Probably, the most maltreated word by India political parties is ‘secularism’. There is no political party that doesn’t call itself secular, though, in retrospect, they need to realise- none is secular in the truest form of the word.
‘Secular’ means, ‘not adhering to religious or spiritual matters’ defined by the oxford dictionary. However, all the political parties adhere frequently to religious symbols and idioms as and when it suits their agenda.
The term was first used by the British writer George Jacob Holyoake in 1851 and he explained it: “Secularism is not an argument against Christianity; it advances others. Secularism does not say there is no light or guidance elsewhere, but maintains that there are light and guidance in secular truth, whose conditions and sanctions exist independently.”
Putting that in the Indian context – no religion, be it, Hindu, Islam or Sikh, none is against them, in fact, a secular nation should advance the ones left behind due to any reasons. They can be from any religious minority with very marginal in number like Judaism or Christianity or the more unnoticed beliefs of Pantheism, Animism and Totemism, which are extensions of ‘nature worship’, yet prevalent in the tribal areas of India.
However, the Indian political parties seem to have invented their own customized interpretation of the word, where they merely believe it to be a masquerade to fool the masses obliviousness of their hidden agendas.
The Indian version of ‘secularism’ is, in fact, ‘pseudo-secularism’, which means, claiming to be secular though they are actually not so. Here is an additional aspect for the word as well, as being ‘secular’ in Indian political sense you need to be anti-particular religion or pro-minority.
Pseudo-secularism of Indian political parties
Congress is always in a constant bout to assert BJP as a communal party, as its survival depends on the denouncment of secularism of the opposition.
For Congress to survive, it needs to spread the message of minorities being ill-treated by the BJP and propagate the idea of ‘vote for congress’ if you don’t want BJP to rule, as minorities would, presumably, suffer worse under them.
Congress relies on questioning the sanctity of secularism under the BJP-led NDA government to lure the public to feel safe under their gambit. Any denigration of how they regulate and what they put people, minorities through is enough for them to gain votes. Creating an atmosphere of BJP ‘fuelled communal terror’ is enough for Congress to gather support.
On the other hand, BJP is no less a part of this pseudo-secular game. The Babri Masjid demolition and the following riots, Gujarat massacre, and their affiliations with the Sangh Parivar are enough salutation to their contribution in the Indian secularism.
The Indian masses never gained anything from either secularism or pseudo-secularism. These words have just become tossing phrases for merely misleading and misguiding the citizens for achieving electoral gains.
Secularism should be a tool to unite instead of creating a divide in the name of threat and misconceptions of reality. All that the Indians require right now is a dictionary which can help them realise the real meaning of the term secularism instead of the falsely portrayed pseudo-secularism by the politically motivated entities.
New Delhi, September 5, 2017 : 26th July witnessed a big political drama in India, when Nitish Kumar, the C.M. of Bihar submitted his resignation.
The government in Bihar was a coalition of three political parties; Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), Lalu Yadav’s RJD and Congress.
Nitish was back in the C.M’s chair, the very next day due to the support extended to his party, JD (U) by BJP to form the government in Bihar.
The coalition of the aforesaid three parties thereby collapsed, which annoyed Lalu Yadav, the head of RJD a lot.
Lalu Yadav hijacked the plank of secularism to indulge in blatant corruption and promote his family in politics.
Secularism implies the principle of separating government institutions as well as politicians from religion and religious figures. In India the meaning of secularism has entirely been altered by politicians like Lalu, who openly woo Muslim fundamentalists from Mosques and waste government funds in order to appease them.
Lalu keeps on harping upon keeping Muslims safe in Bihar. Maintenance of law and order is the foremost task of any elected government, what’s the big deal in it?
Lalu’s politics involves developing vote banks from his caste comprising of Yadavs and Muslims.
He portrays himself as the ‘messiah’ of Muslims by aligning with fundamentalist Muslim preachers and gangsters like Shahbuddin.
Lalu never addresses the root cause of poverty and backwardness among Indian Muslims.
It is largely due to the community shunning of mainstream educational institutes and going to worthless madrasas, (Muslim religious schools) which primarily focus on students, rote learning of the Muslim holy book; Koran.
