Government has problems with the word ‘secularism’: Scindia

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 27, 2015 23:44 IST
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia speaks in Lok Sabha during the second day of winter session of Parliament in New Delhi. (PTI)

Congress chief whip in the Lok Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia led a spirited Opposition attack on the government on Friday over the issue of intolerance in India, while he also took on home minister Rajnath Singh for his comments on secularism.

The lawmaker said the government had done nothing to allay the apprehensions of citizens in the prevailing atmosphere of intolerance and accused BJP leaders of trying to “dictate people” what they should wear and eat.

“At this time, it is the responsibility of the government that it should listen to people who are feeling insecure and action should be taken to make them feel secure,” he said during a debate on the Constitution and BR Ambedkar.

Without naming them, he took a dig at central minister VK Singh for using a dog analogy when two Dalit children were allegedly burnt alive in Haryana as well as Assam governor PB Acharya for his statements “Hindustan is for Hindus” and “Muslims are free to go to either Pakistan or Bangladesh”.

He also criticised BJP’s Yogi Adityanath in an indirect reference for comparing artists who returned their awards to LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, and hit out at BJP chief Amit Shah, without naming him, for his comment that crackers would be burst in Pakistan if the party lost the Bihar assembly election.

“You have made all voters anti-national with one stroke of the pen,” he said.

Referring to Rajnath Singh’s speech initiating the discussion on Thursday, Scindia said the government had problems with the word “secularism” and that it why it was “highlighted”.

Singh had said Ambedkar never thought of putting the term “secular” in the Preamble to the Constitution as it was inherent in every Indian. The word was incorporated through an amendment in 1976.

In the Rajya Sabha, leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad attacked the BJP for failing to acknowledge the contributions of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and accused the ruling party of attempting to “manufacture a clash” between iconic freedom fighters on the lines of the British “divide and rule” policy.

“Those who don’t have icons who took part in freedom struggle are trying to appropriate others,” he said.

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