Is India really “secular” ?


The word which has been used or should I say misused most in Indian political drama is “Secular”.  Even without getting into what this word actually means.

I looked up on Wikipedia for the essence of the word which has decided political fortunes of many leaders and parties of India and this is what I got.

“A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion.[1] A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion/nonreligion over other religions/nonreligion. Secular states do not have a state religion (established religion) or equivalent, although the absence of a state religion does not necessarily mean that a state is fully secular.”

India, for whatever reasons, do have inequality regarding the treatment of its citizens whether its personal laws of Muslims different from other population or Muslims being given a subsidy for their religious pilgrimage HAJ.

Religious symbols of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity merged into one to form OM, Vedic Symbol

This is one dimension of the issue. Every government project is inaugurated with Hindu rituals in a state which calls itself “Secular”. It certainly doesn’t add up to the “Secular” credentials of India. Then there are scholarships and financial assistance dolled out to people from a specific religion in one state ruled by a party which pat itself on the back for being “secular”.

The we have rules and regulation which give government the right over temple funds while no such regualation is done on Sikh Gurudwras or  Muslim Waqf-Boards and Mosques.

These examples clearly showcase deviance of India from the universally accepted definition and  values of “Secularism”

When we go into the definition of a “Secular” person more amazing results are found and if applied to present scenario in India, very few would want themselves to be called “secular” in that sense.

So in globally accepted definition and values of “secularism” a “secular” person is most likely perceived to be an atheist in India and in a way socially and politically un-touchable.It amuses me then how some politicians and their  supporter shout from the rooftop how “secular” they are completely unaware of the fact that by doing so they are presenting themselves in completely opposite manner than what they intended to do.

In India, one more thing is very common. Opposing main opposition party BJP is also considered a benchmark of being “Secular”.  And whoever  support them is branded “communal”. They really think that “Communal” is antonym of “Secular”.
If you say, you are a Proud Muslim, Sikh or Buddhist, you are good, secular and patriotic. But if you say you are a proud Hindu, all hell break loose.  You are branded Fascist, Nazi and what not in a country full of Hindus, which never attacked any other country, never even tried to convert a single person of other religion and was one of the few places to give Jews protection when whole world was thirsty of their blood.
Being Hindu is no different From Being a “Secular” notwithstanding what definition you apply.

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