Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said that the word “secular” was the “biggest lie” that has been told since Independence, and has damaged the country. The BJP leader also said that “distorting history was no less a crime than sedition”, and claimed that the word “Paki” was the “biggest insult” used in Europe.
Responding to a question on communalism and secularism at a function organised by the Dainik Jagran group in Raipur, Adityanath said, “Mera maanna hai ki azadi ke baad Bharat mein sabse bada jhooth dharmnirpeksh shabd hai. Nagrikon ke saath, Bharat ke logon ke saath… un logon ko maafi maangni chahiye, jinhone is shabd ko janm diya aur jo yeh shabd istemaal karte hai… koi vyavastha dharmnirpeksh nahin ho sakti. Rajneetik vyavastha panthnirpeksh ho sakti hai. Agar koi humse kahega ki shasan us upasna vidhi se chalni chahiye, toh nahin chal sakti. UP ke andar dekhunga to 22 crore logon ko dekhna hoga. Mein in logon ke suraksha ke prati, unki bhavnaon ke prati javabdeh hoon. Lekin ek samuday ka dushtikaran karne ke liye bhi nahin baitha hoon. Panthnirpeksh ho lekin dharmnirpeksh nahin ho sakta” (I believe that the word secular is the biggest lie since Independence. Those that have given birth to this lie and those that use it should apologise to the people and this country. No system can be secular. Political system can be sect-neutral. If someone were to say that government has to be run by one way of prayer, that is not possible. In UP, I have to look at 22 crore people and I am answerable for their security and their feelings. But I am not sitting here to ruin one community either. You can be sect-neutral but not secular).
Referring to India’s standing in the West during the interaction, Adityanath claimed that the words “Pakistan” and “Paki” carried a derogatory connotation in Europe. “Europe mein sabse badi apmaan-janak shabd hai to voh Paki shabd hai. Pakistan shabd hi gaali ka prayaylay ho gaya hai (Paki has become an scornful word in Europe. The word Pakistan itself has become a synonym for abuse),” he said.
Earlier, delivering a short address at the interaction, Adityanath said, “Itihas ko tod-marod ke prastut karna, rashtradroh se kam nahin (Distorting history is no less a crime that sedition).”
The UP Chief Minister also attended a felicitation organised by the BJP in a separate function at the indoor stadium in Raipur, where he targeted the Congress for committing mistakes that led to terrorism, Naxalism and separatism in parts of the country.
“Congress ne is desh ki mool bhavnayon ke saath khilvaad kiya. Apne swarth ke liye is desh ko jaati ke naam par, bhasha ke naam par, kshetra ke naam par vibhajit kya. Desh mein kahin aatankvaad, kahin naxalvaad, kahin algavaad ko janm diya. Uksi keemat ye desh aaj bhi chuka raha hai… Humare liye sampoorna Bharat ek parivar hai. (The Congress played with the core emotions of this country. For its own selfish aims, it divided the country on the lines of caste, region, language. There is terrorism somewhere, Naxalism somewhere, separatism somewhere. We are still paying the price… for us, the entire country is one complete family),” he said.
Comparing the Narendra Modi government to “Ram Rajya”, he said that while the Prime Minister understands the pain of the people, the Congress does not.
Adityanath said that Chhattisgarh goes to polls in exactly a year and exhorted BJP workers to begin preparations. The BJP was out in full force at the party event, with slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” renting the air, and many Chhattisgarh ministers garlanding Adityanath and touching his feet.