Political parties used secularism: Amar Singh

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Kolkata, July 1 (IANS) In a bid to remain in power and fulfil their interests, the concept of secularism has been used by many political parties in India, Rajya Sabha Member Amar Singh said here on Saturday.

“I think the concept of secularism has been used time to time by many political parties showing no mercy in order to either remain in power or fulfil their interests,” he said speaking at a debate, organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Quoting names of politicians, he said, “I am giving you examples. Present West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was a minister in the Atal Bihari-led NDA government. Now, she is a secularist. Ram Vilas Paswan, who was also a minister in the Vajpayeeji’s government, had left from it protesting the Gujarat riot. Now, he is a minister of Narendra Modi-led government.”

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Secularism should not be viewed as appeasement, he said, adding that the present practice of secularism is “distorted” and there is a need to explore the “exact meaning of secularism”.

Secularism calls for brotherhood among people of different communities, he added.

–IANS

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