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Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Urdu Press: Religion and politics

Following the SC judgment in 1995 declaring ‘Hindutva’ a way of life, the pro-Hindutva forces have exploited this judgment to an extent that has no precedent.

Updated: January 13, 2017 1:07:23 pm
india, intolerance, india intolerance, indian hindus, hindutva, india liberal hindus, sangh parivar, mahatma gandhi According to the SC, under the Representation of People’s Act, Article 123 (3), the use of religion is prohibited and election is a secular activity and appeals in the name of religion, ethnicity, caste, community, etc., are unacceptable.

Commenting on the scenario after the Supreme Court’s verdict — that asking for votes in the name of religion, caste, language, etc, is unlawful — Jadeed Khabar, in a  commentary on January 8, writes: “In this regard, the worst culprit is the BJP ruling at the Centre. The main thrust of its politics  is ‘Hindutva’. Following the SC judgment in 1995 declaring ‘Hindutva’ a way of life, the pro-Hindutva forces have exploited this judgment to an extent that has no precedent. According to the SC, under the Representation of People’s Act, Article 123 (3), the use of religion is prohibited and election is a secular activity and appeals in the name of religion, ethnicity, caste, community, etc., are unacceptable. But the judgement of the apex court can be effective only if the court clarifies its 20-year-old judgment about ‘Hindutva’.”

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Rashtriya Sahara, in its editorial on January 9, writes: “BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj’s recent controversial statement directed against Muslims in Meerut is being considered as a violation of the Supreme Court’s verdict. The Election Commission, taking a serious note of this statement, has asked the Meerut district administration for a full
report on the matter. Along with the EC, the district authorities should also take serious action to pre-empt any similar attempt to vitiate the environment.”

Roznama Khabrein, in its editorial on January 9, writes: “The time has come for the PM to take some action to make people believe that he does not like elements that want to create conflicts between communities. Deceptions in the name of ‘sab ka saath, sab ka vikas’ are not going to be of any help.”

SP and secular vote

The daily Inquilab, in its commentary on January 8, writes: “The tug-of-war in the Samajwadi Party is a serious assault on secular politics in Uttar Pradesh. The secular vote in the state is presently in a dilemma due to the war between the Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav camps. The need of the moment was that the SP should have
remained a unified unit taking along like-minded parties so that a Bihar-type front against communal forces could emerge. But now that seems very difficult.”

The editor of Roznama Khabrein, Qasim Syed, in a signed front page commentary on the same day, writes: “In case the SP is divided, there is every possibility that Muslim voters, whose sole strategy is to defeat BJP, would move towards BSP which claims that its victory will be ensured with 22 per cent Dalit and 20 per cent Muslim votes. Even if 50 per cent of the Muslim vote goes over to the BSP, the BJP’s castle in the air would fall to the ground. Now, even an understanding between the two warring groups of the SP will prove the opposition’s allegation that it was a fixed match (noora kushti).”

The daily Sahafat, in its front page lead on January 10, quotes an unnamed senior leader close to Mulayam and Shivpal Yadav saying that in case the two groups of SP contest the election separately, the Mulayam group is considering declaring Azam Khan its chief ministerial candidate in an effort to attract Muslim votes.

Bengaluru’s shame

The editor of Inquilab, Shakeel Shamsi, in his signed column on January 6, writes: “Undoubtedly, Bengaluru is not unsafe for women like Delhi. Working women there come out of their homes and return from office late at night. Girls from Muslim majority areas feel quite safe. But the reports of mass molestation that came from Bengaluru on New Year’s eve were not only surprising but proved to be a black spot on the face of the city. Despite heavy police arrangements, when these reports of goondaism came to light, many odd and objectionable statements were made by some politicians. One gentleman said that such incidents do take place occasionally. Another said that such
incidents are bound to take place if girls wear provocative dresses. He also said that ants are bound to go where there is sugar and fire would certainly spread if brought near petrol. Thus, they held girls themselves responsible for the shameful treatment meted out to them. He should be asked what provocative dress an 11-month-old child who was raped in Delhi a few days ago was wearing.”

Rashtriya Sahara, on January 10, in a strange tone, writes: “Incidents ranging from the mass molestation in Bengaluru to the many cases of indiscriminate killings reported daily are giving a loud message that human society and governments are not capable of stopping them. They can be stopped only by sincerely following the path shown by the creator of the universe, who has fixed a day for judgement on all good deeds and misdeeds committed in
this world.”

Compiled by Seema Chishti

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