March 9, 2019
India in Distress: Mamata Banerjee’s new book launched (Extract 3)
Chief Minister of Bangla and Trinamool Congress Chairperson Mamata Banerjee’s new book, India in Distress was launched at the Constitution Club in Delhi on March 8.
One of the most powerful women in India today, it was perhaps appropriate that her book was launched on International Women’s Day.
The book is a collection of essays and commentary on contemporary issues, ranging from the sorry state affairs in the nation today to threats to the Constitution, and also asks some direct questions on the Pulwama attack last month.
Extracts from the Trinanool chief’s book were read out at the launch function.
Read the third extract here below:
Another unique feature of this pluralistic India is its secularism. And the cue to this secularism goes right back to the days of the Vedas and Upanishads to the policies of Asoka the Great and Mughal emperor Akbar. This country which believes in “as many are the believes, so many are the ways” has always set an example when it comes to different communities harmoniously living together. Great thinkers like Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi have held the flag of communal harmony high and let out the message of humanity to the world. Leaders like Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and Jawaharlal Nehru have held this very flag higher.
However, under this BJP regime, India is losing its feature of being non-violent, secular and harmonious and is being converted into a country of religious orthodoxy, violence and brutality. A conspiracy to erase the very memory of Mahatma Gandhi can be clearly felt today. Organising programmes to celebrate Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary cannot mask the fact that a plot is afoot to try and undo Gandhiji’s contribution towards the making of a secular India. I greatly respect Vallabhai Patel. He too stood strongly against communal politics in his time. All of a sudden, BJP spent thousands of crorss of rupees to erect his statue. What is surprising is how constructing such a huge statue of Gandhiji was not considered; how building statues of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose or Babasaheb Ambedkar or Rabindranath Tagore, was not thought of. In reality, this was a mere ploy to erect a statue in one’s own state and thereby, gain publicity.
(Foreword, pp. 4-5)