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secularism is not an issue for every election

Advocate

Secularism cannot be an issue for every election

 

Last night there was debate in Timesnow channel about the non-BJP parties forming a Secular coalition.  I feel Secularism is no more an issue for electorate, neither the electorate voted for or against secularism nor the political parties are entitled to form coalitions on the basis of secularism.  This is because, I, as a voter, say, voted for JDU because RJD is my enemy (not BJP), my heart would burn if JDU unites with RJD.  It amounts to cheating the voter.  All post poll alliances are immoral and should be made illegal too.  If there is an understanding between political parties and if there is prepoll alliance and it is informed to voter that there is prepoll alliance, the parties would have done a favor to the voter to decide which party to vote.  After polls if the party the voter voted for allies with a party against which he had given a vote, it amounts to cheating such voter.

 

Secularism is an issue which is to be settled once for all.  Secularism is part of basic structure of consitution of India as per SC judgment in Keshavananda Bharati case, hence I am not saying any referendum can be held. It cannot become an issue in every panchayat, municipal, corporation, assembly and parliament elections because, every time the people vote for BJP they are deemed to have been swayed by communal passions and everytime they vote for non-BJP parties they are deemed to have voted for Secularism.  Nothing is more bizarre argument than this. 

 

In fact, in the discussion the reference to word "socialism" by Seshadri Chari hinted to me that the RSS is of the view that if Indian economy can be liberalized in such a way that the idea of socialism can be rooted out of our economy, and the word "socialism" still finds place in Constitution, why cannot the same logic be applied to word "Secular" in the Preamble.  I have nothing to say on this because they have clearly spelt out in the recent past that they are always in favor of a Secular India and that they will do justice to all sections of society.  In view of that he should have avoided hinting at this in yesterday's discussion.

 

Now coming to the issue of Dynastic politics, the view always echoed by BJP was that it is internal matter of Congress party to keep on electing Smt. Sonia Gandhi as AICC President.  That is not correct view.  Congress party used to have one new AICC president in every two years prior to Independence.  Even Nehru followed the principle scrupulously.  It is only since Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister she centralized the party functioning by being AICC President one side and PM on the other side.  In Independent India we have not seen any AICC President in the recent past other than Sitaram Kesri who led party when Ms. Sonia Gandhi was not decided about joining politics after the demise of her husband in 1991.

 

As Congress was the first party in India that ruled the India and States for nearly half a century, all other parties that came up as Regional parties started functioning in the same style.  There is one man who heads the party and party comes to power because of his charisma.  Whether it is MGR, NTR, Jayalalita, Mamta Benarjee, Balasaheb Thakrey, Farooq Abdullah etc...from North to South we can find this syndrome in all political parties. 

 

So if there is any party to take the blame for dynastic politics it is Congress party alone. 

 

Now coming to the issue of whether it is internal matter of political parties to elect same President forever or not to hold elections at all for the post of party head, I would remind the BJP that if the Congress followed the healthy practice of having one new President every two years the Haryana Government would not have done favors to Robert Vadra in land deals.  Does the BJP want to say, this corruption is not people's issue? It is very much an issue concerning people.  And so, there is every need to fight out the dynastic politics. 

 

The only way I feel the difference between haves and havenots can be bridged in our country is - political power entering new societies.  If there is only one centralized power in a political party, coteries will be formed around that power centre and even though the person heading the party may be unselfish, the coterie may not be unselfish.  This actually leads to one growing up at the mercy of other.  Electing new party heads once in every two years would break these coteries and the society of the new party head would benefit by being associated with the Political class.  Otherwise, there will remain one permanent "Ruling class" like Kshatriyas in Monarchy whose duty is to rule and the people will remain voters forever.  We have already reached that situation where there is one "ruling class" which keeps on coming back to power and the people on other side who can never think of entering politics. 

 

We are living on Democracy not Monarchy.  That is why the party heads must learn to bring up new leaders from party cadres to shoulder responsibility at highest level and be humble enough to bend their backs to work under them.  Otherwise, this system is not fit to be called a Democracy.  For this, the first sacrifice should be made by the first party of India.

 
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