947 when the last of the colonists were ejected in 1961 from Goa – the Portuguese!

Whether it was the Revolt of 1857, the Kakori Kand of 1925 or the tens of thousands who lost their lives in the Quit India Movement – Freedom was attained through blood and sweat. Many generations got consumed in the struggle for Independence. Though we did not ask the British to

‘relinquish’ their power and opted for a ‘transfer of power,’ but that doesn’t mean these are 'alms' from the colonists.

The media and the rest of the civil society have the responsibility to censor out such remarks. It’s more than clear that she is trying to harness the confidence of the ruling regime but her comments will damage the prospects of the rulers, as liberal and moderate Indians have disdain for such fire being spewed out regularly from dragon-mouthed Kangana Ranaut.

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