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Padma Bhushan awardee and ex BBC Delhi chief slams Congress for alienating Hindus through its brand of ‘secularism’

To almost everyone, it was obvious that the Congress party's brand of secularism did not have a place for Hindu concerns in it while the party continued to pander to the most extremist elements of minority communities.

Mark Tully, a Padma Bhushan awardee who worked as the Chief of the Delhi bureau of BBC for two decades, has come out harshly against the Congress party for what he perceives to be a foolish obsession with ‘secularism’ and thereby, neglecting the Hindu ethos of the country.

“First of all ‘secularism’ is not the right word to use in this Indian context at all because secularism has a connotation of hostility towards all religions or indifference towards religion and Indians are not hostile to religion and Indians are not indifferent to religion,” Mark Tully, ex-BBC Delhi Chief and Padma Bhushan awardee said at an event in Goa, The Hindu reported.

“The mistake the Congress party made was to continue with this word secularism… that left the BJP free to say we are the party of Hindus and this is Hinduism… The Congress should have found in its politics someplace for the Hindu community just as it found for Muslims or others,” said Mark Tully.

“I think that today what the Congress should say is that India is a country where 80% call themselves Hindus and we believe that Hinduism, which is natural to India, is a pluralistic religion, a religion which is proud of being tolerant and welcoming to other religions, proud of India’s history,” Mark Tully who used to be BBC Delhi chief further stated about Congress.

It appears rather bewildering that Tully, being a Britisher, understands the realities of India far more than a political party that has ruled over the country for decades. Tully’s recommendations for the Congress party are simple ‘common sense’ advise that people with their ears on the ground, as serious politicians are expected to be, should have been perfectly aware of. If Tully, a foreigner, could understand such a simple truth about India, the reasons for the Congress party not being able to are entirely incomprehensible.

To almost everyone, it was obvious that the Congress party’s brand of secularism did not have a place for Hindu concerns in it while the party continued to pander to the most extremist elements of minority communities. In a country where the overwhelming majority of citizens are Hindus, it was politically suicidal for the Congress.

While Rahul Gandhi attempted to fix the party’s image by paying visits to numerous Temples, he didn’t have the credibility to improve things for the better. Even more damningly, the leaders of the party continued to make noxious comments and voice their support for elements that cause a trust-deficit with the Hindu community.

If the Congress party had listened to people like Tully in the media instead of the ‘Woke’ comedians and other Darbaris, it may not have suffered as terrible a defeat as they did in the General Elections. It appears that they haven’t learned any lessons from its terrible defeat at all as senior leaders like Digvijaya Singh continue to make comments that further alienate the Hindu community from the Congress.

Time appears to have run out for the Congress party and there appears to be no effort at all to learn from the mistakes they made. Considering their conduct post the abrogation of Article 370, the Congress party looks set to be reduced to political irrelevance.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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