Both Houses of Parliament were rocked by opposition protests over the controversial statement made by the Minister of State for Skill Development who, while addressing a meeting in Karnataka, raised a controversy when he opposed secularism by calling secularists as those who did not know their parentage. He also hinted that the government could change the constitution. The word ‘secular’ added to the constitution shows the composite identity of the country which consists of different people following different religions, speaking different languages and belonging to different regions with different ethnic traditions. Unity in diversity is the strength of our country. Keeping this fact in view the word ‘secular’ was inserted in the constitution and it is considered a basic feature.
The RSS which is the champion of Hindutva does not believe in secularism which means equal respect to all religions. Now the Modi government is guided by the RSS philosophy. The BJP leaders who believe in the supremacy of Hindu religion are not comfortable with the word ‘secular’. The constitution can be altered with a one-third majority but the basic features cannot be touched. Against this backdrop, the statement of the minister is nothing but disrespecting the constitution.
Both Houses of Parliament on December 27 were rocked by the opposition protest. The Congress demanded the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack the junior minister. It is the only way to caution other ministers and BJP leaders who usually indulge in irresponsible outbursts supporting Hindutva and many a time creating communal tensions. It seems the ministers are under the control of the philosophy of the RSS and are not bound by the constitutional norms.
Under these circumstances, the Prime Minister should ask the minister to resign asserting his prerogative.