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A fun story to differentiate being secular or plural

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Met a friend after long years and somehow, we get into a conversation about John Dayal. I of course go on my bitch fest. Because let’s face it, that guy is a doorknob who can’t tell his ass from his face.

So this friend turns around and says, “What do you even know about Christianity? I bet you haven’t stepped foot in a church ever”. To that I inform him, that I studied in a catholic school and all my life, I was in the church choir. Attended mass on more Sundays than him. He of course thought I was lying. So he decided to test me on my knowledge of hymns. Needless to say, I knew the hymn book by heart. I sang it for 10 long years.

Then, he decided to discuss the Bible. It was embarrassing. Not for me. But because he didn’t know jack shit. I threatened to inform his mom, in jest. That’s a different story though.

Finally, the guy realized he couldn’t really argue with me on the religious doctrine itself. He grudgingly decided to discuss Dayal, on facts. He conceded Dayal was a bigot. But, he thought I was too with my Bhagwakaran and Hindu Rashtra beliefs.

So, I decided to flip the tables and question him on the Bhagavad Gita. He again, didn’t know shit. Basically, I was amazed how he has lived 30 odd years of his life without running into poles. A different story.

So, I stopped with the Bhagavad Gita discussion and asked him to sing some Bhajans. I mean, I’m a Hindu bigot who knows the Lord’s Prayer and “the lords my Shepard” etc. Why shouldn’t he know Bhajans being secular and all?

Wait. We are not done.

So, he had nothing to say, once proven to be a complete fool. So then, I asked him what the difference between a secular and plural country was? So he said, Secular means all religions are equal. And plural, ‘ermm’, many religions in the same country. Told you he is an idiot, no? To that I rolled my eyes and resisted to insurmountable urge to either punch his nose, or jam a fork in my ears. Difficult as that was.

I explained, Secular is separation of religion and state. Pluralistic means coexistence, tolerating diverse views. He was flummoxed. Surprised? I explained, we are not secular. We wouldn’t have Muslim Law for Muslims if we were.

He has a eureka moment and shouts “OH YES! JUST LIKE AMERICA! SECULAR AND PLURAL”. At this point, I’m ready to throw a chair at him. Right?

So anyway, I asked him if he knew about hate crimes in the USA towards people of different faiths and ethnicity. I also ask him if in America, political dispensation itself can get away by insulting Christians. Even the commies there bow to the church.

So I asked him “why “secularism” has become the insistence to insult the majority faith?”, the resident faith. And why idiots like him fall for it. Also asked him, that if America can be Christian, and yet plural. Why does he have a problem with India being Hindu Rashtra and plural? Vatican can’t be plural. Saudi can’t be plural. Even USA, to a large extent isn’t as plural. So why hate Hindus who are intrinsically plural?

To this he lets out an intellectual “hmmmm”. Like his little pigeon brain is capable of critical thinking. But anyway, I said “being secular is being completely cut off and equidistant from Every religion”. Which country is? He said “Probably none”. To that I asked “if no country can be considered 100% secular, why shun the idea of a Hindu Rashtra since Hindus are the most tolerant and plural”?

What is the problem, if the MAJORITY religion is the predominant? Does that mean Christians can’t be Christians? No. It simply means that the majority sentiment prevails. And how is that so terrible since Hindus are inherently liberal? Also, if no country is truly secular, and the aim, why are we hurting the majority and appeasing minority in the name of secularism?

Hindus temples aren’t free. Hindu schools aren’t free. We can’t even ask you guys to stop eating one damn animal. Why do u guys hate us? We let you have your churches. Your mass. Your minority rights. Everything. Why must you deny us ours? Our only land, the only one Hindu land? I mean, for fuck sake! I know more about Christianity than you about Hinduism. Who is the real “plural” person and who is the ignorant bigot? Why must 8 out of 10 people sacrifice, adjust, give up, concede to make the 2 happy? Does that sound fair at all? *He’s listening intently*.

Cutting through the chase since I’ve rambled enough and the entire conversation was about 3 hour long, he conceded. Happily. He said “Man! I had no idea secularism per se was such a farce. No, it isn’t fair to put down 8 people to appease 2 sensitive people”. Apologised for calling me bigot and conceded, there’s nothing wrong with Hindu Rashtra. But only because it’s HINDUS that we are dealing with and said “this is one country that the most tolerant people have. Hindus have nowhere else to go. You aren’t wrong in fighting for your right”. I said “Shouldn’t you fight for me too? You might be Christian by religion, but your ethos’s are woven from this Hindu land. This is your Dharma too, This is your Karmabhoomi. You relate to Hindus more than you would relate to Vatican padres. No?”

Yes, he said. That’s true. The heart is Hindu. Always will be. Since we are made from the same mitti, even if we worship different gods.

Our conversation drifted then.

Courtesy: Nupur (@UnSubtleDesi)

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