Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday made a scathing attack on BJP for terming secularism as "most misused word" and said questioning secularism was a fundamental threat to the Indian republic and constitution.
Referring to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's 'secularism' remarks in Parliament on Thursday, Ramesh said "India is defined by secularism. If India is not secular, it becomes a mirror image of Pakistan".
Speaking at a seminar on 'Growing intolerance and threat to secularism' here, the Congress leader noted, "Secularism is part of our constitution. The day, we drop the word 'secularism', I think we will be destroying the very foundation of Indian republic."
Coming down heavily on the Narendara Modi government, Ramesh said, "Communal ideologies that speak with mask of development was the other threat faced by the country."
"Leaders will come and speak the language of development. I do not have to name those leaders. You all know whom I am referring to. They speak of development, but bottom line is practise of communal polarisation. So it is this mask of development that pose a threat", he said.
Taking a dig at BJP for its drubbing at Bihar assembly polls, Ramesh said, "People of Bihar saw the threat. Bihar showed that they could see through the mask of development."
"Certain communal organisations wear the mask of development and say we believe in strong India, we believe in 8 per cent GDP growth, we believe in development of India. All this sounds well. But, fundamentally the DNA is communal", he said.
The Congress leader asserted that all types of communalism had to be fought, whether it was majority or minority.
"I do no distinguish between Hindu communalism, Muslim communalism, Christian communalism and Sikh communalism. Communalism is dangerous and pose a threat to the country," he said, adding a political party that misuse religion for political purposes is a communal party.
Without directly referring to the debate on a uniform civil code, Ramesh said unity of India is not equal to uniformity.
"Unity yes...Uniformity no. Because India is a country defined by several religions, 500 languages, numerous regions, 29 states, 5,000 communities. India is not just unity in diversity, but unity through diversity", he said.
"What communal ideologies want is uniformity and that is not what India needs", he added.