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#Trending!! Rajma Chawal to Article 370: How Sushma Swaraj explained secularism in viral 1996 Lok Sabha speech

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Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, apart from her humility and warmth, was also celebrated for her fiery speeches that she often delivered in the Parliament and outside. Her definition of secularism, for example, while addressing the Lok Sabha in 1996, is regarded as historic. This apart, she also invoked various aspects of dance, mythology and food in her speech to explain the significance of Indian culture.

“Mr Speaker, we are communal. Yes Mr Speaker, we are communal because we advocate singing Vande Mataram. Yes, we are communal, because we fight for the respect of the national flag. We are communal because we want to abolish Article 370. We are communal because we want to put an end to discrimination based on caste and creed in this country. Yes we are communal because we want to get the Uniform Civil Code (Saman Nagrik Samhita) implemented in this country,” Sushma Swaraj roared in the Parliament, to deafening cheering.

Despite the chaos in the house, Sushma Swaraj was determined while delivering her speech and maintained that “we are communal because we want the voices of the Kashmiri refugees to be heard.”

Sushma Swaraj while delivering her speech at Lok Sabha. (Photo: YouTube)

Her definition of secularism is absolutely different – that every citizen should respect each other irrespective of their religion.

“The truth is, Mr Speaker, that because we are not ashamed of being Hindu, we are communal and we are anti-secular, and in this country, if you are not ashamed of being a Hindu, then you cannot be certified a secular by these pseudo-intellectuals. Mr Speaker, our definition of secularism is that a Hindu should be a good Hindu, a Muslim should be a good Muslim, a Sikh should be a good Sikh and a Christian should be a good Christian, and everyone should follow their religions while simultaneously respecting each other,” she added.ADVERTISEMENT

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Speaking of Indian culture, Sushma Swaraj questioned in the parliament: “What is Bharat, Bharatiya and Bharatiyata?” after politician Murasoli Maran said that “we are different and you are different.” Describing Indian culture, Sushma Swaraj invoked food, dance and mythology and provided a brilliant explanation to Murasoli Maran.

Sushma Swaraj while delivering her speech at Lok Sabha. (Photo: YouTube)

“Mr Speaker, I want to say to my friend Mr Murasoli Maran with all due respect, that he doesn’t need to go anywhere to understand the meaning of Bharatiyata. Bharatiyata means that from Bhangra to Bharatnatyam, all dances are Indian and belong to India. Bharatiyata means that from Jammu’s Rajma Chawal and Punjab’s Makki Roti to South’s Idli Dosa, all delicacies are Indian delicacies. Bharatiyata means that from Amarnath in the North to Rameshwaram in the South, all pilgrimages are Indian pilgrimages. You ask, what the aspects of this culture are,” she said.

“Mr Speaker, the aspects of this culture are such, that a devotee of Lord Shiva takes water from Amarnath and washes the Lord’s feet at Rameshwaram, it has happened because of this very culture, that even after being born in West Bengal, Mr NC Chatterji names his son Somnath. This is our culture. I don’t need to look up the meaning of our culture in a dictionary. It is mirrored in this very house itself,” she added.

Sushma Swaraj is being mourned across the world after her death on August 6. She was 67. Her body will be kept at the BJP headquarters in Delhi till 3pm today, after which it will be taken to the Lodhi Road Electric Crematorium for her last rites.

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Author Name: India Today Web Desk
Link to Native Article: Click Here

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