Updated: May 20, 2020
Well, the answer is yes. The politicians and the ‘Smart Minds’ of our society have sold it in pennies. But I would like to counter by asking, do we even know what is the meaning of secularism? Secularism has been confused with lots of meanings since ancient times. But it has a much simpler meaning. The Constitution defines secularism as treating all religions with equal respect and are protected from discrimination. But is that happening in India now? Secularism is not which has been a rule of law, it has been fought by heroes and there has been a realization as to why different communities should stay together and not indulge in communal riots.
But as of today, all those fights and movements have been forgotten by us. Secularism means dealing with the individuals as citizens and for the center and the state to neither promote them nor to interfere with the religious beliefs of people. It involves 3 inter-dependent relationships:
The relationship of religion and the individual (Freedom of Religion)
The relationship between the State and the individual (Citizenship)
The relationship between State and religion (Separation of State and Religion)
Through various Sufi and Bhakti movements, we had seen the importance of the characteristics of ‘Secularism’ which is religious Tolerance, Liberty and Equality, all of them have been losing the essence in the current scenario. The history taught to us has been altered, because the Hindus have one set of heroes, the Muslims have another, Christians have another and the same goes with other communities as well. Which Hindu has Maulana Abul Kalam Azad as his ideal and which Muslim has Mahatma Gandhi as his Ideal? Rarely right. This is how even history has been tainted. Even our most prominent Freedom Fighters, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru had different visions of India as a Secular State. While the former believed that there should not be any separation between the state and the religion while the latter, believed that the economic and political environment should not be involved with religious beliefs. Gandhi always believed that he was a true Hindu and therefore, focused on the recognition of religion by the government. We all know, Jawaharlal Nehru’s one of the greatest achievements was his ideology on ‘Secularism’. This brings in the focus on the idea of partition?
I have argued with many people who say that Muslims belong to Pakistan when during the partition they had to choose to go to Pakistan, Muslim-Majority state and not stay in India. But do they know were the innocent people responsible for this hateful decision? Little do people know that it was not just Mohammad Ali Jinnah who was responsible for the partition, but it was the combined decision of the Britishers, Congress, and the Hindu nationalist. When Lord Mountbatten returned to India acting as the last viceroy, he handled the power to the congress and demanded the partition of India and Pakistan after seeing communal riots happening majorly in Northern parts of India. We all know, the Britishers believed in ‘Divide and Rule’ and he very sinfully demanded that which gave wind to the sparks. Jinnah after the Lucknow pact demanded the partition of India from Punjab and the Bengal region of India. Even Jawaharlal Nehru asked people who are having problems leaving India which was playfully misinterpreted and Partition happened ‘Effectively Immediately’.
Jinnah decided the entire Muslim community without even asking all of them whether they wanted it or not. This forced Muslims in India to move towards Pakistan and the Hindus and Sikhs to move towards India. It led to massive massacres, forced conversions, mass abductions and sexual violence among women and children. Pathetic movement by all the forces combined, we all know the number of deaths because of this act. But anyway, whatever has happened are all the Muslims in India are to be blamed? Is it right to double-check their identity everywhere they work, to convince them that their safety and well-being depend upon the majority Hindu, to prove their loyalty to the nation every time, to be tamed continuously and continuously prove subordinate status in the Indian Society?
Since the people of the ruling government thought of the favor by the party leaders towards Hindus, they started favoring Hindus a lot. All this was acceptable but then when Indira Gandhi started to make it much obvious through recognizing Aligarh Muslim University as a minority institute and inaugurating the Bharat Mata Mandir in 1983 to support Vishva Hindu Parishad which is the World Hindu Council as of now. Even Rajiv Gandhi was no less, we all know what happened of the Shah Bano case. All this evoked the Muslim community and obviously, they had to do all this because they had to save votes for their bank from the majority which was the Hindus. Of course, the Hindus never protested for all that because they felt the ‘Personal touch’ from the government. But think for once how would the Muslim community have been feeling? All still we think that Congress has always been a supporter of the Muslims.
Post all this, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which was formed in 1937 to follow the ideology of Hinduism and focused to build institutions like Student Union and Labour Union to promote Hinduism amongst the Indians, decided that they cannot stay away from politics and thus formed a party in 1991, Bhartiya Janta Party which created pseudo-secularism through appeasing to the minority groups and thus, their maximum votes used to come from the Muslim community because we all know, if we think of Hindus, we don’t have to worry about our religion much but then them, they had to. What if they would have been completely demolished from the society, thus those innocent people used to come into the ‘Sweet words’ of the political party and vote as a community as a whole. Nathuram Godse who was a member of RSS ideology assassinated Gandhi because he was favoring the Muslim community post-independence. But what happened after the party was formed, they ran to the Muslims to vote for them right?
