Pseudo-Secularism

Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

RSS slams Padma Shri to Gladys Staines

NEW DELHI, FEB 01 (PTI)

The RSS today slammed the conferment of Padma Shri on Gladys Staines, wife of slain Australian missionary Graham Staines and Left historians who had opposed the "nationalist" approach to education brought in by the NDA government.

It charged the Sonia Gandhi-led UPA with converting every occasion "to make a statement against national sentiments".

"The Padma award to Gladys Staines defies all logic. She deserves all sympathy, all hospitality - we are a very hospitable nation - and justice. But awarding Padma Bhushan to this foreign missionary is like recognising conversion as a social activity", a front page editorial in the latest issue of RSS mouthpiece 'Organiser' said.

"In a Hindu-majority state that swears by secularism, it is no virtue to indulge in proselytisation. It should be abhorred for it mocks at the religious freedom the majority has consented to", it said.

The editorial said if her service was the criterion, why the Government did not consider RSS-backed outfits like Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and Sewa Bharati besides other organisations "who were self-lessly serving the nation".

"Are they not considered because of their Hindu tag? Is it necessary that the the state has to be explicitly anti-Hindu and pronouncedly pro-Christian and Muslim to prove itself secular?", it asked.

It recalled how the UPA under Sonia Gandhi has "converted every occasion to make a statement against the national sentiments, how systematically it has been promoting centrifugal politics and crass minorityism in the name of secularism".

Accusing the Government of trying to make a political statement through these awards, it said, "otherwise one cannot appreciate the Padma Vibhushan to Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar, Mrinal Meri and Rev Halsawma.

"Most of them were in the forefront opposing the nationalist approach to education brought in by the NDA Government".

Pointing out that Habib was the Babri Masjid Committee's representative negotiating with the Government, as their expert on history, the RSS editorial said, "it is strange that in a secular democracy, those who support the Babri Masjid Action Committee are honoured and those who want to restore the Ram temple are denounced".

In an apparent reference to Christians, Muslims and Secularists, it said, "if one is to take a look at the list, a less than two per cent population, alongwith the other 13 per cent and Hindu-bashing pseudos have cornered a lion's share of these. It is wrong to put the Padma awards into such a religious scrutiny, but, it is obvious the selection was done on this consideration, hence no offence intended." This approach, it said, has become routine under UPA. "In all appointments, minorityism and minorities are favoured and rewarded, even as it condemns majority claims. That even a national honour like the Padma award has to be made an occasion to promote polemics is the limit, to say the least".

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