Thursday, May 30, 2024

Why Modi can’t say even ‘Jai Shri Ram’

Ram Ram Chacha

Ram Ram Tau

Jai Ram Ji Ki bhai

 Such greetings are commonplace in our daily life. However, beware! It could be termed communal in today’s charged atmosphere. The very word “Ram” is pretty common too: Ram, Ramdhira, Ramesh etc. While addressing them such, it never occurred to me that I could be seen as a citizen with communal leanings.

Today, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a Vijayadashmi Rally with the greetings of “Jai Shri Ram” it is termed by shrill political parties and so-called media experts as an intent of communal statement. Tell  me, really, how should he have addressed the mass gathering on one of Hindu’s most sacred festival? “Naara-e-Takbeer?

Agreed, Prime Minister’s post is a constitutional seat. Anyone sitting on it ought to be secular. But what does being a secular means? One who treats all religion as equal or one who shuns one’s own religion only because it could make him appear communal.

Secularism is the most-abused name in our daily discourse. Political parties–brazenly, shamelessly, ruthlessly—have created and maintained vote banks by professing themselves to be secular.

Being a Member of Parliament too is a constitutional obligation. They too shouldn’t wear anything which could convey an “unfair” leaning towards any particular community or religion. They too shouldn’t enter the highest portal-temple of democracy in a “safa” or a “pagdi”, nor in “saffron” colours; nor a Cross or Om dangling from their necks; nor in flowing beards.

However, in a land where votes are sought in the name of religion, nobody dares make such a demand in order to uphold the virtue of “secularism.” For it would mean cutting into the very vote bank which is the base of their political existence.

So, if political parties are afraid to publicly demand such a show of “secularism” then who are they to stop a citizen–which Modi is—from proclaiming “Jai Shri Ram” on a public platform? How could they ascribe any motive to it? If speaking “Jai Shri Ram” is communal then why do political parties throw “Iftaar” parties in the month of Ramdhan? Isn’t it a statement of communal intent on their part?

However, if Prime Minister Modi casts an arrow on “Ravana” and says “Jai Shri Ram” he is seen to be a communal leader who is indulging in vote-bank politics.

When the land’s Constitution allows every citizen to pursue his religion as he or she deems fit, then the same right is also protected in the case of Modi. In case it isn’t so, then every representative of the government—be it a peon, section officer, bureaucrat, politican—be denied the freedom to pursue his religion.

Or there should be a Constitutional amendment that any citizen, who also holds a government post, isn’t allowed to profess his religious background.

See the point? So hopelessly shrill and inept are these political voices who aim to govern and regulate our daily lives.

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