Ram Sethu Issue brings forth the Pseudo Secularism in Indian Political Parties



Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s remarks on Lord Ram and Ram Vilas Vedanti announcing bounty on Karunanidhi's head has given an ugly and violent turn to the Ram Sethu Controversy. Instead of condemning Karunanidhi and Vedanti, mainstream political parties in India and regional political parties who have representatives in the Cabinet and Parliament have remained silent on the issue. This once again clearly demonstrates the pseudo secularist attitude of Indian Political Parties.

When the Central government submitted an affidavit stating there was No Lord Ram, some of the partners in the UPA coalition like Lalu Prasad Yadav came out against the affidavit and the government immediately withdrew it. As expected, the Communist Parties (CPI-M and CPI and numerous other splinter communist groups) – always in the forefront on demanding action against Hindu groups for their fundamentalist actions – supported the affidavit.

Unnecessary comments by Karunanidhi like ‘No Lord Ram’, ‘which engineering college did Lord Ram go’, and ‘Ram is a drunkard’ were not condemned by any of the major Political Parties in India. Instead of condemning such unruly statements, the Congress Party tried to distance itself from the comments. CPI and CPI (M) supported the remarks of Karunanidhi. Other regional parties remained spectators.

The net result was that many of the political parties could not come out openly against Vedanti’s statements as they will have to then condemn Karunanidhi’s statements. As expected, CPI and CPI (M) came out against Vedanti’s statements but shied away from answering questions related to Karunanidhi’s statements.

Will the Communist Parties remain silent, if Karunanidhi makes a blasphemous statement on Islam or Christianity? Communist Party members were seen on television screens hour after hour condemning the Gujarat Arts college episode but the leaders were not seen discussing the ‘No Lord Ram’ episode.

Had the mainstream political parties condemned Karunanidhi’s statements, then they could have easily taken on Vedanti. More and more people in India are today asking questions like why only such things happen with Hindus. Why only Hindu sentiments are hurt? Why do people get away after hurting Hindu sentiments?

Prakash Karat of CPI (M) maintains that atheists have a right to express their opinion. Yes, they have all right to practice atheism in personal life. But Karunanidhi is not the chief minister of atheists and nor is Prakash Karat’s party existing in an atheist nation. If CPI (M) and Karunanidhi can defend the beliefs of Muslims and Christians, why not defend the Hindus?

Ram Sethu Issue may die out soon but certain questions which it has raised in the minds of secular Hindus will remain unanswered. The attitude of certain mainstream political parties will force many liberal and secular Hindus to think differently. And a day may come when instead of the fundamentalists, liberal and secular Hindus will take to the streets for defending Hinduism.