» 02/05/2014, 00.00
India’s Supreme Court to review "pro- Hindu" ruling, to curb religious extremism
In 1995, the country's highest court ruled that seeking votes in the name of Hinduism is not a form of corruption. The verdict was heavily criticized, because the defendant in that trial had been elected on the back of Hindutva, a nationalist ideology . The president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC ) urges a favorable decision of the Supreme Court in view of the general elections of May 2014. "In states where Hindutva is pursued, minorities live in insecurity".
- The Supreme Court of India has decided to review a judgment of 1995 , which
had established that seeking votes in the name of Hinduism is not a form of
highest court of the country has decided to revise the judgment - strongly criticized
18 years ago - in view of the general elections to be held next May, in light
of an already hard-fought election campaign . The
vote pits the two major - and diametrically opposed - parties against each
other: the secular and democratic Congress,
now in government and the ultra-nationalist Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party ( BNP) .
its reasons for the judgment , the Supreme Court pointed out that " the
2014 elections are important. Seeking votes in the name of religion must be
considered in the interpretation of section 123 (3) of the Representation of
the People Act [ RPA , Law on behalf
of the people ] . "
RPA is a law that sets the code of conduct of elections for Parliament and the
individual states, indicating the necessary qualifications of the candidates
and grounds for disqualification. Sect. 123
(3) includes in corrupt practices , "the appeal by a candidate or his agent or by
any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent to vote
or refrain from voting for any person on the ground of his religion [ ...] ."
as "the Hindutva ruling " [ nationalist ideology based on Hinduism ,
ed] , the 1995verdict of concerned
Manohar Joshi , leader of the Shiv Sena (an ally of the BJP) who was elected
chief minister of Maharashtra. In
one of the pre-election speeches, the politician stated that "the first
Hindu State will be established in Maharashtra". For
the High Court in Mumbai, statements such as this violated sect. 123 (3) of the RPA , and thus declared the election invalid. The
case went before the Supreme Court, which overturned the ruling, saying that
such an appeal was not based on religion but was "an expression of hope".
by AsiaNews Sajan George, president
of the Global Council of Indian
Christians (GCIC), said he was "satisfied with the decision of the
Supreme Court , which will safeguard the secular credentials of India, as they
are enshrined in the Constitution. There are inherent dangers in
hindutva, which is an extreme form of nationalism that threatens the secular
character of the country. Traditional Hinduism is not linked to nationality. The
Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS , a
Hindu fundamentalist group ) follows Hindutva , which has as its objective the
creation of a Hindu
state, and the BJP is its political arm . "
many states led by the BJP - continues the Christian leader - minorities live
in insecurity, fueled by the Hindutva strategy that is based on the polarizing of
religious communities through violence".
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