It all started with the involvement of politics in the religion which Chacha Nehru always told would be a poison to India as a nation. But we never realized it. Since the electoral campaigns and the promises made by the political parties started to segment the society based on caste and religion, it all gave rise to the communal riots in India. Whether it was 1992-93 Mumbai riots that killed 275 Hindus, 575 Muslims and 50 of the other religious members. Whether it was 2002 Gujrat riots which took lives of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus. I know it was wrong of some Muslims to burn 59 Hindus traveling from Ayodhya, but was taking revenge on Muslims by killing as many numbers as given lawfully correct? But obviously, it is all fine in Love and War (**Repeating it from my previous blog**)
We can see from the numbers of Hindu and Muslims being killed to be enough reason to believe that there is no longer separation of the state and the religion. But then, given all these injustices happening to the Muslims, they would trust the Judiciary. According to me, Supreme Court believes in this ideology of equal treatment to the religion but the lower level Judiciary is so engrossed in Corruption that they have completely forgotten what is right and what is wrong until and unless they are getting money to keep their judgments biased as well. The judiciary did interfere in matters of banning sacred animal sacrifice, ensuring that the Dalits are allowed to enter temples, etc. I do believe that the latter is the correct judgment but then Cow sacrifice because it is sacred, why? Why can’t we let people do what they want to do, where is the freedom now? We, Hindus can keep our beliefs to ourselves and refrain from eating Beef but can’t force other people to not eat it. So, why not ban chicken and goats also from slaughtering, why segregate them too? But nowadays people are eating it, even eggs to keep themselves healthy, so is this not contradicting our beliefs now?
The state interferes in one more matter, which is the organization of Hindu Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj (Allahabad) by contributing crores of money into it. We all know how big is that event for all humans, but my question is why not do anything this big for the Muslims during Eid or Christians during Christmas? Only because they are the minority but if the state is favoring one religion then why not all? Why is the true essence of being a ‘Secular State’ being defamed by us? Given all this, won't the Muslim and other religions feel inferior to the Hindus, they will? I understand that all religions have some error, even Gandhi believed in this. But why can’t we have that tolerance for other religions as well? It is because it has been repeatedly recognized that the Hindus are the true sons of the soils and the other religion are the byproduct of some foreign invasion but did it not defeat of mentioning the word ‘Secular’ in the Constitution, then why not remove it and declare this nation as a Hindu Nation, which I think is happening already.
It is not just the fault of BJP but also parties like AAP, Congress, SP, NCP, JD(U), etc which divide the community by creating hatred amongst every community. Mr. Arvind Kejriwal who claims to be secular, during the election campaign in Varanasi, addressed to all the Muslims to not vote for Narendra Modi because they won’t be safe under his government, why didn’t he tell them how to improve their education and lifestyle? Why didn’t he addressed the real problem, because this is how the elections and politics have been because, since the elections of 2014, the fight has been all the political parties against Modi, so they could resort to any method of winning the elections. There have been 3 objectives of BJP since 1998:
Construction of Hindu Temple in Ayodhya
Creation of a uniform civil code for all the communities
Abolish the autonomous state of Jammu and Kashmir which is India’s only Muslim Majority State
They have almost achieved all three objectives somehow. But my question is why did they change the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj? Is this not an act of declaring the dominance of Hindus over the Muslims? Of course, it is. Not only this, but there have also been talks about renaming many cities that resemble Muslim names to Hindu Names in the State of Uttar Pradesh. Though this act is not illegal, then why do we have to interfere in these petty matters and forget about the rising concerns of the nation about unemployment, increasing poor and deprived people in the society, lower GDP and national security? It is because we all have forgotten that what we truly are. I know in the recent scenario, some Muslims led to a sudden rise in the cases of positive COVID in various parts of India due to which we are facing the consequences of Lockdown. But is it fair that because of some internal political issues, mismanagement of lockdown information, no strict actions by the Delhi Government, we will blame the entire 201 million Muslims in India which is around 11% of India’s population?
We all know what is the fan following of Mr. Shahrukh Khan, Mr. Salmaan Khan, how amazing singers are Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, A.R. Rehman, etc, so should we disown them as well? Are no Hindus follow these great personalities? We always praise them and some people worship them as well, want to become like them, so why regard other infamous people as a denationalizing community? I know that there is a group of people in the Muslim community who creates communal tension, but are no Hindus create them? Only because the media doesn’t put out their names in the open doesn’t mean that only Muslims would harm the nation. We all know what is the reality of the Media, eating the investment amount vigorously from a certain political party, they tend to manufacture the content in their favor only. We should not believe in them fully. We should open our eyes and see the reality or at least try to do.
But you know what the main problem is, despite whatever happens to secularism, we have forgotten that we are Indian first and then belong to a certain caste, creed, religion or sex. I would thus like to ask every one of the readers a question: who are you? I don’t know about others but I am a proud Indian first and then I am a Hindu. Whatever happens to the nation will bother me first and then my religion because this is how I have perceived the efforts of our ancestors who always wished of India as a peaceful nation but as of now, the peace has been taken out of the crux because we have been divided, we have been divided based on being a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian or a Sikh. Why do media have to address a person by his religion and not as an Indian Citizen?
I know I blame things a lot but then I know the solution, we have to remember our identity first and take an informed decision. My home town is Lucknow and it has a lot of people belonging to the Muslim community, I live in Bangalore in an area that is all surrounded by Muslims but I never felt threatened by them they have helped me in critical situations during Lockdown. So, I would ask again: Who exactly are you, a proud Indian or a Proud religious person?
https://www.jstor.org/stable/41856174?read-now=1&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/time-to-rebuild-indias-secularism/article27199545.ece https://carnegieendowment.org/2019/04/04/fate-of-secularism-in-india-pub-78689