Kerala: Litmus-23 conference sees debate on Hindutva politics, neoliberalism
The BJP’s constitution promotes pseudo-secularism that caters to the majority. The BJP came to power not by promising development but by exploiting religious sentiments.”
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Freethinker C Ravichandran on Sunday said that Hindutva politics is an ideology that is hindering the progress of the country. He made these remarks during a debate held at Litmus-23, an atheist conference organised by esSENSE Global at Nishagandhi Auditorium in Thiruvananthapuram.
Ravichandran said, “Hindutva is the backdoor entry of religious politics in India. The preparatory idea of considering Muslims, Christians, and Communists as second-class citizens is taking root in the country.”
He went on to say, “The BJP does not adhere to the established principles of secularism, which involve keeping religion separate from state affairs. Instead, the BJP follows a pattern of suppressing minority groups. The BJP’s constitution promotes pseudo-secularism that caters to the majority. The BJP came to power not by promising development but by exploiting religious sentiments.”
In response, BJP leader Sandeep Vachaspati countered Ravichandran’s arguments, asserting that Hindutva is an ideal concept that can be embraced globally. He emphasised that Hindutva represents the identity of India, transcending religious beliefs.
Vachaspati stated, “All patriotic Indians are Hindus, not just those who go to temples. We do not support appeasement-based secularism.” The debate, titled ‘Is Hindutva Politics a Danger to the Country?’ was moderated by Unchoyi.
Another debate at the conference centered around the question, ‘Are Neoliberal Ideas Beneficial or Harmful?’ Freethinker Abhilash Krishnan and T K Devarajan, a representative of Kerala Shasthra Sahithya Parishad, participated in this discussion.
Devarajan argued that neoliberal policies in India have led to hunger and inequality, while Krishnan countered that individual freedom is a fundamental principle of neoliberal policy and pointed out the differences between North Korea and South Korea as an illustration of the policy’s relevance. Litmus-23 is the world’s largest atheist conference organized by free thinkers and atheists under the leadership of esSENSE Global.