Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Organiser - Unravelling the poisonous power discourse

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    • Unravelling the poisonous power discourse
    • By Prof Rakesh Sinha
    • "(On the other hand) There was also a terrible satisfaction amongst Muslims, who had not completely forgotten the Partition’s unpleasant aftermath. Hindus and Sikhs were alike paying for their ‘sins’. They were paying for the blood they had drawn in 1947."

      (At Home In India: A restatement of Indian Muslims, P.115)

      Can there be more barbaric and fascistic observation than the aforesaid statement on anti-Sikh riots (1984)? Moreover, the man who dared to say so is none other than Union Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khursid. He seems to be blaming Hindus and Sikhs even for the Muslim Leaguers’ "Direct Action" in the late 40’s.
    • When the country was Partitioned on the basis of religion, the Congress realised that the country paid the price for the social philosophy it followed during the colonial period when secularism was treated as a slave of Shariat. Dissent against such policies and politics remained unheard and marginalised. For instance, when Nehru initiated Muslim Mass Contact programme Govind Ballabha Pant argued that "it was not necessary to lay emphasis on the Muslim Mass Contact" and advised Nehru that Congress should stick to its old policy and creed of representing the "masses of India regardless of caste or creed" after the Partition the Constituent Assembly deliberated the futuristic social philosophy of the Indian state. And it rejected old politics and policies based on reservation on the basis of religion as divisive, anti-secular and anti national. Not only Sardar Patel but members like Dr HC Mukherji (vice chairman and Christian by faith), Tajamul Husain (representative of the Muslim League) all of them categorically stated that in a secular democratic polity of India the concept of minority was anathema to its historical tradition and pluralistic social order.
    • (The author is associate professor in Political Science at DU and is honorary Director of India Policy Foundation.)

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