Assam CM calls for secularism in context of Indian

Guwahati, July 21 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday asserted the concept of secularism needs to be defined in the context of `Indian civilisation’ and accused the media of being partial towards Left-liberals.

Attacking Leftist intellectuals, liberals and the media, Sarma, at a function where RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat launched a book, claimed the country’s intellectual society is still dominated by the left-liberals with the media giving them more space while ignoring alternate voices.

“An intellectual terrorism has been unleashed and the Left in the country are more leftists than Karl Marx. There is no democracy in media….they have no space for Indian civilisation but there is space for Karl Marx and Lenin”, he claimed.

India’s right-wing has long disputed the concept of secularism as espoused by both western thinkers and Indian intellectuals who propound that the state needs to be equidistant from adherents of all religions.

Mediapersons may agree in private to an alternative narrative but they prefer giving space to left -liberals saying that this reflects an independent view, Sarma alleged.

“The left thinking has to be challenged and more thought provoking books based on history, of our long struggle for existence must be documented in the right perspective”, he said.

India has been a secular country since the Rig Vedic Age and “we have given the concept of secularism and humanity to the world. Our civilisation is five thousand years old and we have accepted diversity of thought, religion and culture since ages”, the Chief Minister said.

Referring to the Citizenship Amendment Act, Sarma said that there are two perspectives on this- for protestors outside Assam, the demand is why Hindus alone should be given citizenship, Muslim migrants too should be covered.

In Assam, however, the protest against the Act was that neither Hindus nor Muslims from other countries should be given citizenship.

“It was the so-called secular protestors at the national level who tried to give a communal colour to the entire protests”, he said.

The CAA is for those “who are victims of partition and not beneficiaries of a communal country created on the basis of religion”, he said.

The CAA says Indian citizenship ,may be granted to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians from neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, ZBangladesh and Afghanistan who have come in before end-December 2014 and had suffered “religious persecution or fear of religious persecution” in their country of origin.