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Are we really secular?

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“India is a secular country”, we hear this particular statement going around in Mass Media and social media, connecting it to almost every issue nowadays. The definition of secularism as per Wikipedia goes like this: ‘Secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries’. For democracy to sustain, it’s very much necessary that there is a secular governing body which sees all its citizens as equals irrespective of religion. Now, for our country, which boasts of being the largest democracy in the world comprising of number of religions and crores of Gods, being secular is very important so that everyone lives in peace and harmony.

But in today’s world, being secular is not only related to the government but with every individual’s tolerance towards other religions. But in our country, secularism has been wrongly interpreted by being partial towards minorities by many politicians and people in the media. The virtue of secularism dies the moment get partial towards one religion and it becomes pseudo secularism. It wouldn’t be wrong if I say that majority of so called seculars are nothing but pseudo seculars who play petty vote bank politics to get minority votes. Let us have a peek at some instances of such petty pseudo secularism:

[1] In the 1978 Shah Bano case, a Muslim woman was denied alimony from her husband who was a filthy rich lawyer from Indore. Even though she won the court case against him, the Indian Parliament reversed the court judgement under pressure of Islamic fundamentalists and their Shariah. Secularism died then and there. But same wouldn’t have happened if the couple was Hindu. Because for Hindus there is a civil code to follow and not Manusmriti. Now if a country has different civil laws for different communities, is that country really secular? But every time the topic of uniform civil code is brought up, there are so many ‘liberals’, ‘seculars’ and ‘intellectuals’ who raise their voice against it and are not even ready to debate what it enthralls.

[2] In India we have a situation system where in the Temples’ revenues are for the government whereas that of worshiping place of minorities are untouched. They are even exempted from income tax. There are 1000s of temples which are taken over by government. Moreover, from the taxes we pay, minorities get Hajj subsidies to visit their holy places but even the poorest Hindus don’t get a penny to visit their holy places.

[3] Everyone knows of Godhra riots as Hindus killing Muslims under then CM of Gujrat Narendra Modi’s watch. It was a very well implemented plan of pseudo secular media and politicians to blame the Hindus and Modi. Even though he got the clean chit from the Supreme Court of India after 12 years, still there are people who accuse him of killing Muslims. I completely agree that the riots taking place and so many innocents being killed has no justification, but not even once have these pseudo seculars put light on the issue which led to these riots in the first place, which is torching of Sabarmati Expess’ coach and killing 59 Hindus by burning them alive in Godhra.

[4] It is a known truth that there is lot of conversion happening both by Islam and Christianity. There are even accusations that many pay money for such conversions or try to forcefully convert. But the liberal media is not bothered. Then comes Ghar Vapsi by VHP, and the whole leftist media loses its mind. Also there are some revered intellectual politicians like Sri Digvijay Singh, who blamed RSS for the 26/11 terror attacks. Then come great leaders like Mamta Banerjee, who are working day and night to sell the state of West Bengal to Bangladesh. These are only a few of the million examples. We can write an epic bigger than Mahabharata to explain pseudo secularism happening in India.

We have one of the oldest religions in Hinduism or Sanathan Dharma which has about 75% of its share in the total Indian population (many Hindus including me don’t consider it as a religion and rather see it as a ‘way of life’. So does honorable Supreme Court of India, in its 1995 judgment). Secularism has prevailed in Hinduism since times immemorial. It not only teaches tolerance but also preaches universal inclusiveness. In Maha Upanishads we can find texts like “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which means that the whole world is one big family. Even though there are fringe elements in Hindus too, there is not even a doubt that the minorities are treated very well in India unlike many countries where Hindus are minorities like Saudi Arabia or other middle East nations where there are no rights at all to minorities. A Hindu can pray to Jesus Christ or offer Namaz in a Mosque and he still remains a Hindu. He can celebrate Christmas on one day and Krishna Janmastami on another and no one calls him a Kafir. In Charvaka Maharshi we had an atheist who is still considered as a Guru in Sanathan Dharma. We can relate all these to secularism because in Hinduism lies universal acceptance of anything spiritual. One of the best example I can give here is of Sri Dharmastala Manjunatha Swamy Temple, where the main deity is Lord Shiva offered Pooja by a Vaishnava Archak and the Administration of the famous temple is done by the great Heggade family who are Jains. I treat Lord Rama, Allah and Jesus Christ the same and my parents will be proud of me for saying that. At the end of the day, we should never forget that we all are Indians. I hope we won’t fall prey to vote bank politics played by politicians or agenda driven journalism by leftist media. Being a real secular and bringing in real secularism in our great country is in our own hands. No offense to anyone.

[1]. http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/2003/08/10/stories/2003081000221500.htm

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