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Published in the 16-31 May 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

REJOINDER
A polity fair to all

I have read Mr R V Anand's forceful letter "To all pseudo-secularists" in MG 1-15 May 2004 and I fully agree with him that the sentiments and susceptibilities of each and every religious community are equally important and there should be no discrimination in this regard. I also agree with him that, sometimes, secularists like Teesta Setalvad, Kuldip Nayyar (some named, others not named by Mr Anand) tend to pay more attention and give more importance to the feelings of Muslims, Sikhs and other minorities and tend to ignore the feelings of Hindus.

May be, this is done due to a large-hearted, broad-minded approach that the "poor, suffering" minorities are more in need of protection than the Hindu majority. However, I notice that (not only Mr Anand but) many other Hindus also feel that minorities are needlessly pampered and Hindu susceptibilites are disregarded. Ignoring this feeling in a very sizable section of Hindus will certainly NOT help in preserving and strengthening really secular values in our country.

Sauce for the goose is, or at least should be, sauce for the gander. We should be fair to all. No pampering of any community, no whipping or bashing of any other community, regardless of whether it is any minority community or it is the majority community. This is the only way to safeguard and promote secularism in our beloved country.

Ahmad Rashid Shervani
shervani@satyam.net.in

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