AGARTALA, Aug 27 - Those who had promised to bring �acche din� before the general elections, have been taking the country towards uncertainty, unrest and despair, said Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
The spirit of Constitution � secularism is at stake during the current government regime because there have been persistent efforts for making a new India � one country, one religion, he said while speaking at a programme to mark the 127th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar at Rabindra Bhavan here on Sunday.
�In our Constitution, secularism was given priority keeping in mind the bitter experience of the Partition on the basis of religion but this vital part has been ignored by promoting a particular religion�, he pointed out.
Sarkar said minority and Dalits are scared over the happenings in the country. They had dreamt of a new India where basic needs � food, shelter, healthcare, education and unemployment will be addressed properly. �The word secularism means the county will not have a particular religion or will not favour any religion. Religion is a personnel thing where people are free to choose their way of worship�, he said.
Citing the example of Dr Ambedkar embracing Buddhism, Sarkar said there must be freedom for free expression, religious practice and food habit. �Now, there have been efforts for conversion which is a crime as per the Constitution. They are openly saying that if you want to stay here you must convert into a particular religion. They are also giving reason � Those who are Muslim or belonged to other religion, they were basically Hindu and converted into other religion under pressure�, he said.
In his hard-hitting speech, the Chief Minister further said the current government has been slashing outlay in welfare schemes. �The situation is turning disastrous with value of Rupee falling rapidly and prices sky-rocketing. There is no hope for job opportunity even as altogether 1.34 crore job aspirants are coming up every year. Banking sector is all set to face dust if the privatisation attempt is implemented�, he pointed ut.
In his speech, former Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof Sukhdeo Thorat also expressed his dismay at the way things are going on in the country. �Discrimination persists in our country even 70 years after Independence. It is a fact that improvement is reported in the socio-economic condition of ST/SC/OBC and others but there is still a gap which needs to be bridged immediately�, he opined.
�The spirit of secularism which is mentioned in the Constitution must be implemented at the ground zero level to uphold the dignity�, he added.
SC Welfare Minister Ratan Bhowmik and Mayor of Agartala Municipal Corporation Dr Prafullajit Sinha also spoke on the occasion.