Harkishan Singh Surjeet, General Secretary of the CPI(M) has issued the following statement:

The highly objectionable remarks made by the Dy. Prime Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani at Gandhinagar while addressing the BJP’s state executive needs to be condemned in no uncertain terms. In a further attempt to promote the BJP-RSS brand of secularism, Mr. Advani has sought to weave a web of lies and distortion. In this effort, he not only seeks to misinterpret the commonly accepted notion of secularism as the separation of religion from politics but drags in Jawaharlal Nehru and other symbols of the national movement to justify the BJP-RSS-VHP vision. What is more deplorable is Mr. Advani’s denigration of the national flag. He has termed the Ashoka Chakra being embossed in the middle of the flag as “unfortunate” as he considers it to be a symbol of Bhuddhism. After attacking the Congress, which represented the mainstream of the national movement, the communists and secularism, now an attempt is being made to denigrate national symbols and the national flag itself. It needs no reiteration that the RSS not only kept itself aloof of the freedom struggle but divided the people by sowing discord and spreading communal poison.

Advani’s remarks are a reflection of the intention of the BJP to stick to its “Hindutva” platform and continue with its virulent campaign not only for the coming local body elections in Gujarat but throughout the country, buoyed by the success it received in the Gujarat assembly elections.

The necessity to conduct a sustained and effective struggle against the communal ideology has to be all the more understood by the secular forces. Secular forces will have to remain alert and conduct an uncompromising struggle against the Hindutva agenda which masquerades as “cultural nationalism.”