Will Modi Wave Sweep Secularism And Nonalignment In India?


By Dr. Sawraj Singh

The BJP victory in UP was unprecedented in the recent times. The magnitude of victory was even much bigger than many pollsters had predicted. What is the main reason for this resounding victory? Modi and the BJP were somehow able to project the SP and the BSP as soft on the Muslims whereas Modi and the BJP were the protectors of the majority Hindu population. The result was that the Hindu majority rallied behind Modi and the BJP. To make matters worse for the SP and the BSP, the Muslim minority votes were equally divided between them. Secularism became the biggest casualty of this big victory.                                                                                                                                                                                     Even though the Congress party and its so called leftist allies have always presented themselves as the secularists yet I have never considered the Congress party and the so called Marxists in India as the true secularists in the Indian context. Their version of secularism is more inspired by the Eurocentric concept rather than the Indian concept of secularism. The Eurocentric concept of secularism in essence is anti church (anti religion) movement, whereas the Indian concept of secularism is based upon respect for all religions. In the beginning I preferred the BJP to the Congress because I felt that it will uphold the Indian values and traditions and will promote the Indian concept of secularism and expose the true nature of the Eurocentric secularism. However, the BJP has completely failed to differentiate between the eastern and the western concepts of secularism.  Instead of promoting the Indian version of secularism, it seems to have made opposition to secularism as one of its main priorities.                                                                         Similarly, Modi and the BJP seem to have practically abandoned the non alignment policy and have practically put India in the American camp. Again, I had great expectations from the BJP that it will oppose the western domination and cultural invasion of India. I felt that it would also high light the great contributions made by India, particularly in the fields of spirituality and in civilizing the mankind. Instead, the BJP seems to be making India a second rated follower of the western capitalism. The BJP seems to be headed in making India an inefficient and anarchic capitalist state. It is the biggest irony that instead of spiritual revival the BJP seems to be pushing India towards becoming the epicenter of consumerism in the world.                                                                                                  The recent actions of the BJP in Goa and in Manipur remind me of the similar actions of the Congress party in Kerala. In 1959, under the Congress party rule in the center, a legitimately elected government of Kerala headed by the Chief Minister Namboodripad, was dismissed by the Central government by evoking the article 356 of the Indian Constitution. However, the Governor of the state on whose recommendation the government was dissolved, was made to submit the report recommending such action after the decision had already been made to dismiss the government. In Goa and Manipur the Congress party emerged as the single largest party. Both the Governors should have first invited the leaders of the Congress party to form the governments. However, the Governors invited the leaders of the BJP to form the Governments. They gave them time to prove their majority on the floor. This can easily be understood as giving them time for horse trading either to win over members or buy members to prove majority. This poses a real challenge to our democracy.                                                                                                                                               Actually, the BJP seems to have lost its original spirit and is following the policies of the Congress party. These policies are based upon subservience to the west and promoting Eurocentric values. I call this phenomenon the Congressization of the BJP.                                                                                               If the BJP really wants to serve the Hindu religion and the Indian people then it should not try to match dogmatism of the other religions and should try to high light the concepts of pluralism, tolerance and peaceful coexistence of the Hindu religion. It should try to understand that the concepts of Indian spirituality, pluralism and secularism have reached their climax in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The BJP should uphold and promote the concept of unity in diversity as illustrated in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Similarly, instead of following the western lead, it should promote the concept of a multipolar world which is the most updated form of nonalignment and is based upon the eastern concepts of relativism, pluralism, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. If the BJP really wants to serve the Hindu religion and the Indian people then it should promote these principles.                                                                                                                               Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at [email protected].