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23. Secularism is the very colour of our blood: Vajpayee

 

Navabharat Times
New Delhi, 17 November 1996
23. Secularism is the very colour
of our blood: Vajpayee
Pankaj Sharma

JAIPUR: BJP�s imminent strategy is going to be crystal clear now. Days to come would give the BJP a secular-socialist colour. BJP�s top leadership at a Jaipur meeting decided that initiatives would have to be taken to bring the Muslim community close to it at all costs, that a movement would have to be launched to fight corruption at every level, that the poor�s welfare oriented economic policies would have to be forcefully advocated, that a movement would have to be launched against foreign companies, and that a fight to the finish would have to be started against the forces retarding BJP�s march to power.

This meeting at Jaipur seems to be a milestone in reshaping BJP�s image. BJP leadership has realised that with the majority community being with it, only a certain stage of the destination could be reached; to go ahead of it BJP needs the help of backward classes and particularly the minorities� support. BJP is content with its access to the OBCS, but the apathy of the Muslim community is still pinching it. That is why Atal Behari Vajpayee announced a well calculated plan of action, at the Tripolia Chowk (Jaipur) public meeting. He requested �our Muslim brethren� to see BJP�s conduct, work and behaviour and then reconsider their attitude to it. In this public meeting, Vajpayee assured the minority community: �Secularism is the very colour of our blood, it is the very smile on our lips.�

Vajpayee said, �We look at our Muslim brethren not as voters but as human beings. Being from a different faith, has no meaning, what is needed is patriotism. Those who fought for Pakistan, are living a refugee�s life there in Pakistan itself. It is very difficult for the Shias to survive in Pakistan. The religious freedom that is there in India, is to be found nowhere else. Therefore, Muslim brethren, come, let�s enhance the glory of our country together.�

Lal Krishna Advani reiterated the same entreaty on this occasion. He said, �The political parties with whom you are now, will be nowhere after some time. BJP has promised that it will give security and justice to all and there shall be no discrimination on account of religion. We shall restore harmony in the society and honesty in administration, we shall emphasise swadeshi in the economic field and guard our borders.�

BJP which has so far been considered anti-Muslim, has been trying to adorn its image with the plumage of secularism (or panth-nirpekshatã as it itself calls it). It knows that in order to make a dent into other political parties, only this nail has been missing from its tool-box. Now on, that will not continue. The socialist sword has been wielded by non-BJP parties so far. Now the BJP wants to wield the same to serve its own purpose. It has been shedding its old garb of being pro-American capitalism.

Atal Behari Vajpayee proclaimed on the occasion, �Not to speak of communism, our communists are not mentioning even socialism any more. But we want to tell you that the poor will be crushed by the market economy we are creating in our country. Economic policies of the last five years have ruined our land. We are passing through such a crucial phase of economic slump that the salaried people will find themselves in great misery within a few months. Market is a merciless machine.  Foreign companies are concerned with their profits only. They are not coming here to help us.�
 

Footnotes:

Translated from Hindi.
 

     

 

Time for Stock Taking - Whither Sangh Parivar?

Sita Ram Goel
Chapters
Introduction
1. A Call for an Intellectual (Bauddhika) Kshatriya
2. Ideological Defence of Hindu Society
1. G.V. Ashtekar
2. Professor G.C. Asnani
3. Deep Chandra Awasthi
4. P. N. Awasthi
5. S. K. Balasubramanian
6. Abhas Chatterjee
7. G.C. Chaudhary
8. S. K. Dalvi
9. Ashoke Dasgupta
10. Jitendra D. Desai
11. Nachiketa Dogra
12.  Adwayanand R. Galatge
13. K. B. Ganapathy
14. Padmashri Shalil Ghosh
15. Bhagwati Prasad Goenka
16. Shiv Goud
17. S. C. Gupta
18. B.L. Jaju
19. H.C. Joshi
20.  Dr. S.D. Kulkarni
21.  S.D. Laghate
22.  Professor K. Lakshminarayana
23. Professor K.S. Lal
24. Professor R. R. Mangasuli
25. T. G. Mohandas
26.  Professor S. G. Mujumdar
27.  P. R. K. Naidu
28.  S. Omkar
29. Virendra V. Parekh
30. Hem Raj Prabhakar
31. Baljit Rai
32. Dr. H. Ramarao
33. B.K. Rao
34. (Mrs) Veda Sampath
35. Smt.  M. Sandhya
36. K. Satya Deva Prasad
37. Jagannath Sharma
38. Ajit Singh
39.  Ram Autar Singh
40. Vikram Singh
41. Dr. Vinay Kumar Sinha
42. Shrikant G. Talageri
43. Mrs. Leela Tampi
44. B. K. Verma
45. R. C. Waswani
46. P. S. Yog
47. Brief Responses
1. Sarva Dharma Samabhãva or Sarva Dharma Sambhrama? 
(Unity or Confusion of Religions?)
2. Meaning of Conversions
1. Roll Over, Rushdie
2. Standing Up to Scrutinize Islam
3. Turning away from Mecca
4. Islam is religious fascism
5. Courageous author puts his life on the line
6. Far more dangerous than Nazism
1. Legacy of hate
2. BJP shifts stand to woo Muslims
3. BJP promoting a �minority-friendly� image for elections
4. BJP looks for Muslim plank to move towards Delhi
5. BJP girds up to appease Muslim
6. Khurana�s go-slow on migrants issue irks hawks
7. Pampering the minority ego
8. BJP to bring out Koran in Sanskrit
9. Vajpayee for diluting stand on �Hindutva�
10. More Space for �namaaz� urged
11. Chhabildas sticks to his guns on minority votes
12. Advani allays minorities fears
13. Secret of BJP�s success
14. Advani woos Indian expatriates in London, assails Govt�s Kashmir policy
15. BJP bid to woo Muslims
16. �How can any Muslim in this country say that he does not respect Ram?�
17. Malhotra�s statement on Ayodhya annoys Chavan
18. BJP bid to win over Muslims
19. RSS wants Muslims for friends
20. Babri or �Barabari�?
21. Bihar BJP�s first-ever Muslim leader emerges
22. J.K. Hindu exiles eulogise Thackeray
23. Secularism is the very colour of our blood: Vajpayee
24. A good augury
25. Muslims in Behrampada voted in a pragmatic way
26. Joshi sparks off row over Religion Bill
27. VHP drops plan to �liberate� Kashi, Mathura
28. Govt seeks revision of order on Naib Imam
29. BJYM�S meet on June 7
30. Vande Mataram �dispute� at BJP Muslim meeting
The Tabligh Movement or Millions of Bearded Militants on the March
1. Population Explosion in West Bengal: A Survey