Secularism can only be protected with strict separation of religion & politics: Yechury

Sitaram Yechury said forces like the RSS want to “take #India into the darkness of the past” by changing the country’s history, culture, education policy “to give a monolithic Hindu identity to India” instead of its syncretic #cultural identity

Secularism can only be protected with strict separation of religion & politics: Yechury Photo

Unless there is a strict separation of religion from politics and government, secularism cannot be protected, defended or put into operation in a proper sense, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Saturday.

Mr. Yechury said forces like the RSS want to “take India into the darkness of the past” by changing the country’s history, culture, education policy “to give a monolithic Hindu identity to India” instead of its syncretic cultural identity.

Mr. Yechury was speaking while inaugurating the State-wide celebrations of the CPI(M) marking the 100th year of the founding of the Communist Party in India,through video conference.

October 17 of this year is a historic day for the communist party as it marks the hundred years of the formation of the first unit of the Communist Party of India in Tashkent in the then Soviet Union.

“Secularism means the separation of religion from politics and from the state. Every individual has the right to choose his own faith and it will be the duty of the state, law to protect that right which is inviolable and the communists will always stand up to protect it,” Mr. Yechury said.

He said the state or the government does not have any religion and all the rights of individuals to their religion, or faith of their choice to their religious practices, need to be protected.

“However, secularism in our constitution was interpreted as equality of all religions. The moment you say equality of all religions, it’s only natural that the religion to which the majority of the population subscribe to, has a greater advantage over the others. And that has inherent dangers, which is what we are witnessing today.And unless there is a strict separation of religion from politics and government, secularism cannot be protected, defended or put into operation in a proper sense,” the CPI(M) general secretary said.

“Today we have forces like the RSS, whose political wing is the BJP, who want to take India into darkness and backwardness of the past. Lack of scientific temper, rewriting Indian history, changing India’s education policy, changing India’s cultural policy in the cultural institutions, all to give a monolithic Hindu identity to India instead of the syncretic identity with which all of us grew up,” Mr. Yechury said.

He appealed to the people to join in the “battle to stop India from going into the darkness of its past” and to take India to the brightness of the future by ending exploitation and moving towards socialism.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a Facebook post, said that the communist parties are the “voice of democracy and civil rights” which are being suppressed by “fascist forces.”

“Looking back over a century of the party’s history is a proud experience for anyone who keeps in mind the dream of an egalitarian and peaceful social system.The communist movement survived brutal attacks and repression. It is a movement of brave martyrs who fought for their lives. An alternative political policy in favor of the people is the most important factor that makes the Communist Party relevant in the Indian context,” Mr. Vijayan said.

The CPI(M) in a statement said the congruent development of neo-liberalism and the Hindutva forces have posed a serious challenge for the Communist movement and all the Left and democratic forces.

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