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The term ‘secular’ has been misused in politics: Rajnath Singh

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New Delhi: A discussion in the Lok Sabha on Thursday on the Constitution and its chief architect B.R. Ambedkar went on a different trajectory as Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed “secular” the most misused word and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi hit back, accusing the government of deliberately attacking “the principles that inspired the country for decades”.

As the Lok Sabha, on the first day of the winter session, took up a discussion on commitment to the Constitution as a part of Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary celebrations, Rajnath Singh, initiating the debate, said that those who framed the Constitution would have introduced “socialist and secular” in it if they had felt it was required.

Taking veiled digs at the Congress, and even targeting actor Aamir Khan over his remarks on rising intolerance in the country, he said Ambedkar faced injustice and discrimination due to social inequities, but kept control over his feelings, and always presented an objective point of view.

“He (Ambedkar) never said how much he is being insulted in India. He said he will live in India for strengthening the country. He never thought he would go somewhere else,” he said, drawing protests from the opposition benches.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, however, ruled there was nothing objectionable.

The minister said Ambedkar was the “binding force” for the country while the country’s first home minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was the “unifying force”. He also paid tribute to first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Noting the words “socialist and secular” were introduced in the Constitution through the 42nd amendment, he argued that if the Constitution-makers had felt their need, they would have included them in the Preamble.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge sought to counter Rajnath Singh, saying Ambedkar wanted to include these words in the Preamble, but did not do so in the prevailing atmosphere.

Rajnath Singh, however, retorted that Ambedkar felt that secularism was in the basic nature of Indians and there was no need to mention it separately.

“In today’s politics, if a word has been misused the maximum, it is secular,” he claimed, adding the secular’s formal translation was not “dharam nirpeksh” (neutral of religion) but “panth nirpeksh (neutral of faith)” and that the “misuse of some words” had not allowed the country to have the level of harmony that was sought to be built.

He also stressed that Ambedkar should not be seen just as a Dalit leader.

In her address, Gandhi targeted the government, asserting that the principles that inspired India for decades were facing a threat. She also said that the history of the Constitution is closely linked to the history of the Congress party.

“Whatever we have seen in the past few months, it is against the values of the Constitution.

“Today is a day of happiness, but there is also pain. The principles that inspired (us) for decades, a danger is lurking over them. They are being deliberately attacked.

“The people who have no faith in the Constitution, who have not contributed to its making, they are talking about it repeatedly, are trying to appropriate it. There cannot be a bigger joke,” she said.

Mahajan said the Constitution is an instrument for social, economic and political progress and individual rights were as important as the interest of the community, and parliamentary democracy provides for peaceful co-existence and progress of all communities without reference to caste, sect, religion and language.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the house when it took up the discussion.

The day is also being observed as the Constitution Day, commemorating acceptance of the draft statute on this day in 1949.

(IANS)

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Kejriwal’s Door to Door Donation Drive is a Farce: Munish Raizada

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors' list on its website and then only seek new donations.

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Kejriwal
Dr. Munish Raizada along with his Chanda Bandh Satyagraha team outside the office of AAP MLA Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar). File photo

Chicago: The Aam Aadmi Party Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has launched a door to door campaign seeking donations for the AAP.  According to former overseas co-coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party, Dr. Munish Raizada, this is nothing more than a misleading campaign!

Raizada says that Kejriwal has no moral right to seek donations from common man as he has dismantled financial transparency in AAP by removing donors list from its website. Displaying donors’ list showing real time donations and making the income and expenditure accounts available online were the basis and the promise of the AAP, emphasised Raizada.

Now, after hiding donors’ list and its balance sheets from the public, the AAP cannot claim to be practising alternative politics.

Munish Raizada, kejriwal
Lack of financial transparency in the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP prompted a group of NRIs, who once worked to mobilise funds and support for the party, to turn against it. (File photo)

It may be noted that AAP removed the list of donors from its website in June 2016. Moreover, since then AAP has been surrounded with controversies related to donations. AAP had also received Rs 30.67 crore Income Tax notice, last year in November, implying that all is not well with AAP’s accounts, says Raizada.

He further questions Kejriwal, that if AAP has nothing to hide about its accounts and if AAP is honest with its account keeping then why is Kejriwal hiding the donations?

Even the donation policy that was earlier the pride of every AAP volunteer has been done away with. The donation policy on AAP website used to state: “Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with the details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website.”

But rather than putting the donors’ list in public domain, the party’s corrupt leadership started blaming BJP and I.T. Department for harassing its donors.

 

munish raizada, kejriwal
Chanda Bandh Satygrah demands restoration of  lost values in AAP ( File Photo)

 

Opaque political funding is the fountain head of corruption. Further, Raizada says that if the party cannot be transparent in its political funding, then talking about fighting corruption and graft is a mere rhetoric. He said that the appeals by Chanda Bandh Satyagraha have fallen on deaf ears as far as the party’s

leadership is concerned. 

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors’ list on its website and then only seek new donations. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was started by AAP’s volunteers in 2016, with an appeal to the public not to donate to AAP unless it makes its donation lists open and transparent.