India That Is Bharat
It was so satisfying for the secular sensibilities of Satiricus to see the CM of Bihar and his party people stand up for secularism with such religious fervour. This CM has declared in ringing tones that no NDA prime ministerial candidate without secular credentials would be acceptable to him, and his ‘secular faith’-ful followers have added that they would not mind both their government and the NDA breaking up on this issue. Satiricus is immensely impressed and really reassured. He now feels fully confident that so long as we have such valiant crusaders there is no danger of secular India degenerating into communal Bharat.
Unfortunately, we live in a less than perfect world, in which there are petty people for whom this CM’s principled proclamation is a political ploy for positioning himself for possible Prime Ministership. All power to him, says Satiricus, but, frankly speaking, Satiricus is doubtful if an anti-Congress Prime Minister can ever have the same shining secular credentials as the Prime Ministers the Congress has been bestowing on us from the past to the present.
Take the illustrious example of the present Prime Minister. Who else could have enunciated the supreme secular truth that Muslims have the first right to India’s assets? Who else could have commissioned a Bible of Secularism titled the Sachar Report, according to which even a ‘perception’ of Indian Muslims that injustice was being done to them must be accepted as a fact needing no verification and promptly taken care of? Who else could have demanded a special sub-quota for Muslims within the OBC quota and shown the secular courage to tell the Supreme Court in writing that it was for the Muslims? Who else could have gone to town with secularism and identified Muslim Concentrated Towns (MCT) which were to be treated like the proverbial favourite wife? Who else could have sent a senior minister of the secular government of India to Deoband, the home of Indian secularism, to attend and address a congregation of Dar-ul-Uloom, which bluntly refuses to acknowledge the Constitution of India as the supreme law of the land but claims it is just a contract between Muslims and Indians like the Prophet’s contract between Muslims and the Jews of Medina, and which, like him, they can break at will? Who else could have shown the sagacity of silence when the general secretary of the party, of which he is the prime symbol in the government, releases a book titled the terrorist war on Mumbai was actually a crassly communal sajish of the Hindus, and then explain it away with a question mark at the title’s end? Who else would have mercifully kept killer Qasab and the great Guru of terrorism alive and well for long, happy years at a cost of 50 crore rupees?And finally, who else would have shown the secular spine to let a female of the secularist species openly preach treason to Kashmiri Muslims against “bhookhe nange Hindustan” without raising a little legal finger against her? In short, in the considered opinion of Satiricus, our present PM, whom the Bihar CM probably wants to replace in future, has impeccable secular credentials that are tough to equal and tougher to excel.
But would such many-splendoured secularism have been possible for the present Prime Minister if a past Prime Minister had not made India’s Constitution specifically secular by adding that adjective, which the framers of the Constitution had unforgivably forgotten to do? Fortunately, that blemish was removed, making it constitutionally correct for the Congress hand to shake hands with Mullah Mulayam, the born-again secularist who had given a clean chit to SIMI to correct the Supreme Court’s supreme mistake of banning it as an Islamist terrorist outfit. So Mr. Bihar CM, think again, for second thoughts are saner only when they are sufficiently secular.
Chinese puzzles are well known. What is not so well known is that Chinese communism is one of them. The other day Satiricus read in the papers that the Chinese government has decided to set up a thousand Confucian centres. Satiricus is confused. Being an anti-Communist idiot, or at least a non-communist nincompoop, Satiricus cannot understand if it is okay for the officially atheist state of communist China to raise temples to Confucius who lived 2500 years ago and preached what was virtually a Chinese edition of Hindu social ethics. Confucius propounded that the key to orderly social life was the “gentleman”, and defined a gentleman not as a person of noble birth but as one of good moral character. Does that not suspiciously look like the meaning of “Arya”, a ‘cultured’ person? And later, Neo-Confucianism actually preached enlightenment through meditation. This is curiouser and curiouser. In modern Chinese communism Mao has already been replaced by money. Now are missiles going to be replaced by meditation?