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Nehru’s noble intent of treating Muslims fairly put India on slippery slope of faux secularism

Decades of a false secular narrative has allowed BJP to engage in an exhibition of religiosity we saw during the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya.

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In their anguish over the “death of secularism”, Pratap Bhanu Mehta (in Indian Express), Yogendra Yadav (in ThePrint) and Suhas Palshikar (also in Indian Express) miss the point. Secularism isn’t dead. Their version of secularism is dead.

Secularism, at its core, means treating all religions as absolute equals. By that definition India abandoned secularism shortly after Independence. Minorities were allowed to keep their personal laws. The majority was not.

It wasn’t always like this. Historically, India has given refuge to persecuted Christians, Jews and Parsis. They suffered no discrimination. Hinduism is not a codified faith. It is like a sponge that absorbs other faiths even when they come as conquerors, as Islam’s armies did from the 700s.

The powerful Mughal Empire was so integrated into India’s secular ethos that in the seventeenth century it cut its umbilical cord with the Ottoman Caliphate, to which every other Islamic sultanate paid tribute, adopting India as its permanent home. The British took India’s innate secularism by the scruff of its neck and carved deep cleavages between Hindus and Muslims.

Even sport did not escape the malignant sectarianism. The Pentangular cricket tournament, for example, pitted teams composed exclusively of Hindus, Muslims, Catholics and Parsis against one another. In politics and society, divide and rule eroded India’s natural secular instinct.

Also read: Idea of India wasn’t demolished at Ayodhya. That happened in our ‘liberal’ homes

After Partition, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru recognised that the knife the British had driven through Indian secularism, wounding it deeply, could only be healed by leaning the other way: giving Muslims who had stayed on in India the confidence that they would be treated fairly. The intent was noble. In practice, it began India’s journey down the slippery slope of faux secularism.

When you lean towards one faith, however pure your intent, you will lean away from another. For the next 50 years India practised secularism in name. A self-serving ecosystem soon sprung up. It had three principal actors: secular politicians, community leaders and ‘liberal’ civil society.

Politicians used secularism as a political weapon. Muslims were an attractive demographic: they lived in clusters and voted in clusters. Politicians exploited them systemically. Fear of the ‘other’ was planted in them. They voted overwhelmingly for the Congress nationally. In the states they voted for the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress and All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen.

The second element in the secular ecosystem was community leadership. It suited religious leaders to keep their flock together, in constant paranoia, and under close watch. There was no attempt to empower or educate.

The third element in the ecosystem – liberal Hindu civil society – gave enthusiastic support to the secular project. Activists, lawyers, journalists and academics did not realise that they were playing with political fire until it was too late.

An abiding weakness of Hinduism is internal fissures. Of India’s one billion Hindus, a quarter are Dalits. They have, for centuries, been targets of a caste-based hierarchy. Together with a narrow slice of educated, liberal Hindus, Dalits form a third of the Hindu vote.

That leaves the broad middle of the Hindu pyramid vulnerable to ministrations from an alternative political force. That force emerged in the shape of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It inveigled its way into the Indian mainstream in the 1990s and has since captured the middle of the Hindu demographic pyramid.

Also read: Hindu society’s real enemy is a pseudo-Hindu — not those branded ‘sickulars’ or ‘libtards’

The big electoral swing away from the Congress since 2014 has come from moderate Hindus disillusioned with the diet of faux secularism they have been fed for decades. The biggest causalities in the secular project are Muslims, many intensely patriotic but suspect in the eyes of even moderate Hindus.

Instead of empowering Muslims and integrating them into the mainstream of Indian life, the corrosive secular ecosystem has created a community that both the Sachar Committee and Misra Commission identified as economically more backward than Dalits.

Muslims find it difficult to get jobs. They still live, 73 years after Independence, in clusters and still vote in clusters for political parties that have betrayed them. Their religious leaders continue to exploit them. And liberal secularists fail to expose the practice of fraudulent secularism that does not empower or educate Muslims but cynically instils in them fear and grievance.

India’s 200 million Muslims could be an economic asset. Yet, Muslims are largely absent from India’s buzzing start-up universe. They could be a security asset. The vast majority of Indian Muslims have rejected the lure of Islamist terrorist groups.

India needs a secular revolution that removes all public displays of religiosity. The BJP has been quick to exploit the public anger against decades of a false secular narrative.

That has allowed it to engage in an exhibition of religiosity we saw during the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. By propagating a fraudulent version of secularism for decades, secularists have normalised exhibitions of religiosity across faiths that in a truly secular country would be impermissible.

Minhaz Merchant is an editor, author and publisher. He is the biographer of Rajiv Gandhi and Aditya Birla. Views are personal.

This article was first published by Swarajya.

