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Behind The Scene: Secularism At Work!

With Gujarat up for Assembly elections next month, campaigning is obviously a top priority for the parties there.

Rahul Gandhi is personally leading the campaign there. One interesting aspect about his strategy is that he has visited at least half a dozen temples in the state triggering BJP allegations that he was playing a soft Hindutva card.

Asked about the BJP's criticism, he told reporters, "I am a devotee of Lord Shiva. Let them say whatever they want to say. My truth is with me".

It would have been unthinkable for a Congressman to even say such a thing in public, a few years ago. But it is an indication of how polarized society has become and how it has become important to reach out to each and every community, sect and religion.

In Andhra Pradesh, with rival media channels repeatedly propagating that YS Jagan as CM would result in increased conversions, the YCP supremo has been seen making more trips than usual to Tirumala and other Hindu temples.

And when Pawan Kalyan condescendingly releases a picture of his to the public, the standout element in it is a huge poster of Jesus Christ in the background.

A couple of decades earlier, the religious affiliation of a politician wouldn’t have mattered to the public. But today, it is of primary importance.

Ironically, it is the educated youth who adopt a more hardliner stand in such matters. In that sense, can we call ourselves truly secular or are we actually promoting divisive politics in the garb of secularism?

That perhaps is a question best left to the intellectuals.

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Tags: Gujarat Rahul Gandhi