Last Sunday (September 11) many newspapers front paged three stories exposing the true face of India’s selfstyled-secularists in the ongoing global struggle against Islamist terrorism and radicalisation of Muslims that is daily taking a toll of hundreds of lives all over the world.
One, Dr Zakir Naik’s Peace TV (an Orwellian title for a channel that several nations have banned, and others have accused of preaching radicalisation among Muslims) sponsored NGO in India had paid `50 lakh in 2011 to a Rajiv Gandhi fund. The Congress defence is that the party president Sonia Gandhi, who is the chief of the trust with her son Rahul as another trustee, had returned the money in June 2016.
The question here is, why did the Congress retain such a big “donation” as late as 2016 when as early as in 2012 the UPA II Government had informed Parliament that Peace TV was among the 24 foreign channels illegally functioning In India? Was Dr Naik buying protection, or did he think Congress deserved his contribution because they have a shared agenda?
Two, dreaded former RJD MP, Shahabuddin is a man whom the Hindustan Times and several other newspapers last Sunday described as “a man of crime, politics and manipulations” with life convictions in five cases, and facing trials in six other similar cases, including several murders. Immediately after his release on bail September 11, he proclaimed Lalu Prasad Yadav as his leader. The ‘secular’ pack considers Yadav as an icon of their creed, and so does Shahabuddin!
The Islamic radical views and crimes of Shahabuddin are well-known. He is now free to exercise his ‘authority’ over the quivering populace before his brutal followers.
Given the list of heinous crimes he has been charged with, including murder, kidnapping and extortion, it would not have been possible for the Don to get bail without acts of omission & commission on the part of the Bihar Government. The don owes his bail to the fact that the Siwan Police had failed to start his trail in the Rajiv murder case of 2014.
Additionally, the state did not try an option that they had used successfully to win an order earlier, the “Crime Control Act,” which might have helped keep him in jail on the ground that he could influence the trial. Rajiv was eldest of three brothers murdered. In what has come to be known as ‘acid murder case’, his younger brothers Girish and Satish were murdered earlier, with Rajiv the only witness.
And the way Shahabuddin managed to arrange a reception for him on his release on bail, with some 300 SUVs to welcome him and mile-long vehicle convoys accompanying him to his residence in this backward belt of the poor people, exposes the stranglehold of Islamist-criminal network on the polity of Bihar.
See what havoc the Sonia-Lalu variety of ‘secularism’ has played with a state like Bihar, which was once the seat of famed Nalanda University.
One does not have to take Congress protests on this issue seriously. It’s just shadow boxing between old allies.
Lalu’s RJD and Congress have a shared perception of ‘secularism’ best illustrated by their relationship with the likes of Mohammad Shahabuddin, Zakir Naik and the Islamists in Kashmir.
The third story was the slap on the face that Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Umar Farooq among others delivered when Marxist leader Yechuri, CPI’s D. Raja, Janata Dal (U)’s Sharad Yadav knocked at their doors in Srinagar. Geelani refused even to open the doors for them.
These ‘secular’ leaders have no compunctions in waiting outside the doors of Pak agents. But can you imagine any of them calling on either VHP or RSS in the national interest? Those who swear by India and it’s timeless pluralistic ethos are untouchables for them. And they will stoop to any level to cultivate their Muslim vote bank.
In the last few days, the Hurriyat leaders have shifted their earlier stand to a new push for pulling Kashmir out of India encouraged by the current turmoil in the troubled state.
The Government has rightly responded with a firm determination no longer to seek the separatists’ participation in any talks on Kashmir and underpin the silent majority in the state that is not playing the Pakistani-Islamist game there.
The legacy of bogus secularism in independent India can be traced back to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who refused to fight Muslim communalism and left it alone to resurrect itself, from the shocks following partition.
Nehru brought about the Hindu code bill but left the Muslims with their Triple Talaq. In a rabid communalist Sheikh Abhdullah, Nehru saw a ‘secularist.’
Once he realized his mistake he put the Sheikh in Jail. Influenced by the Left, he banned the RSS following Gandhiji’s assassination. But just a year before his death, he corrected himself and invited Sangh to join the 1963 Republic Day parade in New Delhi.
Nehru’s secularism was ‘quasi.’ He could correct himself once he realized he was wrong. But can one say the same about likes of Rahul, Sonia or Lalu? The ‘quasi-secularism’ of Nehru has degenerated into overt and covert support for Islamic fundamentalists.
That probably explains Dr Zakir Naik’s love for Rahul & Sonia, Mohammad Shahabuddin’s loyality to Lalu Yadav and ‘secularist’ Members of Parliament begging for a darshan from separatists in the Kashmir Valley. Nehru’s Quasi-Secularism has debased into a total sham over the years.
Balbir Punj is a political commentator and Rajya Sabha member