KARNATAKA

Fight terrorism, communalism as twin challenges, says Karat

Call for unity: (From left) Karnataka Pranta Raitha Sangha general secretary G.C. Byya Reddy, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI(M) State general secretary V.J.K. Nair and CPI(M) State Secretariat member S.Y. Gurushanth at the public rally in Bangalore on Tuesday against communalism and terrorism.

Call for unity: (From left) Karnataka Pranta Raitha Sangha general secretary G.C. Byya Reddy, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI(M) State general secretary V.J.K. Nair and CPI(M) State Secretariat member S.Y. Gurushanth at the public rally in Bangalore on Tuesday against communalism and terrorism.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Special Correspondent

‘Both these forces challenge the concept of India as a secular democracy’

Bangalore: Terrorism can be defeated only if fought alongside the “twin challenge” of communalism, said Prakash Karat, general secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Addressing a public rally here on Tuesday, which was the culmination of a Statewide jatha organised by the CPI(M) against communalism and terrorism, Mr. Karat said both these forces “challenge the concept of India as a secular democracy”.

The BJP was “covering up its communal designs as nationalism”, but just scratching the surface revealed its colours as “the enemy of the common people”, he said. Citing an example, he said the BJP’s agreement with the Congress on allowing more foreign direct investment in the banking and insurance sectors exposed the “hypocrisy” of the BJP’s claims of nationalism. This amounted to “promoting anti-national policies” when the global financial meltdown had clearly demonstrated what disasters it could lead to.

‘Seek U.N. help’

Mr. Karat said that while the BJP was using communalism as a “tool of political mobilisation”, the Congress had “no courage to take on communal forces”. It had not banned organisations such as the Bajrang Dal by using the same laws used to ban the Students Islamic Movement of India, he said. The Centre was making a mistake in seeking the help of the United States rather than the U.N. Security Council in tracking the terror network behind the Mumbai attacks. “We cannot fight our battle against terrorism on the shoulders of America, which has spread terrorism in several countries in the world,” said Mr. Karat.

‘Propaganda exposed’

Investigations related to the Malegaon blasts had exposed the BJP’s propaganda on equating communalism with one religion, said Mr. Karat. “Different types of terrorism have to be dealt with, but not by communal politics that identifies it with a religion,” he said. The BJP’s dismissal of the Malegaon investigations was a pointer that it would “conveniently ignore any attack by Hindu terrorists”, he said.

He warned that no government had the right to bring religion into any public system funded by the Government, such as education, in a secular democracy. But in States like Karnataka, communal politics had come to have a dominant say in governance and everyday life. Such a situation demanded the coming together of all secular forces on a common platform, he said.

One of the four jathas of the CPI(M), which had set out from Basavakalyan, was attacked at Kurubarahalli by activists of the Bajrang Dal and other Hindutva organisations, said All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) State president K. Neela. A vehicle, which had pictures of B.R. Ambedkar, Jyotiba Phule and others, was damaged in the attack, she said.

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