Why Indian “Secularism” Is So Distorted ?
Indian intelligentsia and media are in love with the word “secularism”; it is taken as a sign of being liberal and progressive. But when you look at their discourse, you soon begin to see signs of their empty brains. Whenever they pretend to be championing the cause of ‘secularism’, they are either deriding Hindus by calling them communal or pretending to be the advocates of minorities (for all practical purposes, minority in India mostly means the Muslim community and occasionally the Christians).
If you ask me, “Are there no other minority ‘religions’ in India?” I will have to just laugh out loudly at your ignorance! Because you don’t know what ‘religion’ is – and if you don’t know what is religion, you can’t understand what is secularism! Both are 100% western inventions.
But looking at how media intellectuals and politicians use the word ‘secularism’, it is clear that they haven’t the least idea what they are talking about or why the West had to coined this word! Come election time, and the word ‘secular’ gets into the mouth of every politician – each one trying to be a bigger ‘secular’ than the other!
Being a western concept, therefore, the idea of ‘Secularism’ needs to be put into the right perspective.
Contrary to popular belief in India, secular and communal are not each other’s opposite. Communal as not such a bad thing, it simply means something ‘related to a community’. A community can be any group of people; not necessarily people belonging to a single religion. In Germany, local body elections are called “communal elections”.
So, next time when you are hear Laloo or his opportunist buddy Nitish Kumar saying that “all secular forces should unite in the Grand Coalition against the Communal BJP and super communal Modi” you should laugh out loudly! Because what they are saying is totally ridiculous!
Even their ‘secular’ buddy, Italy born Sonia, is as illiterate when it comes to secularism. In fact, she should have known better because it was her mother-in-law Indira who inserted this word into the Constitution. But as we all know, during her 10 years of UPA government she proved to be just a mediocre power hungry politician like any Laloo, Pawar or Nitish. Anyway, her only strength in politics comes from the Nehru family connection that unites sycophantic and sub-mediocre submissive Indians into the Congress Party.
It is sad that Sonia and her Son appear to be taking the once prestigious party, connected with India’s independence, to slow death.
Leaving the Congress obituary for the right time, let’s get back to Secularism.
‘Secular’ is Opposite of ‘Religious’
Secular is something non ‘religious’. For the context of this article, being ‘religious’ refers to Christianity, which is a well-organized, dogmatic faith that claims to be the Only Keeper of the ‘Truth’, revealed by God himself through his Son Jesus.
And, briefly, what truth did Mr God reveal?
He revealed that you as a human are a born sinner – here you must recall the fairly tale of Adam and Eve and their fall to temptation. Then around 2000 years ago he felt mercy on the ‘humans’ – the sinners – and sent his son Jesus to salvage them from their sins by dying on the Cross! After the act, Jesus again became alive and went back to his Father God in the Heaven, somewhere up in the sky.
Yes, this is the revealed Truth, the ONLY Truth !!
So if you want to get rid of your label of ‘sinner’ you can take benefit of Jesus’ ‘sacrifice’ by becoming a Christian. Else, you, on some future Judgement Day you will be sent to eternal hell!
This is the ONLY divine truth! And you must believe in it and become the privileged Christian and feel obliged (or guilty) that Jesus Died for your sins !!
So, shut your mouth as well as the brain – and just Believe. Being a ‘believer’ is enough to salvage yourself from all your sins!
Even if you are not a Christian, you may ask – so what is wrong in believing in this story?
There is absolutely nothing wrong in believing in this story or some other story!
The problem cropped up when the story is imposed on people as the ONLY TRUTH by the State, which traditionally has also been the Christian Church in Europe. It is a big problem when you are asked to believe in this story alone, and nothing else. In effect, you are asked to live as if you are a brain-dead man or surrender your rational mind and its reasoning ability.
Christian clergy (or Church) had assumed the role of the State in the West almost since Christianity was born, and it was dictating so-called holy laws under the fear of punishment. Torture and death were common for disobeyers or those who dare question the authority of the Church. It demanded a ‘shut-minded’ adherence to whatever it said in the name of the ‘holy god’.
