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Redefine Secularism

BY: anuj sharma1 | Category: Politics | Submitted: 2012-07-08 04:18:55
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Article Summary: "India is a secular country but secularism has become a tool in the hands of political parties and leaders to secure votes of minority communities, specially Muslims, without doing anything tangible for this community. Sheer lip service in name of secularism has harmed interests of the community as only emotional issues not the r.."

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Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic Of India decided to be secular due to the wounds country received because of partition on the grounds of religion. Long debates of constituent assembly stressed on the need to remain a secular state as fundamental passion could harm the country irreparably. Indian secularism is based on the principle of tolerance and respect for all religions rather than states alienation from religions. This is in corroboration with basic idea of constitution that provides liberty, equality, freedom and justice to all citizens of the country. All religions are treated with due respect and no one is denied justice and freedom on grounds the of religion he performs.

Soon after adoption of constitution on 26th January 1950, various explanations of secularism emerged many of which were far away from the secularism that our constitution provided. Universal adult franchise gave right to elect the govt to every adult person of the country. Majority of voters was not aware of what their govt was supposed to do and those who could understand the power of vote and enjoyed higher position in social hierarchy, did not let weaker sections vote until T N Sheshan took over as chief election commissioner of India. Indian people vote for their caste, religion, area, language and many hypothetical and emotional issues, but rarely they are influenced by issues which affect their development. This attitude of voters made secularism a tool in the hands of political parties and leaders who win and loose on emotional issues.
In such condition political secularism bloomed as a favorite flower of many political parties. BJP termed this as pseudo secularism but failed to explain tis own secularism which is based on fundamentalism. Frenzied movement and demolition of Babari mosque in fact did no good to any section of the society. Fundamental ideology behind BJP's secularism scares not only minorities but many of its supporters also. This kind of secularism is not acceptable to a big section of the society.

Secularism of congress never hesitated to adopt policy of appeasement. Since independence party extended additional benefits to Muslims. Muslim personal law is one of the example of this as it was argued that gradually Muslims will come in mainstream of the country and till that time some extra favors should be extended to Muslims community. This argument suggests that Muslims who ruled the country for around 400 years, who fought all the battles from Meerut upsurge to quit India movement to throw out British rule from India were not in mainstream of the country. This is not believable. Policy of appeasement continued till some regional parties went beyond limits of appeasement to practice pro minority politics (of words only) and usurped congress vote bank of minorities. This created divide between communities and tension prevailed for a long period. In fact many govts were formed and toppled on emotional issues. Rather than rectifying its old mistakes congress followed the way of regional parties. Secularism of left is also similar to that of regional parties.

Amids all politically motivated secularisms there exists secularism of common Indian persons. This is the way of life of Indian populace where all the people live peacefully in the society, help each other in various professions, perform various works necessary for the society and mankind and even cooperate each other in practice of the religion.

On other hand political parties practice selective secularism. Communal riots of Gujrat hurt them more than communal riots of Delhi in 1984 whereas constitution waits helplessly for justice for the victims of both places.

This bizarre politics reduced Muslims in merely a vote bank and due to this reason Muslims have suffered a lot. According to findings of Sachchar Committee condition of Muslims has deteriorated after independence. They are educationally backward, socially backward, economically backward. Fact remains that their basic issues of health, sanitation, education, development, employment, poverty etc are not being addressed by those whom Muslims voted to power in last six decades. Surprisingly new leadership from among Muslim youths is not coming forward.

This is the time Muslim youths should ponder over the cause of their miseries. They should go by the examples of those who lost everything in Pakistan at the time of partition and came to India. These people were called refugees in their own country, no extra efforts were made to help them as the situation was very critical and country did not have appropriate economic strength to help them but these people rose from ashes to not to build their own careers but also helped country in development. Now these people and their generations are best settled community of the nation, in fact prime minister Manmohan Singh and BJP stalwart L K Advani have also migrated form Pakistan.
Muslim of India were always citizens of this country at the time of independence, they did not loose their jobs, houses, business, or employment then why their condition deteriorated? Muslims should ask this question first from themselves then their community leaders and then from the political leaders whom they voted to power in last 60 years. It is high time new Muslim leadership with vision should come forward, see in the eyes of their community and political leaders and tell them " honorable gentleman, please redefine your secularism"

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