By N S Rajaram

 Indian Secularism

The Indian Constitution is not secular because it divides people on the basis of religion, as majority and minority. What this ‘Secularism’ has done is to institutionalize double standards—one for the majority and another for the minority. Under this Constitution, neither the courts nor the Government can be secular.

I will just make a few observations, highlighting how Indian Secularism as practiced today by some politicians and a section of the intelligentsia amounts to a colossal fraud on the people. This has led to an absence of serious debate on issues of vital national importance. People are denounced as ‘communal’ simply for raising important questions relating to national interest and even security. I will give a few examples of it, but first I want to highlight a neglected point.

The Indian Constitution is not secular because it divides people on the basis of religion—as majority and minority. This means that the courts and the governments can and do interfere in matters relating religion. The courts pass religious laws and the governments enforce them. So there is no separation of state and religion. I’ll look at a few examples shortly, but the important thing to note is that the word ‘secular’ was not in the original Constitution. This is because the authors of the Constitution, especially Dr. Ambedkar, recognized that it was NOT secular. Other legal luminaries like K.M. Munshi also never used the word ‘secular’ to describe the Indian Constitution. It was introduced only during the 1975 – 77 Emergency under Mrs. Indira Gandhi. And the people who introduced it were politicians and not legal scholars of the caliber of Dr. Ambedkar. It was purely a political move.

This allows many purely communal activities to be carried out in the name of secularism. Let me give you a couple of examples.

All of us know or should know that last year alone 125 crore rupees were given to Haj pilgrims. Here is something else that Sri Sri Ravishankar of The Art of Living Center pointed out. In the state of Karnataka temples generate Rs 40 crores. The government gives them back only 50 lakhs. The mosques on the other hand generate only about 50 lakhs, but get Rs 8 crores from the government! This means the government is in effect taking money from temples and diverting it to mosques and madrasas. And I don’t have to tell you what goes on many of these madrasas. I will probably be called communal for mentioning these.

In effect what this ‘secularism’ has done is to institutionalize double standards—one for the majority and another for the minority. Much of the intelligentsia, especially in the media, follows this double standard. You all saw how the media covered the Godhra violence—how the burning alive of mostly women and children was sought to be rationalized by invoking the Babri Masjid demolition of ten years ago. In that case why not we go back a thousand years to Mahmud of Ghazni’s demolition of Somnath. He started the whole thing.

This brand of ‘secularism’ has not only distorted the truth, but also rationalized cowardly behavior. Let me give you a couple of examples. You remember how some two years ago the ‘secularists’ turned the killing of the Christian missionary Graham Staines and his sons into a national and international affair by blaming Hindu organizations. But only two weeks ago a Christian youth and his Muslim wife were brutally murdered by the girl’s family. There was no public denunciation of this act of savagery either by the secularist politicians or even Church officials. The same Church officials held public meetings and loudly denounced Hindu organizations, without any evidence, when a few windows in a church in Mysore were smashed by hooligans. Where are their voices now?

It is obvious that ‘secularists’ are afraid of violent Muslim reaction. They become brave only when criticize Hindus who normally do not react violently. So they become brave in denouncing ‘Hindu communalism’, even when there is no evidence, but become tongue-tied and petrified when faced with the most blatant instances of minority violence.

Let me give you another example. When some Hindu groups objected to M.F. Husain for painting some Hindu goddesses in the nude, the secular intellectuals including the media defended his ‘artistic freedom’ to do so. But a few months ago, a newspaper office in Bangalore was vandalized by a Muslim mob for publishing a perfectly innocent cartoon of Prophet Muhammad. And the newspaper apologized to the attackers. Imagine the victim apologizing to the assailants! Other papers in Bangalore and other places have also apologized on similar occasions. So in India, ‘artistic freedom’ means freedom to offend Hindu sensibilities only!

This shows that what it is behind much of the secularist posturing is pure fear. Islamic scholars call this ‘dhimmitude’ or ‘dhimmitva’. These people are afraid of Hindu nationalism because they fear that they might get hurt in the resulting Muslim backlash, which is always violent. So they give in to minority demands even before they are made. They hide this fear using secularism as cover. This is where secularism has brought us. This is what we should call dhimmitva— opposition to nationalism born out of fear.

In summary: Indian secularism = minority communalism plus dhimmitva.




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