August 19, 2017

The Problem of Secularism

During a panel discussion in one of the alleged national news channel, one lady said that hence forth there should be no questions about mullahs, padres, etc supporting a particular party. This statement was heard by me, as I was changing the channels quickly enjoying the sad faces of the several panelists. When I tuned back the lady continued her rants about how communal Yogi has become the CM of a large state. I then realized that the lady was an AAPTARD named Saba. But every panelist has freedom of expression and she had her one of those worst days when all their predictions were going wrong. Madam Saba, kindly take some rest for a few days and then you need to campaign for the MCD elections and be more alert about stones falling on churches, fake Muslim victim hood.

The words of the AAPTARD should never be given any importance but this one statement made sense and needs analysis. Why is it that Bhakts who mock Christian and Muslim religious leaders supporting various political parties but not react in a similar way when the religious leaders are from the Hindu community? This shows us that in India religion is mixed in every sphere of our daily activities be it workplace or social gatherings. Yet a great number of intellectuals call only a few of these activities as secular while a lot others are called communal. The answer is obvious but under the garb of secularism it remains hidden and needs to be said again.

Secularism was needed to separate the religion and governance in countries where the religious leaders hold the country in their grip and the laws are all based on the religious scriptures which are mostly outdated. Secularism is needed when citizens are discriminated based on their belief systems and the governance delivery also depends on the religion of the citizen and not the principle of equality. It is also possible that a country can have a state religion and yet be secular where in there can be no discrimination based on the belief system of the citizens and the principle of equality is applicable.

Every citizen has the right to follow his religion as long as it is sane and does not disturb the prevailing social harmony and the local culture and traditions. While some aspects of the culture and traditions get upgraded with time and also due to governmental interventions, the social harmony needs to be protected at all times. The question remains that in case of trouble within the society whether to support or curtail the religious activities. This question is the biggest challenge to the existence of secularism at any place. Who get the lead?

In every dispute, there has to be atleast two parties and the secularism mandates that the two parties should be given justice as it is a part of the constitution which is based on equality of all. Thus of the two parties one will constitute majority and the other minority. The categories change quickly when the issue moves from the local level justice seeking to international level justice seeking. This is where the bigotry of secularism gets exposed and the same would be showed by the three recent issues.

  • When one Akhlaq was killed, the narrative was that he was a Muslim and Hindus killed him over allegation of possession of beef. A local murder issue has been given a color of Hindu-muslim problem and the blame shifted on communal politics. The state government has gone into overdrive to provide compensation to the family of the victim and the truth is not important here as the issue here has become global. Once the issue has become global, the majority-minority changes as the local majority would be a global minority.
  • A drunkard throws a stone on a church; the narrative was that the Hindus are persecuting Christians. Again a local stone throwing incident has been a color of hindu-christian problem and a special helpline for the Christian community to report of their fake sob stories. The local alcoholic drunkard has become a global issue and the local majority is lectured by the global majority.
  • A PhD scholar commits suicide as he feels sick of the communist ideology in a central university. The death of the student is sad but what is a local issue belonging to the student is made into a national circus with an unimaginable amounts of masala added. The local communists have taken the help of the communists at the global level and have held the nation to ransom.

The local-global dynamics always keep playing out and an alert citizen should know who our well wisher is.  Even though communist ideology is not a religion per se it is comparable to the religion of books and as it has a few things in common – genocides, time wrappedness, absolute submission and control freakishness. With the spread of ICT the bad of all ideologies are getting exposed and giving hope of greater peace and harmony, the laws of nature though donot permit harmony as disorder must increase with time. The better ways is seclusion and segregation and being alert with all defensive and offensive capabilities both physical and intellectual. The worse days are though a several centuries away.

For the human civilization to exist in peace there should be a sense of equality among the people. Even secularism is anti-peace as it is being practiced in the current times, better words would take its place as every ideology that has been born should change with time. The peace loving humans would need common facilities and thus a need for government or other similar structure exists and for the inner piece religion arises. The secularism fails in providing equality and justice to the society at large. Humans and religion are interlinked so much that it becomes difficult to distinguish which is a religious activity and which is not.

Some religions exist for the sake of humans while other ideologies create humans for the sake of religion. Even though the latter seems a bit odd, the defense of ideology is same as defense of identity. Hence the compatibility of different ideologies is the pre-condition of social harmony and again here the secularism cannot do justice as the several ideologies at logger heads with one another cannot give an inch to another in most cases. It is this problem of the Secularism that is at play in India which will sound a death knell to this much maligned ideology of appeasement. The warring ideological groups need to test themselves for compatibility and the constitution should have criteria what constitutes the compatibility of the host ideology and foreign ideology. It is here the nations or societies with stated religions have lesser troubles than the so called Declared Secular ones.

Picture Credit: hippoquotes.com


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About Vijendra Bhat 46 Articles
Currently working as an Assistant Professor in an Engineering College in Udupi district, Karnataka. Earlier Worked in Steel Foundry Industry for 6 years. Interested in the politics and revival of Bharat.
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