Monday, June 14, 2021
HomeEditorialIt’s elections of two ideologies: Secularism v/s communalism

It’s elections of two ideologies: Secularism v/s communalism

Priyanka Gandhi shook everyone’s conscience by giving a very upfront statement that if anybody, even blood relations are going to be on the other side of the ideological spectrum, then these are my beliefs towards them. I feel it is a betrayal of my family, my father died for the unity of this country; I will not even let my children cross his ideology. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra conveyed a contemptuous appraisal of her younger cousin Varun, who filed his nomination papers as the BJP candidate from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Varun Gandhi has been acquitted of charges of spreading communal hatred which he had given in last general elections by a local court in Uttar Pradesh.

BJP follows Hindutva agenda and Congress follows secular ideology. However, today secular ideology is being limited to appeasing minorities which many Hindus won’t like. India is divided between Communal and Secular ideologies. BJP expresses a commitment to Hindutva, an ideology developed by Hindu politician Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. It asserts that Hindutva is cultural nationalism, which favours India’s heritage, civilisation and culture over Westernisation. While critics allege that the party is antagonistic to religious minorities, the BJP asserts that cultural nationalism naturally extends to all Indians, including Muslims and Christians.

Priyanka’s mother, Sonia is the Congress president. Her brother, Rahul is fronting the party’s campaign for the national election. Priyanka is managing their campaigns in their constituencies of Rae Bareli and Amethi. Varun Gandhi has relocated his constituency from Pilibhit to Sultanpur, which brings him next door to his estranged family. A statement posted on Twitter offered his counter to Priyanka’s comments. “In the last few days, a few statements have been made. …my inherent decency and large-heartedness should not be construed as weakness by anyone.

Sonia Gandhi asked people to choose path of progress and shun the one propagated by BJP where only caste and religious identity will matter. On the other side, she is right in saying BJP claims only their followers are patriots while the rest is not. All those who oppose BJP and Modi or disrespect them are addressed with many adjectives such as Pakistani agent, anti-national etc. They claim that you will be ‘desh bhakt’ (patriot) only if you go by BJP ideology. Taking on Modi, she wondered if he has got some magic wand to change the condition of the country within days. On the other hand, there is a political party (BJP) that drives a man towards a route where individual’s qualification and identity would not matter. And he would be known by his caste, religion or the particular group he belongs to.

Social policy of the INC is officially based upon the Gandhian principle of Sarvodaya (up-lifting of all sections of the society.) In particular INC emphasises upon policies to improve the lives of the socially underprivileged sections of society. The INC strongly supports the highly controversial ‘Reservation’ system. Initially and for a long time, the economic policy of the INC was centered around the public sector and aimed at establishing a “socialistic pattern of society”. However, after the recent adoption of ‘Economically Liberal’ policies started by Manmohan Singh, the then Finance Minister in the early 1990s, the economic policy of INC has been changed somewhat and it has now adopted free market policies. At the same time, it is favouring by taking a cautious approach when it comes to liberalising the economy.

The BJP and its predecessors opposed Marxism and the socialist economic policies of the Congress party, which has ruled the Republic of India for most of its history. However, it espoused Swadeshi, or the promotion of indigenous industries and products as opposed to foreign imports and the establishment of friendly trade relations with foreign nations, thus remaining protectionist. During its tenure, the Vajpayee government continued the free-market reforms and economic liberalisation that was initiated in 1991, and oversaw a period of rapid economic growth. However, Modi has refuted this ‘Swadeshi’ claim by inviting foreign investors to Gujarat.

Historically, the BJP has criticised the Congress-led governments that brought India closer to the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc, although non-aligned on paper. During its tenure, the Vajpayee government oversaw major improvement in Indo-U.S. relations, precipitated by the visit of U.S. President Bill Clinton to India. After the September 11th attacks, India expanded its cooperation with the United States in fighting Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and in turn received greater investment, trade and military aid. Although expected by most of the observers to take a hardline approach in foreign policy, the Vajpayee government took steps to improve relations with India’s traditional rivals, Pakistan and the People’s Republic of China.

Both parties have vast ideological differences and country too is divided on these issues. Modi with the Hindutva agenda also have backing. Let’s wait and watch till May 16 which ideology gets majority of votes, secularism or communalism.

Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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