Kandamangalam’s article, “Modi-fying Gujarat – Is Narendra Modi leading by example?” was interesting as it explored matters of leadership as well as development. One of the comments to the article was the question,
Do you want an India which is highly secular (which I doubt will ever be the case) or a progressive India?.
Today, (November 26, 2008) Gujarat’s Chief Minister was in the news, campaigning in Delhi for his party. NDTV reporter said BJP’s poster boy, Modi was at his acerbic best and pilloried the government for the prejudiced handling of the Malegaon blast case.
“Is it really possible for India or any country to make progress without secularism?”
We have examples of countless leaders whose world view was narrow, confined to the boundaries of a race or a religion. Hitler idealized and romanticized about the pure Aryan blood of the German race. He saw the rest of the world as disposable commodity and exterminated about 8 million people. True, while he was around, he also brought about progress in ample measure.
About one millions Hindus and Muslims lost their lives during the mad communal frenzy during Partition days immediately after our Independence.
Idi Amin in Uganda expelled about 75000 Indians and Pakistanis in 1972 - determined to make Uganda “a black man’s country”. During his barbaric rule, he exterminated about 300000 people.
Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984. And Delhi witnessed the blood of Sikhs spattered on the roads of the city. Babri Majid was demolished in 1992 and then all mayhem was let loose and one thousand people were butchered because they belonged to the “wrong” community. Godhra happened in 2002 and the rest is history. In August this year, it was the turn of the tribal Christians in Khandammal in Orissa to flee their homes for the safety of the forests.
I search from history for instances of countries progressing amidst sectarian strife. I draw a blank. In fact I learn that sectarian strife was always accompanied by decay in the economic fabric of countries. Have any of you readers, come up against exceptions?
Right now, there is news of terrorists in Mumbai striking yet again, blowing out many innocent lives. We should deal with them firmly and make an example of them so that we will be rid of this menace. But I maintain that they are only puppets on a string, while those who pull the strings occupy the central stage of our national arena. They are the progressive leaders who have prepared the soil and seed for these mindless, violent crimes against humanity to germinate. Who will bell those real cats, is the question.
If we permit communal hatred or talk of “the others” to dominate, it will lead to the hunter soon enough becoming the hunted. The Bible says, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” What is economic prosperity and progress, without security to life itself? Winning battles but losing the significant war will make all of us losers.
Gandhi was totally and unequivocally opposed to the concept of “the end justifying the means” A lofty goal has to be achieved only through lofty means and actions.