Chennai, Jan 30: Slamming the BJP-led government at the Centre for its willingness to debate on "principles of the Constitution," CPI(M) today attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for remaining "silent" when "constitutional values" were targeted.
Party's Politburo Member and Rajya Sabha MP, Brinda Karat said that the "struggle for secularism" in India was a struggle for the country's survival and its advancement. Indirectly referring to the controversy surrounding the missing words 'Socialist' and 'Secularism' from the Preamble to the Constitution in advertisements issued by the NDA government early this week, she expressed shock that the Centre was open to debate on this matter.
"It is a matter of deep concern that we have a government at the Centre with a Prime Minister with 31 per cent vote share (that BJP scored in last year's Lok Sabha polls), which wants to debate principles of the Constitution. We are shocked Ministers want to debate it," she said.
The Shiv Sena had demanded dropping the words 'socialist' and 'secular' from the Preamble and Union IT Minister Ravishankar Prasad had stated it should be debated. Karat was addressing a conference organised by G K Vasan's Tamil Maanila Congress(M), titled "The Challenges and Threats to Secular India," coinciding with the 67th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
She expressed concern over efforts to glorify Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse, with some Hindu outfits planning temples for him and to install his statues inside temple premises. She said Gandhi's killing would remain a blot in Indian history.
"When every Indian citizen recalls Gandhi's martyrdom, there are forces who want to glorify his murderer," she said. While such 'fringe elements' could be generally ignored, it could not be done now since "we have a Prime Minister who speaks on everything but remains silent when constitutional values are attacked," she said.
Hindutva was only a political tool used by its proponents and had nothing to do with crores of Indian citizens,she said. On US President Barack Obama's speech at Siri Fort on Jan 27 where he said India will succeed so long as it is not 'splintered' on religious lines, she said he had made such remarks because of the presence of Hindutva forces.