In the absence of modern knowledge, madrasa graduates are unable to improve their material prosperity and face the challenges of contemporary society.
The Ulemas or the Islamic scholars’ regressive attitude is reflected in the following statement of Maulana Samiul Haq, of the Haqqania madrasa, a prominent Deobandi madrasa; “Young minds are not for thinking. We catch them for the madrasas when they are young, and by the time they are old enough to think, they know what to think.”
Fake seculars like Lalu would never tell Muslims to study in proper schools because an educated Muslim can easily decipher the tricks played by such politicians.
A large number of illiterate or madrasa brand Muslims suit Lalu because then by showing the fear of BJP and Hindus, these Muslims can be easily turned into vote banks for his political party.
CBI, ED and other government agencies recently conducted large number of raids on Lalu and his family. They discovered Billions amassed by this so called ‘champion of oppressed’.
Lalu accumulated large number of farm-houses, land holdings, companies etc. in the name of his family comprising of his illiterate wife and 9 children; 7 daughters and 2 sons.
Both his sons, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, are school drop-outs. The former was the deputy CM of Bihar with various ministerial portfolios, while the latter was the Health Minister of the province in the coalition government.
Lalu was declared guilty by the courts for his lead role in the Bihar fodder scam worth thousands of Crores. Lalu Yadav was jailed for 135 days in 1997 but he was lodged in a Bihar Military Police guest house with all comforts.
Before his incarceration, Lalu installed his uneducated wife Rabri Devi as the C.M. of Bihar. Lalu was jailed on various other occasions for his involvement in the aforementioned swindle.
Every time, Lalu was put in prison, he received 5 star hotel facilities and got bail easily. Lalu continued being the de facto C.M of Bihar by inducting his wife as the rubber- stamp C.M. of Bihar.
He was finally sentenced to a 5 year jail term in October 2013 by a special CBI court.
Instead of being in a jail, he is again out on bail, busy in enriching and establishing his progeny in politics.
A poster for Lalu Yadav’s political rally in Patna on Sunday, 27th August depicted one of Lalu’s foolish son as Lord Krishna while the other buffoon is shown as Arjun. Lalu’s daughter and Rajya Sabha M.P, Misa Bharti is depicted as the famous freedom fighter, Rani of Jhansi; Lakshmibai. Lalu and his wife Rabri are blessing their children in this poster.
What a mockery of historical and religious characters.
Lalu is saying that he and his family are being victimized. These utterances constitute ‘heights of shamelessness’.
Lalu indulged in blatant corruption and misuse of office for personal gains. On getting exposed he started parroting; this is a conspiracy of BJP and law would take its own course.
These terms in India mean that court cases would drag for 20-30 years. The politician will die but the court proceedings would still remain pending.
Classic example is Jayalalitha, the court cases against her were continuing since, 1996 but the final judgment was passed in 2017 after her death.
Lalu’s son, Tejashwi Prasad, the Ex-Deputy C.M of Bihar was a member of IPL cricket team, Delhi Daredevils for 4 years from 2008-2012.
During these 4 years, Tejashwi didn’t play a single game for Delhi Daredevils.
Which sporting team in the world would keep such a useless player in its squad?
Delhi Daredevils is owned by GMR group. This business house must be investigated, as to what were the compelling reasons behind continuous retention of this trash cricketer, who wasn’t competent to play even a single game during 4 seasons.
What were the financial benefits given to Tejashwi? Did the GMR group receive concessions from Lalu Yadav in exchange for keeping his son in Delhi Daredevils team? These are serious issues and need further investigations.
Misa Bharti, eldest daughter of Lalu Yadav is a Rajya Sabha M.P. She topped the MBBS examination of Patna Medical College Hospital during the late 90’s.
Misa never excelled in her classes, either at school or college. At her convocation, the presenter of the degree requested her not to treat any patients ever.
Lalu through his clout in Bihar first got her admission into MBBS and then deceptively made her a topper.
Misa Bharti after topping her MBBS studies and obtaining her medical degree did not work as a Doctor even for a single day, neither did she start her own medical practice.
This is humbug Lalu Yadav, the ‘self- styled’ protector of Muslims and ‘self- declared’ skipper of the Indian opposition political parties, comprising of so called secular forces but in reality just corrupt family controlled political dynasties.