Therefore, rational and free thinking people had to remain silent for fear of punishment. People had no choice of questioning the imposed belief or to express opinion different from it. This was the PROBLEM.
In nutshell, faith is not a problem; discriminating on its basis or imposing it is the PROBLEM.
Need to Separate Church and State brought “Secularism” 350 years ago !
Thus, for centuries, the Church played the role of the State and demanded absolute unquestioning surrender to its dictates from the masses – in the name of religion. But things started to change around 350 years ago as scientific discoveries began to emerge that demanded free, open and rational thinking – and dogmas and blind beliefs were seen as barriers to human progress. Thus, more and more Europeans started to speak against the dictates of religion. Many faced punishments in various harsh ways, we can’t even image now.
But slowly the idea that reason and rationality (not blind and imposed religious beliefs) should guide society gained ground. It ultimately led to the demand for separating the State and the Church. This separation is called SECULARISM. It was born out of the need to get away from Church imposed blind beliefs and shut-minds.
Today, most western democracies are ‘secular’. Religious (Christian) beliefs don’t dictate state policies, although most western democracies still grant Christianity preferential treatment. For example in Germany, the Constitution guarantees that the Christian doctrine is taught in government schools.
However, Muslims appear to be moving in just the opposite direction – always ready to put political power in the hands of their Maulwis and Mullah. In fact, for the extreme Islamic cults progress only means one thing: living like Arab tribes of 7 century in the modern 21st century world!
Nothing can be more unfortunate for humanity than this.
Indian Situation is Different
The situation in India has been entirely different. India never had a faith based governance that imposed pre-defined dogmas and beliefs on people and to punish them if they did not blindly follow them.
In India the vedic knowledge, by its very nature, does not stifle rationality. On the other hand, it encourages open thinking and enquiry to find one’s own path to Moksha (Liberation). Hindu philosophy accepts that people can choose their own path to realise the same ultimate truth – which is experiential. It is fully liberal and allows Hindus full freedom to use their minds. Nothing is ever imposed on Hindus – in the name of Ultimate Truth.
In must be stressed that Hinduism is entirely a different philosophy than dogmatic religions of the West. It is a Dharma based life philosophy that evolved spontaneously and collectively through the experiential knowledge of ancient Rishis, sages and ascetics who aimed to realise full liberation. Their focus was always on reason, intuition and direct experience. So, people followed a multitude of paths according to their conscience. Their efforts were always about living in the right way or doing the right thing at the right time.
Their faith was all about reverence for the One Universal Consciousness that permeates all life and all existence. Therefore, everything that exists in nature became the object of reverence – the rivers, trees, mountains and living creatures. This gave rise to the concept of non-harming and peaceful coexistence. So, people in India traditionally lived in an open environment, believing in different beliefs and rituals was a normal way of life.
Arrival of Christians and Muslims Changed the Situation
However, arrival of Christianity and Islam changed this open atmosphere. Drilled to believe in the ‘only truth’ revealed by their ONLY god or allah they despised and ridiculed the good natured Indian people who considered the whole world as a one big family. For their Dharma based thinking it was a strange thing to look down upon people who held different beliefs.
Trained to think that good moral conduct makes good human beings, they found it weird when told that mere believing in Jesus or Mohammad – or someone else for that matter – makes people superior. They also could not understand how it is right to kill another human being just because he believes in a different path.
Islamic invaders from Central Asia brought the ‘religious barbarism’ to India when they slaughtered countless Hindus simply because they were ‘Hindus’ (which is actually a geographical term) and believed in a different faith. It was totally unbelievable for them to see merciless killings in the name of god and then the shouts of “Allah is Great! Guru Nanak had left a graphic testimony describing how bad the situation was.
Nothing much has changed in the 21st century as far as the basic Muslim mindset is concerned. Here are typical pieces of wisdom from the mouths of some Indian Muslimsthat shows what they feel about Hindus.
