Thursday, June 19, 2008

Secularism Redefined

Secularism forms the bulwark of modern nations where the state is separated from religion. It is a modern idea that came into existence as product of Scientific Revolution (or the Age of Enlightenment). For centuries that preceded the Age of Enlightenment, our world was cloaked in Dark Ages, where religious thoughts held sway, where minds were closed, where thinking was forbidden, where free thought was heresy. People were hunted down and burnt to a stake on the crime called blasphemy. People were flogged for crimes such as voodoo and witch-craft, impaled to death for embracing another faith, maimed, tortured and killed for expressing opinions on workings of the Universe which are now considered absolute facts.

Secularism is an idea embraced by modern nations to protect its people from such irrational ways of inflicting harm onto others who they consider to be different. The only way one can achieve protection of individuals and their rights is by separating religion and its idiosyncratic blind beliefs from the governing state and its polity. This was the realization that came about during Age of Enlightenment and later enshrined in many constitutions throughout the world.

Secularism is originally defined as ‘no importance to any religion’ making state completely agnostic or apathetic to religion. However, Indians have conveniently defined it as ‘equal important to all religions’ making state sympathetic to religions.

This new definition comes as convenience to all Indians – Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and other religious people. In this definition, religions work as single groups to negotiate with the state to get sops and benefits for their people. Usually those sops and benefits are not universal, and instead have everything to do with satisfying religious egos, which are usually hurt very easily. Most often, they trample on the rights of others, curb individual expression, and curtail our freedoms.

Most Indian Hindus conveniently define Secularism as nothing more than Sanatana Dharma to embrace it, but when the actual definition comes to the forefront, they reject it. In the same way, most Muslims find the second definition convenient when promoting their religious laws to be imposed onto its population, thereby justifying archaic and almost barbaric laws onto its people, but reject it when the actual definition comes to forefront. The same holds true for other religions of India.

So, when it is convenient for everyone, why change the status quo? Why can’t we go live happily ever after redefining it?

The redefinition which provides the apparent comfort zone to everyone is equivalent to allowing people to cross red light at their will. When people are allowed to cross at will each individual who is crossing it welcomes it, but not those who get affected by it. Similarly, when the Indian state embraces Hinduism as its religion, people of other religions get affected by it. Each religion is acting as those individuals who are trying to cross the red light at will. Whenever they get a chance to cross it, they celebrate it as victory. Those who are not able to cross it stand dejected waiting for their next chance. Nobody bothers to think that while someone is jumping the red light there are many accidents happening. People are getting injured and killed. That there are some people are never able to cross this traffic light forever.

The new definition of secularism has replaced the original definition almost completely. According to BJP, a national party which held power at center once and is an aspirant once again, the world secularism should translated to ‘panth nirpeksh’ – being neutral to different religions – rather than the original definition which is ‘dharma nirpeksh’ – being indifferent to religions. They go onto reinterpret the constitution saying that their definition is the right one, and not the original definition.

This particular notion is not only championed by BJP, it is a slogan carried out by all political parties of India, who avowedly embrace religion in their official capacities. In the recently held swearing ceremony of MLAs in Karnataka after the assembly elections, almost every member swore by God. Most members of Parliament, Prime Ministers and Presidents visit religious places on official capacity. Administrators of cities and towns welcome a religious leader as if he holds a constitutional position, using official machine and mechanism to serve him. Most DRDO, ISRO and government agencies carry pictures of Hindu deities and they are prayed to before starting an event. Scientists at ISRO go to Tirupathi to pray before launching rockets into space. Most scientists in India, holding government positions, believe in God, and many of them believe in horoscope, palmistry, astrology and numerology. They resort to these tools when exercising their duties.

India is very religious in nature and its state apparatus is completely hijacked by people of majority religion. The minority religions, instead of fighting for the application of original definition of secularism, try to get their share of the pie by forming their own groups to negotiate a similar status for their own people.

The problems occur when the interests of the religions conflict with interests of the state. In the ongoing Ram Sethu Controversy, a petition was filed against dredging Adam’s Bridge citing Ram Charita Manas and Ramayana as historical documents as evidence, where some parties have contested that Ram existed 1.75 Million years ago before Proto Humans existed on planet Earth, and that Ram build this bridge using monkeys. They have successfully stalled all activities.

In other episodes, a sports players was unnecessarily tormented by legal actions for putting up her feet next to the Indian flag, a very famous painter was forced to move out of the country, his house ransacked, just because he painted some Indian goddesses in nude, an author was forced to move from one city to another for criticizing her religion, and so on.

Indian definition for its secularism spells doom for its future generations. India is consciously trying to lose its enshrined freedoms. A future, where thought police will arrest you for your free thoughts, where a judge will sentence you to death for original opinions is not far away. And one of the first steps towards that is redefining secularism.


  1. What a confused and jumbled post, a mish-mash of trying to stir up past events to milk them some more.

  2. he is not that far off reality chirkut.

    i am scared of where this country seems to be heading..

  3. Indian implementation of secularism has been problematic since independence, and we can thank Congress party for it, which gave preferential treatment to minorities. It's time to overhaul the definition and implementation of secularism and have it be "no special treatment for any religion" and implement UCC as mandated in the constitution.

  4. Sujai,

    You're right about religion being given unnecessary importance...that too in places where they don't belong at all in decision making.

    Also appreciate your analogy of Traffic lights in explaining your point.

    Where do you think the solution for this stem from?

  5. Here I am putting my views about Indian Sciences.

    Our Traditional Knowledge, that is science coupled with spirituality.
    When we couple these it becomes universal. Science is practical
    experience and spirituality is the internal science (within body).
    What I meant to say that one external and other is internal both are
    experiences one can be recorded and the other depends on the
    perception of the individual who introspects his/her own internal
    sensations or responses.

