Secularism is a subject that most people are petrified of talking about; especially in the Indian Subcontinent. It is an issue that has been prevalent in our community all throughout the 73 years of our Independence. In my opinion, the problem is the presence of the word ‘secular‘ in the Preamble of the Constitution of India. The drafting committee of the Constitution openly opposed it, but was added later on, in the year 1975. That’s when many people started taking undue advantage of this blunder by the then government.
This not only led to the widespread abuse of the word but also countless versions of its definition which were based entirely on the opinion of the people who gave those definitions to such a sensitive word. Following this course, secularism has lost its true meaning. And any decision that is not in favour of the minority communities is considered unsecular. This came without taking into consideration the wellbeing and the goodwill of our country.
The history of Secularism in India.
India as a country is and has always been secular and tolerant. It has tolerated over a millennium of brutal invasion, forced rule, uncontrolled loot, destruction of heritage and belief, slavery, unambiguous religious conversion and a plethora of tortures beyond one’s imagination. Therefore, questioning the secularity and tolerance of the Indian society is nothing short of questioning their integrity. The people of India have always accepted and encouraged new ideas and beliefs The fate of India’s majority community, as it’s now supposed to be called, is pretty similar to that of the life Jesus Christ, who spent his life spreading the idea of universal love and faith in one another and in God, but was crucified by those he spread his arms towards.
Secularism in todays world.
The newest idea of secularism begins with the naysaying of the majority. If one chooses not to abuse or talk down the majority, one cannot be secular; the concept of brotherhood and of love and unity is strictly out of the picture. We live in an era where an individual is given the right to make his or her own choices. To believe in whatever they want to, to love whomever they want to, to accept or to reject ideas or beliefs that suit them and yet we fail to understand and accept ,leave aside embrace our differences. The community cannot divide itself on the basis of baseless notions. We already have been left divided on the basis our religion by the British and now the Indian political system only divides the country in ways that will lead to further disunity.
Now a days when one talks about religions, all of a sudden, alarms tend to go off in their minds. People believe that calling people what they are will only divide the society further. This kind of mindset in the people is the cause of constant turbulence in the relations in society. In India, law is equal for everyone, whether you’re a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Zoroastrian or any other community. The Indian constitution has special provisions for those belonging to the minority to provide them with equal opportunities and to dismiss the concept of discrimination.
When the law doesn’t look at a person in a way different from the other why is it that we should set prejudice in our minds based on a person’s religion? Is it so hard for us to just look at another person as another human being? Why is it that we must judge them based on any criteria whatsoever? Why are we so eager to judge any policy that the government comes up with on the basis of what good or bad it does to a community than to wait and introspect what good it is doing to our country?
We all want to lead a peaceful life, but when events like the Shaheen Bagh incident or the riots in Gujarat or any such events occur none of us pause to introspect the situation, we are so keen on picking a side that we forget to think about what is good for our nation. Right and wrong is and always will be subjective. But moving ahead in life and doing what is right for our country is much more important than picking sides and declaring war against each other. What the world needs isn’t further division. It needs love and brotherhood and a feeling of oneness. The society always pins someone against the other, but it is then that compassion to one another becomes most important.