Hungry Kids, Divisive Politics: Is religion above the Constitution?

Varghese Alengaden
28 Sep 2020

Governments in Pakistan and other Islamic countries are accused of being controlled by the fanatic religious leaders. It was the same situation in Europe where the nexus between religion and politics was known as ‘marriage between the Church and the State’. Whenever politics and religion were mixed the human rights were blatantly violated and the spiritual values were abandoned.  

People of India are not learning from the mistakes of the past. Despite having an ancient  heritage of  diversity where universal spiritual values  were practiced, the people of this ancient civilization are getting fooled by the corrupt  politicians and hypocritical  god-men of all religions. Many decisions  of the government  are against the foundational  values of the Constitution and they violate human rights. 

Proposal to give eggs to children in anganwadis was first suggested to MP Government of BJP in 2009 as part of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Child Health and Nutrition Mission to address the issue of malnutrition. The suggestion was carried out by the government  all these years . Jain Monks under the leadership of Acharya Vidyasagar objected to this practice and the Jain community has been opposing this practice. 

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chowhan succumbed to the pressure of the Jain community rejecting the demand of Imarti Devi, Women and Child Development minister, because of the by-elections for 28 constituencies which will decide the fate of his government. The government has decided to give milk to children instead of egg, only to satisfy the Jain monks and community. Has the government ever foreseen the possibility of adulteration in milk by businessmen and bureaucrats which can cause even death of children? 

Appreciating the decision of the government the Jain monk said, “Vegetarianism is the basic mantra of living in sync with nature and being non-violent”. Jain community representative Kamal Agrawal said, “We have been working to ensure that children are not tempted and forced to become non- vegetarian for a decade”.    

Imposing   practices and beliefs of one community on all others is violation of the Constitution. Aggressive and hostile ways of thinking, talking and acting   against any one is violence. Denying the rights and habits of others either by the state or by a powerful majority community is violence. It is violation of fundamental rights. 

Leaders and god-men of all faith need introspection and contemplation on their own spiritual values instead of holding on to the traditional practices and beliefs. Politicians violate the Constitution when they succumb to pressure of a community or god-men for vote –bank politics.

It is also important to find out how many children from Jain community go to Anganwadi centres. Since Jain community is rich, hardly any one of their children go to these centres for free meal. Children from the poor families mostly,  SC – ST communities benefit from this project  and they suffer from hunger and malnutrition.  
Imposing the food habits, culture, language, traditions of the majority community on others is against the spiritual values of the Constitution. When politicians and governments succumb to the pressure of a community and god-men they are violating the Constitution. In such situation Constitution of India becomes a decorative book just like the sacred books of all faith to be placed on the shelves. They become objects of worship and decoration.

In a land where walking naked is considered obscene and a violation of law, no one is objecting Jain Monks walking naked in public. Why should then, Muslim women be looked down upon wearing black burkas? 

Accepting, appreciating and promoting the differences in worship, food habits, music and dance is the pluralistic spirituality of India. This makes India unique in the world. 

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