Voltaire, who opposed the stranglehold of the Church in Europe, had accurately observed, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”.
Thus, under the centuries of Mughal rule Hindus had to remain low for fear of life.
But arrival of the Christian brained British and missionaries also brought similar oppression. They imposed Macauley education system designed to create Indians suitably trained to carry out clerical work for the British administration; it further cut them off from their traditions. This naturally took a toll on their self-esteem.
Even today, this low self-esteemed mindset is evident in the English educated class – who ‘naturally’ think that good things only come from ‘foreign’. It is obvious to the outsiders, though it may not be clear to the persons concerned. Swami Vivekananda tried to instil confidence in the people of India but his efforts failed to impact this brown English class of people.
Nevertheless, it is a big achievement that Hindu Dharma survived through all these centuries of mental slavery. In fact, it should have started to flourish in ‘independent India’ but politics of ‘brown Englishmen’ continued to give priorities to Muslims and Christians, leaving Hindus still feeling inferior and left out on their own ancient land!
India’s Secularism is Utterly Nonsense
After Independence, Muslims and Christians pushed for special civil laws and other benefits in the name of religion. Such laws were squarely against the spirit of Secular India. Long used to adjusting with others Hindus, however, never made any demand in the name of religion, nor dictated any term to the Indian state.
So, it is mysterious why the word ‘secular’ was added to the Constitution of India in 1976 – almost 30 years after the British departure. Perhaps the most plausible explanation is that it was to assuage the faith-based fear psychosis among Christians and Muslims looking at the awe inspiring high population of Hindus. But even after adding this word in the Constitution, things remained the same. The Congress government remained eager to give benefits to just these two dogmatic religious communities.
Ironically, if the concept of secularism is to be applied, it applies only to these two faiths! Rest of the Indians don’t practice ‘religion’; they practice Dharma based life philosophies like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and so on.
None of these faiths divide people into believers and non-believers or discriminate against those hold different beliefs. They also don’t go on Conversion Spree to pop up their numbers like the Christians and Muslims do.
Therefore, logically speaking after the word ‘secular’ was added in the Constitution it should have been the burden of Muslims and Christians to prove that they are secular – and all their demands in the name of religion should be declared unconstitutional.
But what actually happened was silly and ridiculous – and this sick comedy still continues. The word ‘Secular’ got an entirely new and unusual meaning in India.
Today, secularism has come to mean championing the interests of Christians and Muslims in the name of religion. Quite often the concept of secularism gets further distorted: when it means calling Hindus ‘Communal’. These are pathetic display of ignorance: How can anyone call Hindus ‘communal’ when Hinduism is not a religion.
It is really a sad irony and a serious distortion in the political discourse.
Today, many Hindus wonder: Partition of united India gave Pakistan to the Muslims, in the name of religion. What did Hindus get?
“A ‘Secular’ State where all preferential treatment goes to the Muslims and Christians.”
Can someone explain why “Secular India” gives Haz subsidy to the Muslims (when even Muslims call it un-Islamic!)? And why 2 MPs are nominated from the Christian community to ensure their representation in the Indian parliament?
How long Hindus will continue to remain unassertive on their own ancient land – even after the so-called ‘freedom’ in 1947 !!
In fact, soon after August 1947 Hindus should have been demanding apology and compensation for the centuries of occupation and injustice done to them both by the Muslims and Christians during the Mughal and colonial periods.
Can you imagine the Jews giving special privileges to the Germans in Israel?
I just hope that Hindus soon start thinking of uniting themselves and shake off the slave mindset resulted from centuries of Islamic and British exploitation. They need to learn from the Jews, Germans and Japanese how to take pride in their ancient culture and way of life.
Looking at the rise of global Islamic terrorism and terrorist sympathisers, the 100 crore Hindus have the sole responsibility to protect India and keep vigil on separatist forces whose loyalty lies in foreign lands. There must not be another 1947 in the 21st century; no ‘another Pakistan’ in the name of Islam.