    Some vested interested people have spoiled the study of these internal
    actions. Some of the people without having any understanding what is
    spirituality used it for material gains and gave a very bad impression
    to our coming generations. Whether god is there or not is immaterial.
    If one believes in his/her existence that is only because of the
    internal organ functioning, in which there is an element called
    conscious in each and every life. That is the one, which controls our
    thoughts and functions of all the body. Any materialistic aspects
    changes its functioning, and hence all the differences. For each and
    every body for making this element to function effectively, by which
    it rejuvenates the entire body, the procedures are different and the
    timings are different. Hence there is no particular path for that.
    Hence the wordings came all the ways for reaching that conscious
    called GOD. The more one purifies that region the more nearer to the

    This is what I understand about spiritual sciences.

    Of course there are some more things about this Veda, but this is
    basic UNIVERSAL TRUTH. The struggle to make that, which runs the body
    pure, is life. That life is in HEAVEN (Heavenly bodies/ spiritually
    enlightened). The one, which spoils this, is in NARAKA (Asura Bodies/
    antisocial). Those who are hanging in between are TRISHANKUS(

    Coming back to the purification of the conscious there are so many
    techniques like yoga for body and meditation for the mind. The ones
    include the sounds also. It is well understood that the sound waves if
    they are produced in certain frequencies are beneficial to the life.
    Actually these sounds reduce the free element radicals by combining
    with Vitamin D3, and also help in soothing the mind by eliminating the
    mental stresses & strains. In order to reduce the body effects on the
    mind first we do the physical exercise for reducing the free radicals
    and also making the blood to circulate at a faster rate by breathing
    enough oxygen. Specially certain Hindustani and Carnatic tunes have
    special effects on the body and also on the mind. Most of these tunes
    are good for the body at particular periods and timings only. These
    sounds enhance the energy in the body if they are at appropriate
    timings. Also certain rhythmic sounds which produce special decibels
    also have good effects, that's where the mantra's started.

    Well balanced food veg or non-veg, specifically veg makes the body and
    mind more pure, hence helps the conscious to get purified, hence such
    bodies go to nearer to NATURE, what I meant to say that their entire
    metabolism is at its peak. Other wise it may be functioning
    negatively, goes away from the NATURE, hence such people are always
    after materialistic aspects, depending on their away position, the
    more further away the more they are egoistic and arrogant, the more
    they are anti socials.

    The same body also has effects from distant lights of ranges and also
    sounds, what I meant to say all the electromagnetic coupled with sound
    waves has affect on the life. The origin can be anything, like stars,
    moon, sun, earth quake or even mind waves.Each and every body has
    certain characteristic radiations and also their mental waves. If one
    knows how to match these frequencies and intensities one can absorb or
    radiate the energies. It all depends on the practice and how close one
    is to NATURE.

    By the by what I meant to say is that if one has conscious, he/she
    never turns into materialistic world. Now present life has no timely
    conscious for understating the conscious. Hence all these problems
    that what we are facing presently.

  6. what I meant to say
    what I meant to say
    what I meant to say
    what I meant to say
    what I meant to say
    Hey Bhim,ask Hidimba to improve your English

  7. why do not you be my hidimba. this has been already accpted for publishing elsewhere. i need a person without decibals. it is not the language it is the point that is to be noted in spoken. the web is speaking only. otherwise put an editor and do the corrections.

  8. Let us Make Heaven on This EARTH
    By D.Bheemeswar

    As the sun dawns in the morning there starts the hope of life buzzing around
    People start here routine works and go for their mundane activities for earning
    Some thing to eat for their selves and their family and also for the community
    Where communal harmony stays for ever and serene prevails happy every life
    When moon ascends it shall remove the darkness in the minds of the life
    Let us move forward to make such earthly things march and march towards
    That heaven people forget their worries from daily rigorous strains and stresses
    So as their children get free and fresh air to breath good water for drinking
    Let us hope for the best move forward and forward this is what is life
    Let us show our children what is life let them remember us forever
    What sins they have done before opening their innings of life
    Lets us build that EARTH where all the life forms stay peacefully.
    Copyright © 2008, NewsBlaze, Daily News

    Tags: Make Heaven on This EARTH,mundane activities for earning

    "Ocean of Love & Affection"

    Near the oceans a child called Yesu has born

    As He grew people have put nails on his love and affection

    Those are the hands which help other in need

    People have put nails on his legs of patience and community

    As he belongs to the community of Humans he should not help others

    Since his brain is full of human values a crown was on his head

    Entire body of Humanism was put on cross a dead end

    There is no body to lead poor and deserved on righteous path

    This is what civilized people do to Humans who wanted to live as humans

    O GOD give us respite to over come the worldly desires of materialistic

    Show us the path of virtuous and righteous so as we can lead others

    To live peaceful in communal harmony and let serene prevail on this earth

    O MOTHER EARTH forgive us if we have done any sins even in dreams

    Give us the strength to lead a HUMANLY life on this earth.

    ------XXX----by D.Bheemeswar----XXX------

  9. I think Gandhi(I mean Mahatma) should be criticized for mixing politics with religion. If Gandhi was an Atheist like Nehru, post independence India would have been different. Gandhi always related his actions to his spirit. He always resorted to mystic, prophetic answers rather than giving rational explanations. Indians learned only the wrong lessons from Gandhi. Our polticians continued to follow the same mistake of giving unnecessary importance for religion.

    Now, we are nearing the end. In states ruled by BJP, ridiculous and fascist ideas are presented in text books. They even give wrong history lessons like aryans were originated in India and Caste system is justified.

    I feel sorry for being an Indian.


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