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  1. Yes, it was the false secularism ; the so called Nehruvian consensus; that made Indian secularism what it is. Bending backwards to please a permenantly disgruntled minority. Naturally, there had to be a reaction and the pendulum swung the other way. Why cry now?
    There was NO innate secularism before the british arrived. India was a muslim country, where muslims ruled and hindus were slaves. All muslims thyink the same. The prospect of this reversing after the british left made them ask for pakistan.
    The average hindu hates muslims for partition, and wants them to go to Pakistan. First they stayed back, on top of it demanded special rights. Now sur ke upar se paani chala gaya, hence the reaction

  2. Secularism dies the moment political parties starts dividing people as secular and nonsecular. Liberal crooks i.e. librandus are the biggest enemy of secularism. In India only Hindus are secular. Muslims can never be secular.

  3. To my mind it is never about political parties or religions. It is the perpetual ruling elites in the society who determines the policies and their chosen party as and when necessary. So called secularism suited them before for reasons, it no longer does.

  4. A French style secularism has no place in Indian society which is highly religious. A flawed alalysis and wrong prescription.
    I think seris of articles are perhaps ground work for pushing uniform civil code. This is a noble objective in itself but very reason right wants to bring this is I lost an eye( read privilege) you should loose too.

    • Mr Anand: I am not sure you have grasped how French secularism, called “laïcité” works. And the laïcité approach does have features that are easy to adapt and deploy in India.

      In the French version of secularism where there is strict separation of Church and State and even antagonism towards the Church. Laïcité builds on 4 pillars:

      (a) freedom of religious expression (liberté);
      (b) separation of religious institutions from the state and the very important principle of non-interference of religious bodies in the affairs of the state and vice versa, (séparation);
      (c) The neutrality of the state when dealing with people of different faiths. This principle means that officials of the state such as judges, policemen, teachers etc. cannot bear visible religious symbols while doing their duties (neutralité);
      (d) Equality i.e. the state treats all citizens equally, regardless of their religious affiliations (égalité).

      See the short video “La Laïcité en 3 minutes” at Ref:
      (This video is in French but you ought to be able to grasp it)

      In any democracy, the state treats all citizens as equals and India is no exception – at least in theory. Thus, the Indian Constitution guarantees :

      – liberté with regard to freedom of religious expression
      – Egalité i.e. all religions are treated equally
      – Séparation i.e. the state does not involve itself in theological matters

      The 4th pillar viz. neutralité could be controversial in a very religious place like India. Thus, a French public servant who is the face of the state cannot wear prominent religious attire or artefacts. Thus Sikhs are prevented from wearing a turban when they work as say, teachers or policemen. Muslims and Jews too face such restrictions due to attires such as the hijab, burkham the yarmulke etc. Even Catholics are prevented from wearing prominent crucifixes in many professions, despite France being an overwhelmingly Catholic country.

      In my humble opinion, secularism flows from democracy and the fact that in democracies, citizens enjoy equality and freedom. You don’t have that in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or many Islamic countries – hardly any Islamic country can be called democratic. But India’s Constitution is not based on any religious document and does actually embed liberté, égalité and séparation. Another matter is whether the law is followed in earnest but that is a separate debate.

  5. Nehru was not really secular. He was the one that first started the now infamous Iftar Parties. People may claim he did it at his home not in government buildings. However, sooner or later this was bound to happen. To claim he did not do it to woo the muslim vote is meh!!! Gandhi did it by supporting the Khilafat. These were very clever manipulative politicians. Let us not pretend here.

    Nehru was the one that said minority communalism is ok. Look where it has got us. Let us be honest and call a spade a spade. Nehru was the first one to compromise the our nation.

  6. “ The British took India’s innate secularism by the scruff of its neck and carved deep cleavages between Hindus and Muslims.”

    I disagree with this view. I don’t believe that the Hindu-Muslim relations were totally brotherly from a political perspective. Turkic and Afghan invasions happened not just for looting but also with the intent to destroy the idol-worshippers and their culture. If Muslims truly brotherly towards Hindus, why did Najib-ud-Dawla invite Ahmed Shah Abdali to invade India?

    Now, again, this is not a criticism against regular Muslim people who were farmers or artisans. But certainly at a political level, I do not believe there was ever a view that Muslims wanting to coexist with their Hindu neighbors peacefully.

    • Well, I guess I was under the erroneous impression that only the irrepressible Swami Nithyananda – of among other things Kailasa Bank fame – was capable of dishing out nonsense. But in these bizarre Hindutva times, there is no shortage of Nithyananda clones and a Vivekananda easily outclasses a Nithyananda !!!

      Yes, India is riven by many fissiparous forces and religion is one major flashpoint. But a Hindutvaist like you only sees conflict along Hindu-Muslims lines and bends backwards to find examples to prove that, cf. your statement:

      “.. I do not believe there was ever a view that Muslims wanting to coexist with their Hindu neighbors peacefully ..”

      But India’s fault lines are numerous. So tell me Vivekananda saab, do upper caste Hindu want to coexist peacefully with Dalits ? Did Bal Thackeray’s “Marathi manoos” want to peacefully co-exist with “kaala madraasis”, “biharis” “north Indians” etc. ? Assamese with Bengalis? The answer is that as long as there are rabble-rousers and demagogues who pit one identity against another, there can never be sustained peace in the country.

