Bhopal, October 3: “All political parties, while shedding away their differences, should come out on one platform to fight tooth and nail the nefarious designs of BJP-led NDA Government backed by the RSS to turn India into a Hindu state. Until and unless this is done it would be very difficult to save the secular characteristics of the country as enshrined in the Constitution of India”.

The above clarion call was given by Lajja Shankar Herdenia, veteran journalist, while speaking as chief guest in the Secular India Meet seminar organised by the Madhya Pradesh unit of Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), here in Mahadevi Verma hall of Hindi Bhavan on Sunday. The function was presided over by the state president of the party Adv. Sajid Siddiqui. Afsar Pasha, SDPI’s national general secretary, from Bangalore was special guest on the occasion.

The seminar was part of the nation-wide programme being organised by SDPI from October 2-8, 2016 with slogans ‘Secularism is India’s Life’ and ‘Secularism is inevitable for India’s existence’.

Herdenia, who is convener of the Rashtriya Secular Manch and a well-known activist & fighter for the cause of Secularism and democratic rights, charged that NDA Govt’s intent is to capture judiciary in order to do away with the federal structure of India and impose on it Hindu Rashtra ideology while doing away with the Indian constitution which is secular in nature.

He said promulgating Uniform Civil Code amongst other things is fraught with the danger of breaking India just as imposing one language i.e. Hindi across the length and breadth of the country.

Afsar Pasha speaking on the occasion said that RSS had no role, whatsoever, in the freedom struggle of the country. From the day SDPI came into existence the party is engaged in unravelling the real truth about RSS which otherwise poses to be very much nationalistic and patriotic, he added.

Pasha said SDPI is busy in instilling awareness among the marginalised communities, which include Muslims and Dalits also, about their fundamental rights which have been denied to them since the country achieved Independence.

Secular India Meet in Bhopal - SDPI Generala Secretary addressing the gathering during the meet

Secular India Meet in Bhopal – SDPI Generala Secretary addressing the gathering during the meet

Dr. Afaque Nadeem Khan, Assistant Professor in local College of Teacher Education, said that the government of the day is putting to shreds the Constitution of the country. Even a minister has spoken of burning it down without any remorse, he lamented.

Dr. Afaque cautioned that spread of communal hatred, while bulldozing the secular values, may cause harm to Muslims somewhat but ultimately the country at large would suffer irreparable loss “Mahatma Gandhi Ko Marnewalon Aur Mahatma Gandhi Ko Maanewalon Ke Beech Jung Jari Hai Aajkal”, he remarked.

Father Saji expressed concern over the attempts to saffronise education in the country as the draft of the New Education Policy clearly states. He called for united struggle to oppose it.

Adv. Ansar Qureshi said that the Hindu Brigade represented by VHP, Bajrang Dal and other such affiliates thinks that they are above the rule of law after the NDA Govt. came to power at the centre in May 2014. He said: “Desh Bhakti Se Nahi Balke Desh Prem Se Chalta Hai”.

A number of other speakers expressed their views on Secularism their views in the seminar. They included: Haji Mohammad Haroon, Abdul Ahad, Ratanlal Batham, Gyani Harjeet Singh, Adv. Abdul Hameed, Fr. Saji, Anwar Safi and Gundesh Khamra,

Irfan-ul-Huque, general secretary of MP unit of SDPI, conducted the programme while Badshah Khan, Bhopal district president of SDPI, proposed a vote of thanks.