Pseudo secular India: The only country in the world with 'super minorities'

Sunil Rajguru
Sunil RajguruNov 10, 2015 | 18:40

Pseudo secular India: The only country in the world with 'super minorities'

There are two types of countries in the world - those that treat minorities equally and those that don’t. India is the only country in the world which follows a third path, and gives extra special status to their minorities. Here’s how:

I am a Hindu man. If I get married for a second time, then I will be arrested and thrown into jail and a case will be filed against me. That is not the case with a Muslim man. He can marry again, a right that is given by the Constitution of India respecting his religion.

If I build a temple, then it will be under greater scrutiny by the government of India than someone who builds a church or a mosque which will enjoy much greater freedom. In the past, thousands of temples have indeed been taken over by the government.

The same will be the case if I build a school. My education institution will come under laws like the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (popularly called RTE). It is not applicable to minority institutions which enjoy a much greater deal of autonomy.

When it comes to pilgrimages, I can expect no financial help from the government. However, there is something called the Haj Committee of India which receives Haj subsidy from the government of India.

Contrast this with the country where Haj takes place, Saudi Arabia. Here other religions virtually have no rights. Contrast this with Pakistan, where Hindus and Christians have been decimated on a regular basis.

Things have got so bad that they have now taken to targeting Ahmadiyyas and Shias. To make matters worse, they have a Blasphemy Law which can turn the heat on minorities. Other countries have laws to target minorities while India has laws to give them special status.

We have had one Sikh and three Muslim Presidents. When it comes to the Prime Minister’s post, 10 of 68 years have been ruled by a member of the minority community (Manmohan Singh). Even Rajiv Gandhi’s father was a member of the minority community.

Contrast this with the US, which had an African American president only 230 plus years after its independence and is still waiting for a woman President.

In most countries, secularism means the non-recognition of every religion. In India, it means the recognition of every religion. And it takes things even forward and gives minority religions extra privileges.

Manmohan as Prime Minister had declared that minorities had first rights to the country’s resources. India is one of the rare tolerant countries where the head of state could get away after making such a statement.

And it’s not that Hindus don’t die in communal rioting in India. They also die in the hundreds. In fact in the Kashmiri exodus, lakhs were displaced in something that affected the majority community of this country.

India was and will remain the most tolerant country in the world no matter what anyone says. The Constitution of India guarantees that. Most of the people of India are truly secular in their hearts. That is the bigger guarantee.

If India has become intolerant, then that judgment can be made only by the citizens of India, not by a handful of writers and so-called intellectuals who have become part of the latest #AwardWapsiGang.

What happened in Dadri was extremely unfortunate but what is quite baffling is how none of the above concerned people have even asked chief minister Akhilesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh how law and order has deteriorated and so many communal events are taking place under his rule.

However, this is the 21st century, and it is the era of people’s movements fully backed by social media.

The 2011 August Kranti agitation brought the issue of corruption to the forefront and ultimately toppled the most corrupt government in independent India’s history.

The 2012 anti-rape movement brought women’s issues to the forefront and led to the Justice Verma Committee and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013. It also led to the mainstream media highlighting women’s issues like never before.

After months of protests in small rooms and TV studios, we are seeing a huge #MarchForIndia in the nation’s capital. It is clear that #SammanWapsi has more voices than #AwardWapsi.

Gone are the days when a cabal of elite power brokers could dictate what strategy India could follow. Today, it is the people with a combination of social media and street agitations who happen to be the true voice of India.

May their voice only grow louder in the most tolerant country of the world!

Last updated: November 10, 2015 | 19:49
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