Government today launched a scathing attack on Congress on the issue of secularism saying it was the "most misused" term in the country which has led to tension in the society.
Initiating discussion on 'Commitment to India's Constitution as part of 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in Lok Sabha that the architect of the Constitution had never thought of putting the term secularism in the Preamble but it was incorporated through an amendment in 1976.
"The words 'socialist' and 'secular' were incorporated in the Preamble through the 42nd amendment of the Constitution. We have no objection. Let bygones be bygones. B R Ambedkar had never thought the necessity to incorporate it in the Preamble as these two words were part of the Constitution. It is inbuilt in the Indian system."
"Secularism is the most misused word in the country. Its misuse should come to an end. Because of the rampant misuse of the word, there have been instances of tension in the society." --Rajnath Singh among Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi besides others. The Home Minister said it was difficult to maintain social harmony because of the "rampant misuse" of the word secularism.
Congress quick to protest
Countering his contention, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge objected to the Home Minister's remarks and said Ambedkar was also in favour of putting the word in the Preamble, but could not do so due to the prevailing situation then.
Singh objected to the use of Hindi word 'Dharma Nirpekshta', saying the literal translation of the secularism should be 'Panth Nirpekshta' and it should be regularly used as it is the official Hindi translation of secularism.