Pseudo-secularists versus fake Hindus & Muslims
One can be considerate to those who are genuinely taking up the issues of minorities (of different religious groups) at the risk of being targeted by...
One can be considerate to those who are genuinely taking up the issues of minorities (of different religious groups) at the risk of being targeted by the majority. In a country where identities are artificially manufactured for obvious reasons, the terms minority and majority are found to be false.
The expressions "pseudo" and "fake" are being used increasingly in public discourse in the area of social and secular affairs in India. We have seen how political party functionaries keep talking about their version of secularism and denounce the Opposition party as communal or pseudo secular. If a particular party is close to one religious group with genuine desire to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people, it is being targeted by another political party calling the other pseudo secularist or adopting appeasement tactics. The political party under attack calls the opponent communal or fundamentalist. In fact, both or all those who are using the political space for reconciliation or conflict seem to be not sincere in translating the constitutional values or vision. It is a great fraud on our Constitution as the issues of secularism, equality, freedom, etc, are inflected keeping in mind the vote bank and not the legitimate aspirations of the people. One can be considerate to those who are genuinely taking up the issues of minorities (of different religious groups) at the risk of being targeted by the majority. In a country where identities are artificially manufactured for obvious reasons, the terms minority and majority are found to be false. India is considered as a Hindu nation by some, while many claim that it had a Sanatana Dharma and the notion of Hindu was constructed only during the 19th century based on structures like Christianity ( Romila Thapar). Missionaries had also their share of sins in adapting to Indian social mores. However, if a Hindu believes in Vasudhaika Kutumbakam and acts against its tenets, is he/she not a fake Hindu or pseudo-Hindu? Similarly, a follower of Islam who believes in equality and brotherhood but in practice defrauds his conscience is also a fake. The common man has nothing to do with the fakes and their frauds. What he needs is opportunity to use his/her abilities for comfortable living irrespective of his/her descent and belief. This needs a condition that stands on rule of law, rights and duties agreed to through a social contract like the Constitution. We have adopted a Constitution and parliamentary form of democracy. They are not based on our so-called dharma but on alien values. You cannot say that we need one value for governance and another for social intercourse. It is a mockery to claim that we are modern in our economy, governance and polity and traditional in our social life. If someone wanted to practice such values, it is not possible in public life. The freedom to practice your beliefs is protected at personal level with reasonable restrictions. This is possible only in a secular, democratic and socialist country. Those who oppose these values are pseudo-religionists and a risk to the majority who are always non-partisan native Indians. A nation is created over a period of time through the process of assimilation of factors like language, culture, ethnic origin, historical, geographical and other considerations. The contemporary world bears witness to several movements fighting for national identities due to the Anglo-American hegemony in the name of globalization. Interestingly, there is an undercurrent of a deal based on primordial and questionable identities that once shook the world. Yet, the egocentric forces with the aid and support of corporate bodies are promoting certain beliefs and fads to uphold the alleged supremacy of a particular thesis. Globalization and its contents are being used very systematically to spread the virus across the globe. Though mankind had seen such imprudent plans met with disastrous ends in history, the cruel minds continue with their acts. Unfortunately, India has become a centre of this malice. The basic principles of the Indian Constitution seem to rest on non-interference and not the so-called protection of mathadipathis like Kesavanada Bharati. This is because of our long history of colonization by different alien powers and imposition of different belief systems on native Indians. One should appreciate that the local beliefs of common people who are in a majority follow their traditional practices, if necessary translate Allah, Jesus, and Vishnu into their own forms of worship. They just do not mind adopting some alien elements as seen from Peerla festival incorporating Muslim and Hindu practices in the South. The common people are not fundamentalist in their approach as it is one of the many events in their cultural life and not a fulltime activity as in the case of religious fundamentalists. This is taken as a point for the priestly class in every religion as the fragile theme to exploit. It is noticed that fundamentalists keep on inventing different kinds of festivals, rituals and stories, and, with the support of obtuse urban Intellectuals like the Nandys, perpetuate their hegemony. We do not know much about the international angle in this business. But one can say that the experience of the West is different from that of India due to this fact. The secularists and so-called Leftists who claim to be non-partisan have failed to develop an alternative culture and allowed religious fundamentalists to flourish with the aid of modern technology. We have seen debates by some Marxists defending religion on dubious grounds as they have failed to practice what they preach. This is contrary to the theories that religion will disappear with the advent of capitalism and modernization. Is there any country where a god's birth, marriage, nuptial, love affairs and in different guises and in different regions with diversity, interpreted as a universal value to carry out rituals/ ceremonies throughout the year? They are all now being broadcast and televised with innovative and creative works in the dedicated TV channels and special programmes in regular networks. It has a cascading effect on the gullible and ordinary people as seen from the fact that the amount of money spent on religious festivals has increased enormously after the advent of ICT revolution (as found in some NSS studies). It appears that no social psychologist has studied the impact of this innovation on the religious intolerance of people. On the contrary, we have several scholars and prizefighters justifying the acts of religious fundamentalists. Secularism has become a way of life in India, unlike the European version where religious crusades forced them to end up there. It is purely based on the Indian value system founded on its geography and history. However, the country is undergoing a transition from tradition to modernity. Secularism along with socialism and democracy would help reinforce the vision of our founding fathers. They are to be translated into action through constant efforts by intellectuals, Government, political parties and the civil society.
17 Feb 2020 10:33 PM GMT