Let secularism rule - GulfToday

Let secularism rule

Shaadaab S. Bakht

@ShaadaabSBakht

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

Rahul-Gandhi-750x500

Rahul Gandhi

ON INDIAN ELECTION

It’s dark at home. When he steps out, it’s darkness again. As he decides to walk on the darkness thickens. That’s the reality that makes up the lives of millions of Indians, who if given a chance would like to be unborn. They leave home before the sun turns harsh. That’s during summers. They return home early before the night becomes unbearable. That’s during winters.

They pass scores of nights without sleep when the rains decide to drown them in a manner as if this world didn’t need them, as if they were a divine error, as if they were brittle pieces of disposables.

The only beam of light that helps them see in the darkness that laces their existence is hope and promise, a lot of which has been made in the last few months of electioneering by those who can change their lives — the leaders.

The opposition Congress Party leader, Rahul Gandhi, said the main issues were unemployment, economic hardship in the countryside (farmers dying), the demonetisation of bank notes (small- time traders badly hit) and a new sales tax.

“It was a good fight,” Gandhi said after he cast his vote earlier this week in New Delhi.

They pass scores of nights without sleep when the rains decide to drown them in a manner as if this world didn’t need them, as if they were a divine error, as if they were brittle pieces of disposables


By the way Gandhi belongs to a family where children don’t want to become astronauts, doctors, engineers, actors, singers, pilots, lawyers and footballers. They want to become prime ministers.  

Gandhi said,“Narendra Modi used hatred, we used love. And I think love is going to win. The people are our maalik (boss). We will accept the people’s mandate.” My only fear is that love is like a beautiful “plucked flower” and hatred a “serpent’s tooth.”

Gandhi has been speaking of improving the conditions of the farmers, introducing monthly allowances for the needy, easing taxes and getting rid of the corrupt, who ran away from the country after taking billions of rupees as loans from nationalised banks.

Modi has been promising a better life, like he did five years ago, but has been unable to check his party colleagues from using the communal card and overstressing the importance of protecting the cow, which many worship and some eat.

One of his party’s senior leaders recently referred to the minorities as termites. The oppressed weren’t surprised to hear that because they have been compared before to dogs and cats.

That’s terribly unfair because the minorities are living in India by choice. Their unwillingness to migrate followed the Congress Party’s decision in 1947 to lay the forged-in-iron ground rules for a secular and all-embracing India, which it more or less remained till the heartless winter of 1992 froze the rules once and for all. A mosque was brought down with bare hands, which after that day have gone up only to strangle and never to hug.

Well, by the end of next week we shall know whether love exists beyond the bedpost.

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