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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.
Related Article : Hinduism highlighted: Beautiful Hindu temples of Australia
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
Revolution comes in many forms all over the world and its no surprise that the idea has seeped into the cryptocurrency world as well, but how does it differ from the blood baths that usually sprout from such gargantuan ideas.
Polkadot is a new creation from a co-founder of Ethereum and HUH Token is an emerging token that is set to take the crypto world by storm because of a very ingenious ecosystem that shares something in common with Polkadot.
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Why Will HUH Token Take Over?
HUH Token will revolutionise cryptocurrency because it's created an ecosystem of two co-existing blockchains that allow HUH Token holders to live in a greater equilibrium than holders of currencies that exist across one blockchain.
HUH Token holders will benefit from both the Ethereum and Binance chains which potentially, if they hype is to be believed, will offer a safer haven from the volatility of the crypto market.
Harnessing the power of utility and meme in the cleverly coined 'utimeme' description that HUH Nation gave to its tokens will see the popularity and functionality of the coin supersede those that have come before it, like Shiba Inu.
HUH Token is currently in its presale state and offers its holders far greater than what most other currencies do, for instance, holders that refer a friend, family member or acquaintance will receive 10% of your referees first investment and they will, in turn, receive 10% sales fees.
It's a win-win for all holders of HUH Token.
Why Will Polkadot succeed?
Polkadot is the new open-source crypto platform that continues the revolution of Ethereum's co-founder, who aspired to have far reaching applications of Cryptocurrency that he himself could never have envisaged. Much like HUH Token's revolutionary use of the Polkadot's father blockchain: Ethereum.
It's not shocking then that Polkadot and HUH Token have a pretty powerful beginning and as Polkadot launched recently it's clear to see that the Ethereum blockchain is one to watch and the currencies that use its proficiency.
Polkadot has launched and in its wake crypto geeks are looking for the next big currency to take over and that might just be HUH Token.
Which is best for you?
The answer to the above question is entirely down to your needs as Polkadot allows the holders to dance across currencies but HUH Token offer the potential for dual currency due to its one of a kind multichain.
Though one extremely distinguishable point to note is that HUH Token is in its presale state meaning that it could far exceed Polkadot on its December 6th release, though HUH Token is already set to blow other altcoins out of the water.
HUH Token is set to take over the altcoin world, and with the shift from big crypto to altcoin, HUH Token could be your next best move, especially given its presale state.
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Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan face a bleak future in a country dominated by the Taliban. While the Islamic fundamentalist organisation claims that minorities would be secure, many are apprehensive based on previous experiences.
Afghan Sikhs and Hindus have returned to their homes in various regions of the nation after spending weeks at the Gurdwara Dashmesh Pita, a Sikh shrine in Kabul's Karte Parwan neighbourhood.
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Religious minorities' lives have been thrown into chaos after the collapse of Afghanistan's civilian government and the Taliban's takeover of the conflict-torn country last month.
After almost 140 Sikhs and Hindus were unable to board an Indian military evacuation flight from Kabul airport following a suicide bomb strike near the airport, around 250 Sikhs and Hindus remain in Afghanistan.
They risk a bleak future under the extremist Islamist administration because there are no flights out of the Taliban-led capital city.
India had evacuated over 600 people from the Afghan capital before the last American plane departed from Kabul airport. 67 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were among those killed, including parliamentarians Anarkali Kaur Honaryar and Narender Singh Khalsa.
the origins of Afghanistan's Sikh and Hindu community date back centuries, even before the country's founding.Unsplash
Is it possible for a non-Muslim to be an Afghan?
According to Inderjeet Singh, author of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs: History of a Thousand Years, the origins of Afghanistan's Sikh and Hindu community date back centuries, even before the country's founding.
"The history of Sikhs in modern-day Afghanistan can be traced back to Guru Nanak's tenure in the region, which corresponds with the birth of the religion itself in the 16th century," Singh told DW. "The Hindu religion's origins are far older."
However, those in authority have depicted them as outsiders or "foreigners," relegating them to second-class status in their own nation, regardless of the administration.
Puja Kaur Matta, an Afghan Sikh anthropologist who currently resides in Germany, argues, "Sikhs and Hindus are locals – not foreigners." When Taliban terrorists took over Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, her parents, who had roots in Ghazni and Kabul like many Sikhs and Hindus, immigrated to Europe.
Their population has shrunk from 60,000 in 1992 to less than 300 presently.
Also read: India hosting Taliban welcome meet
Segregation and harassment threats
Minorities held out some hope for equal rights under the deposed civilian administration, despite years of systemic and structural discrimination. However, two large assaults in 2018 and 2020 destroyed this optimism.
