Relief efforts in Kerala, best example of secularism: Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said he was dedicating the Independence Day for the relief and rebuilding works for Kerala that was battered by floods and landslides over the past few days.

The CM was speaking after hoisting the tricolour at Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

Talking about secularism, the Chief Minister recalled an instance from Malappuram district's Kavalapara where a mosque allowed autopsy of the landslide victims to be conducted within its premises.

"This was an act of the highest standards of secularism and one to be showcased to the nation," said Vijayan. He said this while addressing an Independence Day parade at the Central Stadium here.

Making an oblique reference to the Kashmir situation, the Kerala Chief Minister said: "We are known as a Democratic Republic and when we say that, what will happen when leaders are placed under house arrest, are we getting closer to democracy or moving away from it?"

"Keeping the leaders under house arrest in Kashmir is unconstitutional. Curbing the rights of other states is inhumane," Pinarayi said.

The Kerala CM said Independence Day is the right time to introspect on the rights given to all by the Constitution.

"The Constitution gave us a lot of freedom and today is the apt day to take stock of it... this is also the day when corrective positions need to be taken, if there is a need for it," said Vijayan.

He said "the Constitution says we are a Republic and it gives us, not just the political freedom, but also the financial freedom too and if one looks into this, there seems to be some intrusion".

"Our Republic says about secularism but today, in the name of religion, disturbances are taking place which means secularism is getting affected. Likewise, the preamble of the Constitution speaks of socialism and that's how public sector undertakings (PSUs) were created. But today, such PSUs are being ruined and corporates are favoured," said Vijayan.

He reminded the people that Gandhiji was killed because he stood for secularism.

"Today, the wealth is getting increasingly accumulated with a few... the large majority is facing difficult times... Are we getting closer to socialism or going away from it?" he asked.

Listing out the achievements of the ruling front, the CM said his government was able to strengthen public establishments and the Dalit groups. He also distributed awards to policemen and other officials.

Parades and flag hoisting took place across the state at educational institutions, clubs, and offices.

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