Lalu and his political clan should be imprisoned for at least a minimum period of 10 years with provisions of no bail plus hard labor in the jail.
All undeclared properties; including land parcels, bank accounts, commercial businesses, residences etc. unearthed by the authorities during raids on Lalu and his family must be confiscated by the central government.
Lalu’s party RJD, which is nothing more than a corrupt family enterprise should be disbanded and a life ban imposed on Lalu plus his kin from pursuing political careers.
An exemplary example needs to be made of this corrupt, Lalu so, as to deter other existing as well as budding ‘Lalu Prasad Yadavs’, abounding in the Indian political system from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
– The author is a Master Degree holder in International Tourism & Leisure Studies from Netherlands and is based in China.
Lahore, Feb 28, 2017: Last spring, Anila Dhawan was abducted from her home in Hyderabad, Pakistan. She was forced to marry the abductor and convert to Islam.
The police refused to step in. Her abductor stated that Voluntarily, the girl had eloped from home, converted into Islam and married him. But post her family mounting pressure on the court, she spoke the truth to the judges and she was freed.
“Her life was threatened,” her attorney, Ramesh Gupta, stated. “She wanted to go back to her parents and the statement (she made to the court) helped to sway the decision in her favor and she was freed to join her family.”
Anila is among those Pakistani Hindu girls who are abducted due to draconian religious discrimination in a country that comprises of 98 per cent Muslim majority.
According to South Asia Partnership-Pakistan, a local human rights group, every year, it is estimated muslim men abduct about 1000 girls of Christianity and Hinduism faith but mostly Hindu girls. According to Pakistan Hindu Council, about 5000 Pakistani Hindus flee to neighbouring country India where 80 per cent population practises Hinduism. They flee to evade the religious persecution and discrimination.
Last year, the legislature in Southern province of Sindh (where the Kohlis reside) passed a legislation that outlawed the forced conversion of those below age 18, but it never came into effect. Conservative Islamic factions and groups objected to this measure and criticised the 5 years imprisonment on those who were guilty of forcing conversion. They produced the rationale that the law was ‘anti-Islamic’ and an endeavour to make Pakistan a secular country.
“We will not remain silent on this controversial law,” said Hafiz Saeed, a leader of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a self-proclaimed charity that the United States has declared a terrorist group.
In January the measure was vetoed by Sindh government. The legislative defeat was a major let down to human rights, activists stated.
“The problem of conversions is real,” said Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a mewmber of the Pakistan Hindu Council and parliament. “We are not against the conversion of religion as a result of research or preaching. But why are only underage Hindu girls in Sindh changing religion?”
For instance, last summer’s night, Ameri Kashi Kohli’s 14-year-old daughter was abducted from her home while she was sleeping in Southern Pakistan.
It was a harrowing experience for her when she discovered what happened to her daughter. “She had been converted to Islam and became the second wife of our landlord,” Kohli stated. Her landlord falsely claimed that the teen was compensation for a $1,000 debt the family owed him.
On top of that, the police refused to intervene. “They just said forget your daughter, she has converted,” Kohli described. They said “my daughter Jeevti is now known as Fatima.”
The defeat of the bill exhibited that religious conservatives have considerable power in the country.
“Government after government, military and civilian, have caved in to pressure from the extremists,” said Farahnaz Ispahani, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., who specialises in Pakistan’s minorities. “It is imperative for the government to stand by the people it represents. The bill to stop enforced conversion must be passed unaltered.”
Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.
She said that the muslim leaders are critical of new protections extended to religious minorities and woman to and safeguarding them, especially women.
As per Kohli, she says she has lost her daughter. The landlord produced an affidavit from the teen and claimed that she was neither forced to convert nor marry and she ran away voluntarily. The parents claim she was forced to write this. As per Husband’s wishes, she was not allowed to meet her family or friends.
NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.
Kohli stated that the plight of her daughter speaks volume about the uncertain future of Hindus in Pakistan.
“There (are) many Fatimas in this country,” Kohli stated. “But does this country have place for a Jeevti?”
Many stories dealing with such appalling and gruesome stature come across in Pakistan but no action is taken to prevent this social evil.
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.
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