Why should we prove our secularity?

Published: Tuesday, May 08,2012, 23:36 IST
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"The sacred must plimerate the secular" ― Swami Vivekananda

Secular according to oxford English dictionary is (1) Not connected with religions (2) Not bound or subject to religious rule and (3) Not belonging to or living in a monastic or other order.

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And as our preamble to the constitution guarantees our country to be a secular one, we are of course secular. Now, let us once again examine the definition of secularity, according to which something that is not bound by religious rule is secular. As per my knowledge this definition upholds the demand for uniform civil code, because two citizens of our country must not be treated differently just because of their different religions. Why different laws for different people under the same government. (This is not very secular.)

Please ignore this above stanza as it has been ignored for last 65 years. Even Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee ignored it, so it must not be in our nation’s interest. Let’s move forward, but remember to medicate this acute problem before it becomes chronic. Look I forgot, Rajiv Gandhi tried  to medicate it when he opened the gates of Babri Masjid so that Saira Bano case (Related to Muslim Personal law, please read it in detail if you are unaware of it) may die down from the minds of extremist hindu radicals (as some people call them). But again it led to a bigger dispute and once again our basic secular structure was shattered to pieces. Every time country will remember Babri demolition, our secularity will be hurt.

We are a country with 120 crore people, we are biggest democracy in the world. We are not a failed democracy or something like Pakistan, Sudan, Figi etc. We successfully elect our Lok Sabha members every five years and choose a Prime Minister irrespective of his caste, creed and religion. Any citizen of the country (if satisfies eligibility criterion) may vote and choose his representative.

I admit there are some elements who are dirty and corrupt but still even they are the part of this setup. They are within the circumference of law. And yes, we have independent jury to take care of them.

Secularity is deep embedded in our roots. Right from the times of Gupta rulers (they used to patronize not only hindus but Buddhists as well) to some Mughal rulers like Akbar and Humayun, Indians have shown great respect for each others religion and faith.

It is only in this country, where the values of Karma and Morality are deep sown into the hearts and minds of people. We are secular by default. Any deliberate action intended to highlight this trait (of secularism) will some how lead to minority appeasement which again is against our secular fabric and values.

Minority appeasement will lead to drift between the majority and minority. It will lead to vote bank politics and polarization of votes on one hand, on the other hand opportunistic parties will have their sway over the minds of both majority and minority.

India is a country of diverse and amalgamating religions, let us not waste this prized opportunity to experience this confluence of several great oceans on some petty issues like temples and mosque. Let us be one once again like we were before the advent of Britishers.

We showed a great spirit of solidarity and unity when we fought wars with Pakistan and China. Shall we conclude, that only wars and cricket can unite us. The answer is “NO”. As I have already mentioned we are born secular.

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