Jairam Ramesh says secular doesn’t mean anti-Hindu, reminds how UPA was coined

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Published: April 23, 2018 5:13:36 PM

Former union minister Jairam Ramesh has said that 'P card' is going to be the only tactic Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party will bank upon in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

 Jairam Ramesh, Sonia gandhi, rahul gandhi, bjp, congress, upa, nda, Ramesh reminded that United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was initially named as United Secular Alliance, however, it was later changed to Progressive Secular Alliance as the acronym for the former term could have been USA.

Former union minister Jairam Ramesh has said that ‘P card’ is going to be the only tactic Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party will bank upon in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. By P card, Ramesh referred to polarisation. Speaking to Hindustan Times, Ramesh said that being a secularist doesn’t mean anti-Hindu. While answering a question as to why Congress appears defensive on secularism, Ramesh reminded that United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was initially named as United Secular Alliance, however, it was later changed to Progressive Secular Alliance as the acronym for the former term could have been USA.

Later, DMK chief Karunanidhi, who was a large stakeholder in the alliance, said secular in Tamil translates into irreligious and hence the name United Progressive Alliance came up. The former union minister said that India is a multi-religious country and there is a place for all the people with different beliefs. However, he added that as far as the Indian state is concerned, it should have nothing to do with religion.

Ramesh said that Opposition parties’ charge that Congress is playing Hindu politics is an ‘intellectually lazy argument.’ Recalling former Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s comments, Ramesh said that Congress has to fight communalism of all kinds. He said that secularism is not limited to majority-minority, but that the majority of people across religions want to live in peace.

He reminded of Sonia Gandhi’s 1999 statement at the ocassion of Swami Vivekananda’s birthday that India is secular largely because of the traditions and legacy of Hinduism, adding, that Rahul is following the same path in this regard.

Ramesh claimed that he is more of the practicing Hindu than 90% of the BJP members. “Because we are secular does not mean we are anti-Hindu,” he added.

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