The "Secular" Lakshmana Rekha

Yesterday American F-15 jet fighters and B-1 bombers dropped bombs on a Pakistani Frontier Corps checkpoint killing soldiers and thus escalating the tensions between the “allies” in the war on terror. A study by RAND Corp had warned few days back that Pakistani intelligence agents and paramilitary have been aiding Taliban in attacking the Americans. The Pakistanis, used to applying this design pattern in the Kashmir border, thought the response would be a threatening letter or in the worst case scenario, a speech from Karzai, but instead found strong retaliation.

Such an asymmetric warfare happened in Kerala too.It all started with the State Women’s Commission asking the Government to make sure that girls below 18 are not forcibly enrolled as nuns. The Church was furious. The Congress said that the government had no role in managing religious beliefs. The chairperson of the Commission was asked to quit. After lot of noise, the Commission has decided to go “soft” on the issue for no one expected that F-16s and B-1s would be seen on the horizon.

Last year the Communists desperately wanted to get singer KJ Yesudas inside Guruvayoor temple. One minister, Sudharakan, wanted women to have darshan at Sabarimala. Both issues, at this moment, go against Hindu beliefs. (Reforms are required and it is for Hindu priests and religious authorities to decide). At that time we did not see sanctimonious lectures from the Congress Party on the need to stay away from religious beliefs. Maybe Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala was busy helping Rajasekhar Reddy decide if Ahmadiyas are Muslims or not.

In the version of secularism practiced by Indian Govt. there is the Durand Line and the Line of Control. The Line of Control is like a tourist spot; anyone can walk in, urinate, and walk away. But the Durand Line is the Lakshama Rekha. If you do tourism there, as Rajiv Gandhi succintly put it, “naani yaad aayegi“.

4 thoughts on “The "Secular" Lakshmana Rekha

  1. Yes I agree with you. look how meekly the “secular” Indian government looked on as the only Hindu kingdom – Nepal- came to an end. Would it have kept quiet if it were a kingdom belonging to a minority religion? Way back in 1919 it was Mahatma Gandhi who gave the Indian Muslim an extra-territorial identity by unnecessarily providing support to the Khilafat movement, an issue which even Islamic countries did not bother about.

  2. It is interesting to note how the priests and politicians responded to the nun issue and the Guruvayoor issue. In the nun issue, church went furious and wanted commission to withdraw its directive and apologize:
    see: http://howrah.org/india_news/17292.html
    On the other hand the Guruvayoor chief priest said:

    I am not resistant to reform or to change; my point is, I am not empowered to bring about that change. That has to be done by law….. The moment such a law is passed, I will gladly obey it.”
    see: http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/jun/06inter1.htm
    Hindu organizations like RSS supported reforms like even women entering to Sabarimala:
    http://www.indianexpress.com/archive/date-2006-11-13.html
    http://www.indianexpress.com/archive/StoryN-16519-No-reason-to-ban-women-from-Sabarimala-RSS.html
    http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_6/msg00115.html

    “At that time we did not see sanctimonious lectures from the Congress Party on the need to stay away from religious beliefs”

    In fact congress leader and central minister Vayalar Ravi then said that the Guruvayoor issue is “Brahminical Arrogance”!
    http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/jun/04inter1.htm
    Interestingly, on the nun issue, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi vijayan said:
    “it’s a question of ones belief and CPIM has no particular opinion on the topic”
    http://www.keralaonline.com/keralaonline/news/news_inner.php?id=1338
    http://www.hindu.com/2008/06/12/stories/2008061251921100.htm

  3. YS Reddy not permitting Ahmediyya’s conference reminded me about this article i read in The Hindu some months ago:
    http://www.hindu.com/2006/11/30/stories/2006113004621000.htm
    Dr. Abdus Salam, nobel laureate and a Pakistani citizen was ill-treated in Pakistan just because he belonged to the Ahmediyya sect. Even a nobel laureate
    is unwelcome if he is an Ahmediyya! Such is the discrimination shown against Ahmediyyas !
    It appears that Andhra is becoming a pakistan. Same group attacked and hounded Taslima as well.

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