The hounding of writer Taslima Nasreen from West Bengal to Rajasthan and thence to New Delhi is shameful. Indian Marxists, especially of the CPM ilk, should think hard about their Janus-faced secularism; the one they preach and the one they practise.
Nasreen, hounded from her country Bangladesh by fundamentalists, has not known much peace in secular India. All it took was one riot for the Bengal comrades to plead law and order and force her out. While they pander to Islamic fundamentalists in the name of secularism, they shy away from any attempts at limiting the latter’s influence. In their world view, that is being anti-secular.
Secularism ought to be a principle safe from any corruption by electoral politics and other compulsions. Marxists should realize that it cannot be a fair-weather principle. It is far too precious to be that.