Friday, August 09, 2013

What will define secularism now - Wearing Skullcaps or Putting India first

The definition of Secularism

Today, i decided to brush up on my political science and civics lessons. After more than a decade and half i bought out old dusty textbooks and searched for something very important, very precious, which our founding fathers had fought for and which unfortunately today has been reduced to a joke by some.

Yes, it is secularism.  That word which has arguably become the most misused word in India's dictionary, with "politicize" being perhaps a close second.
Here is a look at what the word really means.  The constitution does not really define the term secular. It begins with the preamble:
"WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens..."

Apparently our founding father's , in their positive vote of confidence for the nation's children felt we would be able to judiciously use the above term , not misuse it and not make a mockery out of it for narrow political gain.
But that was not the case.

Perhaps the closest inference of what the founding fathers and those who interpreted the constitution after them envisaged the term to meet can be understood from the various Articles of the constitution such as Article 25, 26, 29, 30 and various articles an example of which is this

A reading of court judgments mentioned in this article will show that Hindutva, Hinduism and secularism are actually two sides of the same coin. Sadly some people show their ignorance on this issue by  criticizing those who use the word "Hindu Nationalist" as if the person had used a swear word.

What Secularism Does not Mean

From the various definition of secularism, from the intrinsic understanding of secularism, from what any judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme court provides and frankly from the common sense of any right thinking individual, Secularism does NOT mean:
  • That an official representative of the state has to wear a skull cap to express any positive sentiment towards members of any religion and if he doesn't he is likely to possess a negative sentiment.
  • That an official representative of the state cannot declare his religion publicly
  • That an official representative of the state if practices a particular religion and acknowledges the same means that he will be inimical towards members of other religions
Or to put it more simply - Saying that you're a Hindu Nationalist and that too as answer to a specifically put question communal does not make one communal. In fact the people who try to highlight this appear to be the communal ones and with direct proportion to the intensity of their highlighting. Some of these include political leaders as well unfortunately. As a practicing Hindu, i feel this is the beginning of racial and religious discrimination of Hindus by such leaders in my country who are now making it a crime even for someone to proudly proclaim their religion.  

The objection of these leaders stems from an assumption - and that assumption is either due to their own insecurity or may even be an ulterior motive to divide the society further.  In every debate, every news byte they automatically imply that if somebody is vocal about being Hindu or wanting rights for Hindu, he is automatically communal. 

Hypocrisy of Secularists, Commentators, Good Samaritans ?

Never have i seen the evangelists of secularism raise a voice against regressive fatwa's or against those who are against reciting Vande Matram . Why are the secular champions silent on these issues ? Is this not a cause of concern ? 

Self Proclaimed Messiahs of Secularism and their Definition

A message to the Raza Murad's , Shabana Azmi , Amartaya Sen and other expert commentators on someone's suitability as PM. 

As a Hindu i am appalled and at times think of shifting base from India, my motherland. Then i think back and consider that i should raise my voice against these figures whom i consider highly communal. Their definition of secularism itself is communal. Unfortunately the media begins and concludes all debates on secularism without asking the panelist the question -"On what basis do they consider this secularism."

As a Hindu and an Indian citizen, i have to face the insult and uncertainty due to the nitpicking and possibly politically motivated views of these luminaries who come and insult, degrade, and  deride an individual by the name of Mr. Narendra Modi and by extension every person who identifies with the values of Mr. Modi. I would like to tell these individuals that next time they insult , deride or comment on  Mr. Modi with information which isn't anywhere close to the truth, they are not just insulting him, they are insulting millions of other individuals, most of which admittedly are not as famous as they are but have recourse to the same FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS in this country as they do. And Mr. Modi does not get insulted,because there is saying : "Chand pe Thookne se Khud ke mooh pe hi......" .. So ultimately they end up insulting only common people like me.

Are they also not harming the country by igniting debates which dilute the seriousness of what the country is faces?  For instance, just a couple of days ago, our country faced a repetitive and dangerous threat from our friendly neighbor Pakistan. It then faced threat from this terror vacation spot's permanent vacationer: Hafiz Saeed, of loss to innocent lives in Delhi, India. But all the relevant debate of the preparedness of our police force, of the importance of institutions such as IB which are facing irrational criticism, of the need to forcefully respond to our neighbor's action was diluted because one actor: Mr. Raza  Murad choose to respond to a mike thrust to his face with his opinion on how propotional wearing of a skull cap is to the eligibility of a leader to become a Prime Minister of Nation of 125 crore.  Have we become the circus of the absurd ?  

