The origins of Indian secularism

The Indian brand of secularism is a cynical policy to achieve power or perpetuate rule

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The concept of as we understand in India today was introduced to us by the colonial masters. This brand of secularism meant greater dilution of faith-related ethical and cultural values, rules and customs for efficient rule of the colony. This was not new to India, it was essentially a pragmatist policy that was implemented right from the Mughal emperors like Akbar to colonial British masters. 

This brand of secularism is a cynical policy to achieve power or perpetuate rule. The words popularized to define secularism in India are “recognition, acceptance and equal treatment of all religions by the state”. Now if all religions are considered equal and primacy of civilizational connection of state with local dominant ‘religious tradition’ is not appreciated, this situation leads to strange inconsistencies. For example fundamental questions like - how narrow, proselytizing Universalist religions claiming exclusive divine-revealed origin can be equated with ‘religions’ that believe in divine origins and rights of all religions? Won’t it be like equating a parasite with its host? That problem is with societies where exclusivist Universalist religions are in majority. They need mechanism like secularism. Nations where majority follow inherently non-exclusivist religions don’t need such mechanism. But not unpredictably, people who need to follow such policy rarely follow it in letter and spirit and those who already practice it overdo it for political and cultural reasons. Thus the problem of intolerance has escalated over the years and secularism has lost all credibility.

Indian secularism wildly differed from the theory of secularism evolved and practiced in the Europe. It was so because the totalitarian and political role of Church in European history had no counterpart in India, where there was no organized Church and Dharma was essentially self-regulating ethical-moral structure. The colonial rulers understood and appreciated Islam (religion of previous colonial power) better. Europeans were interacting with Islam at different places in world and easily related with it owing to common Abrahamic roots and shared religious history. What confounded them beyond imagination was the dynamic, unorganized, self-regulatory and strongly uniting power of Dharmic tradition. In fact, it was time when western ideologists and their Indian informers classifying and codifying Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc. in the Dharmic universe.

The divide and rule policy held responsible for all problems faced by country, by pro-Government and Marxist historians is a mischievous hypothesis as it equates cultural norms and the rights of local rightful inheriting heirs of Dharmic civilization with that of those groups who for religious and cultural reasons owe hold allegiance to external invading powers and traditions. This hypothesis accuse the British rulers for sowing seeds of social disharmony and it very subtly robs the native of their rights in the country and civilization.

[ Next Page : Deconstruction of Dharmic values that were less amenable to the new economic order ]
[ Click : Ganges bridge at Kanpur by Sushobhit Saktawat ]
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