External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sparked off a controversy by saying that the Bhagwat Gita should be made national scripture (‘Swaraj wants Gita made ”national scripture”’, IE, December 8). Our leaders forget that India is a secular, not a Hindu, nation. Such statements are a threat to the integrity of a diverse country. Moreover, national-scripture status is not needed to prove the power and piety of the Gita. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken great pains to shed his Hindutva image and is now accepted as a leader who stands for development. It is time he talked sense into leaders who practise the politics of divide and rule.
— Shiv Sethi
A leader of Sushma Swaraj’s experience should know that our country is home to many faiths and communities. Our secularism lies in including all religions, as distinct from the Western model, which would exclude all. Moreover, politics and religion should be kept separate. Any mix of the two only complicates matters. The increasing intolerance and aggressiveness has demeaned our country. The Gita has its place, but in the halls of democracy, our secular and humane Constitution must be the only guide.
— Parthasarathy Sen
The disgusting comment made by the Union minister, Niranjan Jyoti, is yet another instance of the rhetorical misadventures that have dotted our politics recently. Rabble rousers from the Sangh Parivar have been making viciously communal remarks. What adds insult to injury is that BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, have tried to downplay the minister’s gross misdemeanour. The combined opposition is fully justified in the stance it has taken in Parliament. The attempt to polarise Delhi politics was made with an eye on the assembly polls. Now, the whole nation watches with bated breath — is Modi in control of the Sangh Parivar or is it the other way around?
— Shahabuddin Nadeem
Ties that bind
In keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy, the BJP in Maharashtra had terminated its 25-year-old alliance with the Shiv Sena to go it alone in the state polls (‘Maharashtra: PIL in Bombay HC against Shiv Sena joining the BJP government’, IE, December 6). Despite a poor showing by the Congress and the NCP, it failed to get a majority. The BJP was cunning enough to warm up to the NCP, forcing the Shiv Sena into submission. Moreover, realising the NCP would be an unreliable ally, the BJP itself was forced to come to terms with the Shiv Sena.
— S.R. Purandare