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Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
Friday, 07 September 2018 11:40

SEMINAR ON "SECULARISM AND CHALLENGES"

A SEMINAR on “Secularism : Present Challenges” was held under Asgar Ali Engineer Memorial lecture, organized by Vimarsh at Raipur on 11th August 2018 on the occasion of the martyrdom day of Shaheed Khudiram Bose. Well known thinker, litterateur, convener of CSSS Mumbai and editor of Indian Journal of Secularism Irfan Engineer gave the key note address. The seminar was presided over by Shri Lalit Surjan, Chief Editor of Deshbandhu Newspaper Group. A book “Babri Masjid : 25 Years On...” was released, which is edited by Samina Dalwai, Ramu Ramanathan and Irfan Engineer. Communist thinker Vinod Mubai now settled in the USA, Neha Dabhade, Assistant Director of Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS) and Akhilesh Edgar, social activist from Raipur shared their views on secularism and challenges in the seminar. Young girls from Kota Slum of Raipur, presented two people’s songs named “Dost mere mazhabi nagmat ko mat chhediye” and “Tod tod ke bandhano ko” composed. Number of cultural activists, intellectuals, youth, students and social activists were present in the seminar.

In his keynote address, Irfan Ali Engineer said that, a chapter in black on intolerance, in the history of India was written after the planned incident of demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. We felt proud on our Ganga Jamuni and Shared Martyrdom and Shared Heritage cultures in the whole world, but this incident of demolition made us hang our heads in shame. British imperialism had put forward the idea of hindu and muslim nationalism to divert the struggle of independence and had conspiringly implemented the divide and rule policy right after 1857. To fulfill this schema, the feudal, casteist, nawabs, kings, and landowning classes assisted the British. The common masses believed in the ideas of equality, liberty and brotherhood. Due to the religion based idea of nationalism, partition of the country took place. British imperialism played an important role in establishing the RSS and the Muslim League. Philosophies of Buddha, Kabir and Charvak are Indian and not foreign values, but the RSS never speaks of them. Based on the philosophy of the great philosophers a constitution based on the idea of equality and rationality is written. A dual between two ideas of an India based on religion and India based on values of rationality, tolerance and equality is going on since a long time. Brahmin Manu supporting thoughts are behind all anti-national charges drawn against the Muslims. Today mob lynching has become a new form of communal violence. It is a national crime. Such cases of violence are continuously increasing in the country. The fascist forces are trying to divert people’s attention from basic issues and want to win elections by communal polarization of masses. This is a direct attack on our democracy. To fight against violence we need to unite and save the cultures of Buddha, Kabeer, Lokayat and Charvak.

From the seat of president, Shri Lalit Surjan said that capitalism intends to grab all the resources present in the world. We read less so there are more myths. In Rigveda music is discussed and god worship is absent. Indian civilization is very developed but sadly thoughtlessness is increasing and spreading in India. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose raised the slogan, “Give me your blood, and I will give you freedom”; this slogan has now been altered to “Give me the chair, and I will give you alms.” We are divided among ourselves and the country is being driven to sleep by singing sweet lullabies and injecting religion. Fooling the countrymen in the name of religion began when an idol of Lord Ganesha started drinking milk miraculously in a temple in Maharashtra. He said, our constitution is the most beautifully written book in the world and we should adhere to it and stop believing on rumors and fake messages being circulated on the social media.

Vinod Mubai cherished the memories of his fast friend and upholder of secularism late Asgar Ali Engineer. He said that the staunch supporters of hindutva settled in America , work hand in hand with the sangh parivar in India. After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the communal forces started receiving funds from foreign countries. For the last 25 years the sangh parivar is continuously receiving funds from America, which is being used to destroy our Ganga Jamuni culture.

Neha Dabhade elaborated on the subject of brutal effect of communal violence on the lives of women. She emphasized that we need to unite in order to protect our secular values, as it is our life. Alike fascism in Germany and Hitler the father of Nazism, the sangh parivar also wants to limit women to the areas like producing babies, kitchen work etc. and wants them to follow the patriarchal values.

Akhilesh Edgar said that the number of minorities in Chhattisgarh is less than 6 percentage , but they have come under the target of communal fascist forces in the past four years. Analyzing data he mentioned that more attacks on Christians than Muslims have increased in the state. Even the incident of Patthalgadi was linked with the Christians, but it is a well known fact that Patthalgadi is an old tradition of adivasis. 

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