REBUTTAL TO SHEKHAR GUPTA: The eulogy of secularism

Abul Kalam Azad


“Secularism is dead!”, declares Shekhar Gupta, in the latest addition to the priceless collection of pretentiously liberal diatribes against what he calls “intellectually lazy, morally cynical and politically disastrous” groups, of which I am a proud member.


One significantly obnoxious argument he raises, in the immortal words of The Joker, is,” Why so serious?”. For God’s sake, chill out, folks,  “Our great institutions”, our seminal democracy and constitution, will preserve the secular credentials of this country, no matter how fierce the fascist opposition is. Yes, just like it did in the case of Babri Masjid. Just like it rescued women from getting gang-raped, children from being burnt alive in 2002. Just like it has been doing for the past 60-odd years of Swaraj (indpendence).  So now, who is being intellectually lazy and cowardly, Mr.Shekhar?  Essentially, you want to utilize the lives of minorities as Guinea pigs in the laboratory of the World’s Largest Democracy.  Are you and your liberal comrades ready to take the responsibility if the experiment turns out to be a horrendous disaster and the secular fabric of this nation fails to withstand the assault of the communal cyclone and falls short of your fallaciously liberal expectations? Does your clan possess the strength to handle the rage and misery of the minorities who would end up being collateral damage in this grand secular experiment of yours?


“India was not a secular country because only its minorities wished it to be secular. India is secular because its Hindu majority wants it to be so”  Thank you, Dear Hindu Majority, for being benevolently secular and letting us live in communal harmony, Didn’t your experience as a journalist equip you with faculties to discern the atrociously patronizing tone of this statement? Were you that blind to the latent majoritarian hegemony inherent in this proclamation of yours?


“This is how the picture would look to an Indian Muslim…………As if the responsibility of saving our secularism lies with our Muslim minority. An Indian Muslim would find it both unfair and worrying.”- Where do you get the confidence and authority to speak on behalf of all the Muslims in this country? Does it come gift wrapped with your liberal hindu credentials that you can talk about Muslims as some homogeneous community burdened by the weight of secularism? So, you feel that An Indian Muslim might not match up to the task of upholding the secularism and, not only that, you go to the repugnant extent of stating that he/she would find it ‘worrying’.  I will tell you what is really worrying to an Indian Muslim: it is not Modi, it is not Togadia (leader of Hindu Vishwa Parishad), it is people like you, who wear the tag of progressive liberals and spew this venom of condescending bigotry veiled in the idiom of secularism. As long as you fail to acknowledge that you are no different from a RSS goon, except maybe you don’t wear a chaddi ( This, I assume) and you are allowed to rant as much as you like on national media, no muslim would ever pass this country’s litmus test of secularism owing to his being a muslim.


Another excuse of convenience, Mr. Gupta, provides for ‘secular’ Hindus , or let me say, Indians, who might vote for Modi. The noblest reason ever. “alternative to the weakest, most incompetent, uncommunicative and incoherent full-term government in our history”. But, he, predictably, avoids busting this myth or expounding on why this might be true, instead he, in a perfect illustration of intellectual laziness, tacitly condones their decision.


“The man credited with leading that process, Ambedkar, has been added to our pantheon of all-party gods.” Regrettably, as has become a fashion these days to insert Ambedkar in the most unseemly of circumstances contorting his efforts to envision a secular, casteless, India to their own despicable ends. Ambedkar deserves better. As a nation, we humiliated him, time and again, during his lifetime. It is high time people like Mr. Gupta  let go off Ambedkar and let him rest in peace.


Finally, we, the citizens of Secular India, solemnly declare that its Secularism has passed away today after surviving repeated assaults by these liberal voices, for the past few months, in the hospital opposite to the Indian Express Office. Shekhar Gupta is going to be felicitated tomorrow for striking the final nail in its coffin by the Sangh Parivar.


All Secular Indians are invited for the ceremony.  ( Muslims including)

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