A question was asked in the on-going Union Public Service Commission or the civil services exam (UPSC) made Congress lash out. The question was about the challenges to cultural practices in the name of secularism. This question that appeared in General Studies Paper 1 on Saturday (September 21, 2019) has spiked new UPSC question controversy, wherein the Congress party member said, “the new casualty of the RSS agenda of instilling venom into democratic institutions.” The UPSC exams that began on September 20 will end on September 29, 2019.
Ramesh Chennithala, who is the leader of the opposition in the assembly, attacked the UPSC in a series of tweets. One of his tweets read, “It’s an irony that the UPSC finds the term “secularism” which is part of the preamble of our Constitution, as challenging to Indian Culture. #StopSaffronisingConstitutionalBodies”
Another tweet read, “One of the most rated exams in the world UPSC, is the new casualty of the RSS agenda of instilling venom of communalism into the democratic institutions.”
Adding fuel to this UPSC controversy, netizens quickly reacted to this question, with a majority of them, saying that secularism is embedded in the Constitution of India. Kannan Gopinathan, the much-known IAS officer, who quit his services citing the clampdown in J&K and other reasons, said secularism is a positive concept on Twitter.
Taking to Twitter he said, “Indian secularism is a positive concept, taking along and encouraging all the cultural practices while instilling a scientific temper against superstitions and harmful practices would have been the first sentence of my answer.”
On condition of anonymity, one of the candidates who appeared for the exam spoke to PTI about the UPSC question controversy. She said that the question was a loaded one and it implied that ‘secularism is posing challenges to cultural practices.’ She further added, “Secularism in the Constitution is the core idea of India itself.”