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PTI | Mumbai | 28 January 2015:: A day after a row erupted over a Republic Day advertisement of Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Shiv Sena today demanded “permanent deletion” of the words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ from the Constitution.
An acrimonious war of words had broken out between political parties yesterday when an advertisement issued by the I&B Ministry carried a picture of the Preamble to the Constitution as it appeared before the 42nd Amendment, without the words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’.
“We welcome the exclusion of the (secular and socialist) words from the Republic Day advertisement. Though it might have been done inadvertently, it is like honouring the feelings of the people of India.
If these words were deleted by mistake this time, they should be deleted from the Constitution permanently,” Sena MP Sanjay Raut said.
“From the time they (the words) were included in the Constitution, it is being said that this country can never be secular. Balasaheb Thackeray and before him Veer Savarkar had been saying that India was divided on the lines of religion. Pakistan was created for Muslims, thus, what remains is a Hindu Rashtra,” Raut said.
The minority community has been used only for political gains, while “Hindus are being continuously disrespected,” he alleged. “It is nowhere written in the Constitution that you mete out such treatment to Hindus and use Muslims to garner votes,” he said.
“This mistake on the part of the government has happened only because destiny wants this to happen. Modi is the Prime Minister of India, and his thoughts on Hindutva are strong,” the Sena leader said.
Yesterday, Congress leader Manish Tewari had attacked the Centre on the issue, claiming the government advertisement “deleted” the two words, which was only a prelude to their “substitution” with “communal” and “corporate”.
Minister of State for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore, however, was quick to dismiss the charge, saying his ministry had only used an “original” picture of the Preamble as it appeared before the Amendment, to “honour” the first Preamble.
The Union Minister also claimed that the same picture had been used in an advertisement by the I&B Ministry in April 2014. Tewari had helmed the ministry at that time. The advertisement showed a picture of the Preamble in the background with a quote from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pictures of some citizens in the foreground.
“Constitution-India Sovereign Secular Socialist Democratic Republic. Government Ad deletes Secular and Socialist Prelude to substitution with Communal and Corporate,” Tewari alleged in a post on Twitter. “Let me assure you, we are celebrating the 66th Republic Day, that is, we are celebrating an anniversary of the Preamble that was made way back then. The photograph that we have put is of the first Preamble that our great leaders had made at that point of time,” Rathore said.
He added that the two words – ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were included after the 42nd amendment in 1976. “Are we to say that the governments before 1976 were not secular? That’s not the point. We were secular we will always be secular. We are honouring the first Preamble, hence this picture for the advertisement,” Rathore said. [eHuffingtonPost.]
M Ali | The Hindu | Meerut | 27 January 2015:: At a time when the Narendra Modi government has been targeted for its alleged failure to rein in Hindutva groups, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia on Monday rejected the discourse of development without “Hindu Rashtra”.
Addressing the Virat Hindu Mahasammelan here, he said development would be of no use if Hindus were not “safe” at home. Amid loud cheers of the 1,000-odd crowd, which braved rain and cold to hear him, he asked the “Hindus of the country to become one and prepare the way for Hindu Rashtra.”
Invoking “Hindu victimhood,” he said: “Neither our houses and businesses nor our daughters and sisters are safe in places such as Hyderabad, Bhopal and Meerut. Development is important, but what will be its use when Hindus won’t be there at homes, and like Hindus in Kashmir, they are thrown out of their motherland.”
“We have to ensure security, safety and respect to the 100-crore Hindus. So, we have to get organised and be ready for Hindu Rashtra,” he said.
He referred to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and said: “Look at what happened to the world famous World Trade Center. It was known for the idea of development, but it doesn’t exist now.”
Mr. Togadia said the VHP would focus on the movement against cow slaughter and conversion of religious minorities.
In an attempt to co-opt Dalits into Hindutva politics, Mr. Togadia asked all Hindus to make friends with Balmiki families.
But his remarks came in for strong criticism from Dalit families in Meerut who had threatened to convert to Islam after refused entry to a temple. [eTheHindu.]
P Srivastava | Daily Mail | Kanpur (UP) | 24 January 2015:: The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has now claimed that ghar wapsi (reconversion) programme was one of the “developmental agendas” of the BJP-led NDA Government in the Centre.
“We will continue ghar wapsi programme because it is a developmental agenda of the Centre,” VHP leader Ashok Singhal said in Kanpur on Saturday.
He was there to attend a function of Jainism. He also claimed that the development of the country without ghar wapsi wouldn’t be possible.
“We will automatically grow if those Hindus who had deserted Hinduism and adopted some other religion return back to their original religion. Development of the country will also not be possible till the cows are slaughtered here. The Centre will look into these issues,” Singhal said.
He stressed that the VHP was gearing up to bring these two “agendas of development” on the forefront.
“These issues would be taken up on a priority basis,” he further said.
The VHP leader had also held a meeting at Magh Mela of Allahabad a few days ago and succeeded in mobilising a large number of seers to preach their disciples to organise ghar wapsi in their respective areas.
Some of the seers even trained their disciples to “re-convert those who were converted to Islam or Christianity in the past”.
Swami Narendranand of Kashi-Sumerupeeth told his disciples during a prayer on Friday: “Collect their details and keep a record of them. Keep meeting them frequently and convince them to return to their original religion. Remind them that their forefathers had changed their religion because of fear or greed.”
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