CHURUMURI POLL: ‘In the name of Allah, PBUH?’

A BJP youth wing leader yesterday filed a writ petition before the Kerala High Court to declare as unconstitutional the swearing-in of 11 Muslim MLAs who took oath three days ago in the name of Allah. The petitioner says the MLAs can only take oath in the name of "God" or make a solemn affirmation in consonance with Article 188.

In the previous assembly, the swearing in of Umesh Challiyil who took oath in the name of Sri Narayana Guru, a popular backward class religious reformer, was declared illegal by the Kerala HC and he was forced to pay a fine of Rs 500 for each day he sat and voted in the Asesmbly. The Supreme Court refused to stay the HC order.

Questions: When it wasn't OK to take oath in the name of a guru, were the Muslim MLAs right to take oath in the name of Allah? Is it OK to take oath in the name of 'Eswar' even if it is a generic name for God? In a secular country, shouldn't our legislators and parliamentarians take oath in the name of more abstract forms like truth, even if they are believers? Or is the BJP merely fishing in familiar waters?