Meaning of Secularism
Secularism in our constitution is not actually an Indian word. It has been borrowed from west. But the meaning of secularism in both Western world and in India is totally different. India has borrowed the word secularism from west only not the exact meaning. We borrowed word and defined it by our own. Secularism in west mean that "Religion and Politics are separate from each other. In other words politics can't interfere in religious matter and religion can't interfere in political matter either. There will not be any type of relation between politics and religion. Both are different. But in India there is different meaning of secularism than in west. Here we say all religions are equal in the eye of law. Religion and politics are not separate entity. State will treat all religions equally. Here politics interfere religious matter and religion interfere political matters. Here in India there is different laws for different community, like "Muslim personal law" and "Hindu code".
Secularism in India
India, that is called Bharat" It's first word in our constitution. According to constitution our country is a sovereign socialist, secular democratic republic with parliamentary system of government. In which State and religion can't be mixed up. All the religion are equal in the eye of state. State will neither favor any religion nor discriminate. Theoretically it sounds nice but is it possible practically? My answer is yes, possible but not in India. In India everybody is trying to make profit of religion, whether it is political leaders or religious leaders. In India we contest elections in the name of religion. Some needs Hindu Rashtra while other needs Islamic Nation, and political parties are fueling them by whatever means. It's more tragic that this is happening in the name of secularism, no one can say it openly. All political parties who claims to be secular trying to gain votes of Muslims by dividing us. They are trying to keep Muslims backward, so that they can get votes from them by fearing them about their security in Hindu majority nation. Some Hindu nationalist Parties try to mobilize Hindus for votes. Can we call India a true secular?
Here in India religion and politics are interrelated, there must be a vote bank politics. There are political parties politicizing all the issues related with religion. They create vote bank like money bank. Two major political parties play the game of religious vote bank. Where Congress is playing for Muslim votes, Bhartiya janta party is playing for Hindu vote bank. There is Hindu and Muslim politics exist, Indian politics has been lost. Political parties never care about India, they only care about votes. For the votes of Muslims all so called secular parties even don't care about national interest. They try to save terrorists. How can we say India is a secular country?
There is different law for Hindus, Muslims, Christians etc in India. Can we say India is really a secular after having such codes for different community? Here Hindu will be governed by Hindu code, Muslim will be governed by Muslim personal law based on sharia. According to "Hindu marriage act 1954" a Hindu is allowed for only one marriage at a time but in Muslim personal law, Muslim is allowed to marry 4 girl at a time. To get this benefit of second marriage, many Hindus have converted to Islam. Is it not giving liberty to Muslims or promoting Islam? Can we say it a secular?
Hindus in India pay taxes for visiting their pilgrimages like Amarnath. Even in Vindhyachal (One of Shakti peeths) in fare time ( Navratri) we need to pay a fare surcharge with train tickets, same story is in Kumbh mela. But government pay subsidies to Muslims to visit their holy place mecca for haj.
Recently Uttar Pradesh government has suspended an IAS officer Ms. Durga shakti Nagpal for demolishing wall of an illegal mosque being constructed on government land. Clarification from government is she was responsible to maintain communal harmony, but by her act communal harmony could be disturbed. Should we allow constructing illegal religious places in the name of communal harmony?
Tamilnadu government banned a movie "Vishwaroopam" in the name of law and order. Clarification by government " some Muslim organisation has demanded ban on this movie otherwise they will disturb the law and order.
In literacy festival Jaipur, we didn't allow Salman Rushdie to deliver his lecture for the same reason. He was opposed by some Muslim clerics.
One of our greatest artist M. F. Hussain, had to leave country by threats from fundamentalists.
A movie "Water" could not released in India only by fearing threats of fundamentalists.
Taslima Nasrin ( Bangladeshi writer and activist) is in exile and didn't get citizenship of India yet. Her fault was she fights for the rights of minorities and women in Bangladesh.
Recently Chennai police didn't allow Ms. Ameena Wadood ( addressed mixed-sex congregations, giving a sermon in South Africa in 1994, and leading Friday prayer in the United States in 2005. ) to address a meeting in Chennai for the same reason law and order problem. Because some Muslim organisation thinks her act as against Islam and threaten to create problem.
In Kerla a government school refused to serve mid day meal in the month of Ramzan because it's against Islam.
There are many person like Akbaruddin owaisi, Praveen Togadiya and so on, who is trying to disturb communal harmony. instead of punishing them, government is punishing honest officers like Durga, whom should be honored for her act.
Thoughts about Secularism
"I do not expect India of my dreams to develop one religion, i.e., to be wholly Hindu or wholly Christian or wholly Mussalman, but I want it to be wholly tolerant, with its religions working side by side with one another.''
"I swear by my religion, I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The State has nothing to do with it. The State would look after your secular welfare, health, communications, foreign relations, currency and so on, but not your or my religion. That is everybody's personal concern!!"