In India, political principles are often invoked to mount political challenges. After the event is over, they are discarded.
One such principle being tossed around is secularism. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has said any prime ministerial candidate should have secular credentials. His comments have been interpreted as being directed at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, speculated to be a candidate for the top job in 2014. The issue here is not secularism, but its use as a tool to further the interests of one contender for the top job against those of another.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. File photo
Modi and the political controversies that surround him are well-known: they are a matter for the courts and the electorate of Gujarat to sort out. If India’s history is anything to go by, such issues cannot be evaded.
In the meantime, it is best that ideals such as secularism are practised and not tossed around— much like a political football.