In the first suicide explosion, Khalsa's father was slain, and at least 25 Sikh pilgrims were killed in the 2020 Gurdwara shrine assault. Both assaults were claimed by "Islamic State Khorasan" (IS-K), a regional offshoot of the "Islamic State" organisation. The gang was most recently responsible for the suicide assault that killed at least 182 people at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Sikhs and Hindus worry that under the new Taliban administration, they would be forced to wear yellow tags to indicate their non-Muslim identity, as they were in the past.
"For their beliefs, Sikhs and Hindus have been targeted," Kaur adds.
"For fear of harassment, a generation of youngsters were unable to attend school. They couldn't even bury their loved ones without risking being stoned in front of others." The word "home" connotes a sense of security, which many communities have long since lost.
India's contradictory policies have left them in the lurch.
As India prepares to welcome Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan, its uneven attitude toward asylum seekers and refugees has left hundreds stranded. The government's stance toward asylum seekers varies significantly, depending on whether it is based on ties with the nation from which they are seeking protection or on local politics.
New Delhi said this month that it will provide shelter to Afghans of all faiths, not just Hindus and Sikhs. However, what the government states may not be representative of what occurs on the ground.
There is no openness regarding how people are given refuge since there is no protocol in place.
Aside from the uncertainty surrounding their refugee status, living in India is difficult. Delhi, which is home to the majority of the Afghan diaspora, is a pricey city. The majority of Afghans in this country do not have work licences. It is not possible to survive on handouts.
Dreams of a secure future
Sikhs and Hindus escaping Afghanistan desire to establish a new life — one that is stable — and give their children a great future.
Kaur Matta, now 29, was one of those children when her parents opted to leave Afghanistan, opening up a world of possibilities for her. She now wants to start a dialogue about her neighbourhood.
Even though a substantial number of Sikhs and Hindus leave Afghanistan, some families have chosen to remain in the nation as guardians of their places of worship – their legacy.
"We don't have a place to live," Kaur Matta says. If you're looking for a unique "People in Afghanistan refer to us as Indians. We are Afghans in India."
"All we want is a safe haven where we can live our lives without fear of persecution – a place where we may practise our faith, follow our traditions, work, and raise our children without fear of persecution."
Keywords: Afghanistan, Indians, Hindu, Sikh, Origin of Sikhs in Afghanistan
Many brands in India are favoring the Halal stamp on their products. From the likes of Haldiram's, Bikano, Amul to Patanjali, big brands are paying high prices to gain confidence of their Muslim consumer base. According to the belief of Sharia, a Muslim should only consume food which is permissible under Halal.
What is Halal?
Halal is an Arabic word meaning allowed or permitted. In Islam there are several ground rules regarding halal. The do's come under halal and the don'ts fall under 'Haram' category. Haram means unlawful, essentially following halal guarantees pure Islamic practice.
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The religious practice of halal, does not always encompass sophisticated mannerisms. One such practice which may be deemed inhumane is the slaughtering of animals fit for eating. According to the Muslim Halal method the animal has to be placed in the direction of Mecca and must be awake during the time of butchery. A Muslim butcher would make a deep incision in the animal's throat while saying "Bismillah"(in the name of god). The slaughtered animal would be left to bleed till its death. It is important to note that the non-religious methods are comparatively sympathetic in the method of killing the animal. The animals are not conscious when the deed is done, thus feeling no pain.
What is halal certification?
Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind Halal Trust, an organization in India which claims itself to be a 'non-profit', issues certification for food products, restaurants, airlines and hospitals which is accepted in several countries. The certification ensures that the concerned food items, restaurants, hotels, airlines and hospitals are complying with the halal practices. If it is a food item, it means it is fit for consumption as per the Sharia law. The religious practice may seem noble for religious purposes but it has more than one contribution to the Islamic community.
Map depicting Muslim majority countriesWikimedia
The supposed not-for-profit organization gains approximately 4 crores in a year from over 250 traders in India. The organization markets the Halal trademark as the sole key to "penetrating Muslim countries" and the ones who do not have it "would lose a large segment of potential consumers from around the world". It claims the Halal market to be worth $600 billions' worth. As an NGO the Halal Trust is provided tax exemptions on its funds. Not only does it have a profit-based business in the country but it gains from abroad in crores. 'Jamiat Ulma Hind UK' is its top foreign contributor, with a contribution of over 6 crores in the last 4 years.
Though the Jamiat's origin has roots in the Khilafat movement of 1919, the current running has nothing to do with it. Jamiat aims to 'enroll 20,000 fresh members' in the Jamiat Youth Club in 2021 and 12.5 million youth to be prepared in the next 10 years. With details of expansion of the club and promotion in the youth, Jamiat focuses on propagation of Islamic practices and upliftment of madrasas.
The question arises, in a country which claims itself to be secular, what place do such organizations hold? Do they enjoy special status in the name of minority or is it a general bias running throughout the world?
Key Words: Halal, Halal Certificate, Islam