It'd be better if these experts please stop worrying about who would be the Prime Minister or not - they anyways do have the right to campaign for whoever they think is right and also cast their own votes - and instead concentrate on the issues which are gripping our society on economic, political, social and security front.

Example of  Attempts at Defamation of Mr. Modi and to those who follow his India first philosphy

These are not just attempts to defame Mr. Modi,but to defame people who stand by the philosophy of India first and not using religion as tool for appeasement and vote bank politics. 

Another crass attempt which is bereft of facts by a politician.

(This article is particularly an eye opener on how communal statements have been made by leaders such as Ms. Karat on a very sensitive issue and the above image only shows tip of the iceberg).

Why people like us have to speak about this and not Mr. Narendra Modi

There is a simple reason why common people like us need to speak for this man. Because he is not going to justify the obvious (and no that does not mean what the secular champion;s think). The 'obvious'  is that this gentleman: Mr. Narendra Modi, without: an iota of drama, melodrama, votebank, politics, cheap gimmicks, unnecessary appeasement tried to control a tragedy which happened due a very communal and shocking incident at Godhra and succeeded in considerable measure in controlling. There is no debate on how many lives he and his government saved, which is a hypothesis any news channel, media house, NGO etc. should examine if they actually want to be neutral in the debate, BUT THEY DON'T. And if the story is told on how many Muslims and Hindu's did the Gujarat Government save in those dark hours, you would be shocked !!! [And we will tell this story soon] Then from 2002 to 2013, this gentleman and the people of his state (Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsi's , Atheists, Buddhists and others...) worked to make Gujarat a  resplendent state with the best of class infrastructure and development. Those who harp about  'non-inclusiveness' or 'injustice to Muslims' are mostly NOT from Gujarat. Its not just the Gujarat BRT, the Sabarmati Riverfront,  their high GDP, the increase in their agricultural income, the awards they are winning but also the things they tried to do but could not. For instance the landmark bill of 50% reservation for women which they tried to bring but was stalled for some reason or the other by Gujarat Governor.

So Narendra Modi will not say the obvious, will not defend the evident, because he does not believe in words, he believes in action. And this article - make no mistake about it - is not to defend Mr. Modi... he does not need it.... It is to defend and make known the outrage a section of us Indians who called so many names (Internet Hindus, Hindutva, right wingers, Hindu Nationalists) feel when these people go about with giving opinions with no consideration to facts, truth or logic.

An open Challenge to Debate who is secular and who is not to these Gentlemen by a Common Man

There is one thing which my religion has taught me and  which i think intrinsically almost all religions teach. To put it in layman's term they say put your money where your mouth is. In philosophical terms they say perhaps that search for the eternal truth , and defend it, then you practice your religion.
Therefore i have an offer to all these defenders of secularism. Either my understanding of secularism and how or why the leader that i respect is the most secular man ever, is totally wrong and foolhardy, or their is something seriously wrong with yours.

In either case it is high time we put our money where our mouth is settle this debate for once and for all. Because as a self respecting person and under the fundamental rights accorded to me by constitution i cannot take the insults that you all heap on me, my religion, my country, my leader by the insinuations, snide remarks.

Therefore i offer you this - either all of you or any of you, debate with me on your understanding of secularism and why Narendra Modi and /or BJP is any less secular or more secular than the other stakeholders in Indian politics today and whether your criticism of this leader and the philosophy which he subscribes to (which millions of us do) is justified and if you convince me , or if you convince a neutral audience who witnesses such a debate online or on a neutral TV Channel then I will - donate 1 month of my income to a charity of your choice, close down my facebook and twitter account , stop supporting Narendra Modi ****FOREVER***   OR if i win you publicly apologize to the people of this country (not to Mr. Modi because i can tell you for a fact that he doesn't care and is not waiting for your apology, his ego is not so fragile and his consciousness is stronger than most ) 

Apology to nation is required because such misinformation harms the TRUE SECULAR fabric of this country and create misunderstanding especially between Hindus and Muslims. Please stop dividing this country further, it is more important than declaring who is stopped from becoming a Prime Minister for just a power trip.

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