By Pashchiema Bhatia
This is a summary of an article on India’s secularism written by David Fawley titled ” India’s secularism is Anti-Hindu, BJP Govt should remove this anomaly” that appeared in Swarajya magazine. Dr. Frawley is an American Hindu teacher and author. He has written more than 30 books on the Vedas, Hinduism, Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedic astrology.
- Freedom of religion is a Fundamental right under Article 25 of the Constitution of India. In India, the concept of secularism seems to be conditional and threatens the existence of Hindu majority in their own land. It includes regulating the religious practices as well as collecting funds from the majority religious group and using them to fund the minority religions.
- Unlike the West, where secularism does not allow the interference of the state in the matters of Church clearly separating the policies of the state and religion, the Indian secular government could not embrace a non-interventional approach towards the major religion (ie, Hinduism).
- Even after adopting a commitment to secularism, the Indian judiciary passes judgement in order to regulate Hindus religious festivals and also the Hindu temples. The confounding thing is that this despicable intervention is applied only to Hindu institutions.
- Through the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act (HRCE Act) of 1951, managers to the boards of temples are appointed by the state governments in the name of better administration, while mosques and churches are yet completely autonomous.
- The minority religious practices are not regulated in the same manner instead the revenues collected from the offerings of Hindu devotees are used by the government for their own purposes which may include funding the minority religious causes despite the fact that they receive considerable foreign help, including help from numerous NGOs, as these minority religions in India represent majority religions outside of India.
Western Secular countries
- In the West, the government not only holds this outlook of non-interference but also provides special tax exemptions to churches, the institutes of major religion. While the other minor religions are not excluded from these exemptions, they have to work harder to obtain non-exempt status. As Dr. Frawley says: “For example, getting Hindu temples approved, in the few Western countries that recognize Hinduism as a legal religion, is much more difficult than getting churches approved.”
- In other European countries, the government either provide direct funds to churches or aid in collecting church taxes.
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Demise of Hindu culture in India
- The government often argues that by taking over the (Hindu) temples it is ensuring the proper management of temples and religious practices but there is sufficient evidence to prove that it is not happening and in fact, the temples are not in good conditions.
- The media, the so-called secularists and intellectuals, portrays the Hindu religion as a very privileged religion as if the people of Hindu religion are being benefited from the laws unfairly while the reality is far away. Instead of sparking the silent Hindus, it promotes this anti-Hindu attitude of the government and encourages its interference in religious affairs.
- The Indian media which is often anti-Hindu in its approach is not inclined to give much coverage. Rather, Hindus are accused of being intolerant whenever they complain about the injustice and discrimination against them.
- The fact is that even the Hindus are silent on this issue and therefore the government actions go on without any obstacle. This is obvious that the current laws are against the Hindu community so instead of being referred as a secular state it should be called “anti-Hindu” state.
Compiled by Pashchiema- an intern at NewsGram and a student of journalism and mass communication. Twitter: @pashchiema5