      The ordinary Indian, regardless of religion, language or caste is far too busy keeping body and soul together, especially in these non-achche din times. And the vast majority of them would not have heard of Najib-ud-Dowla or Ahmad Shah Abdali. Nor would they have read much into the machinations of these Pakhtun mercenaries who fought the Mughal Empire – and not Hindus – in the mid 18th century.

      What people like you forget is that one wishes to delve into history to sow discord between communities, well there will be no shortage of incidents and examples to keep the flames of hatred burning brightly. And if one wishes to make India a reasonably peaceful place for all to live, I guess using the past to perpetrate prosecutions in the present will only result in more bloodshed and pogroms. The Nityanandas of India might have buggered off to Kailsa, byt the Vivekanandas like yourself are stuck in non-Akhand Bharath aren’t you ?

  7. Mr Minhaz Merchant writes:

    “.. India needs a secular revolution that removes all public displays of religiosity ..”

    I suppose that by “public displays of religiosity” he means government displays of religiosity.

    Whilst it is certainly desirable that the government be either “equidistant” or show the same degree of proximity to all religions, this may not be possible in a very religious place like India. Thus we have the bizarre spectacle of Rajnath Singh doing his “Shastra pooja” on a Rafale, completely oblivious to the fact India’s highly secular Armed Forces have Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Christains and Parsis serving alongside each other. And that in the interests of the nation and the cohesiveness of the Armed Forces his action was foolish. He should either have desisted from this pooja or perhaps had a similar religious rite done by members of other religions.

    Likewise, one witnessed PM Modi declining a Muslim cap offered to him in a mosque whilst having no qualms about wearing a Sikh turban. Snubbing one religion whilst cosying up to another is a dangerous game – you either keep away from all religions or you show the same amount of closeness to all.

    In any case, the sight of the pyjama clad Rajnath Singh painting “om” on the fuselage and placing lemons on the plane provided a spot of amusement to the French !!

    • About ‘one witnessed PM Modi declining a Muslim cap offered to him’ – it is his personal choice and I am very happy about it. How many Muslim politicians in India will wear a Hindu religious symbol? I can tell you the answer – zero. But scores of Hindu politicians will wear skull caps to show that they are secular. Why should only Hindus do all these? I am from Kerala and we had a minister from Muslim League party who refused to light a lamp for inaugurating a function, claiming that lamp is a symbol of Hinduism!!! No one had any problem with his behavior then. All secular fellows claimed that it is his religious freedom. So what Modi did is his religious freedom. Live with it. Otherwise change the behavior of Muslim politicians too.

      • Mr Jose Joseph: Namaskaram and thanks for the response !

        Alas, what you are saying is that the insensitive behaviour of an unknown, bigoted Muslim minister in a distant corner of India should set the template for the behaviour of the PM of the entire country – nay the PM who represents India in the G20. And the de facto “vishwa guru” to the entire world. That is simply preposterous Mr Jose Joseph. Not exactly the hallmark of a God’s Own Country chap whose views ought to reflect “virthi”, “vivaram” and “vidhyabyaasam” !!

        Admittedly, the major religions of India viz. Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism are drifting away from each other and are assuming increasingly hostile postures towards each other. The activities of major political parties, religious organisations, outfits like RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP, Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), US financed Evangelical Christian outfits, aggressive proselytisation etc. etc. have not only served to widen these fissures but have also resulted in more militant and increasingly violent confrontations. Add to this already explosive religious mixture additional fuels and combustible elements like caste, language, class, ethnicity and so on, then it does not take a pundit to realise that India is sitting on a powder keg.

        It is against this backdrop that I question the actions of the PM and the broader and more serious questions his fascist RSS ideology poses for democracy, secularism and the stability of the nation. You argue that his declining of the Muslim skull cap is a personal decision. But when the PM is invited in an official capacity and not as a private person, his actions send strong signals. And given the fact that Modi has already overseen a pogrom against Muslims, has almost always never criticised gaurakshak violence against innocent Muslims and other atrocities that his own party and the RSS is instrumental in, his refusal of the Muslim skull cap has to be seen in the light of an existing anti-Muslim prejudice.

        Clearly, the Kerala of my childhood is no more the Kerala of today. The version of Islam that developed in Kerala and was relatively well integrated in the state has now been replaced by a more austere, more rigid and less tolerant, Gulf inspired version of Islam. And this version is sometimes at loggerheads with the Christian and Hindu communities there and simply does not fit in comfortably. But the answer to that is neither Hindutva nor tactical Christian support and appeasement of Hindutva as you do here Mr Jose Joseph. Rest assured that the forces of Hindutva will come after Christians too.

        Or a Winston Churchill said:

        “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last”

      • It would have been better if you had mentioned late President Abdul Kalam’s behaviour also in this conrext.

  8. Without doubt it is the Congress Party which is truly Secular.
    It is the only party which has treated all the religions equally and:
    fooled them all.

    • Mr Raju Bansal: What you say about the Congress is surely true. But could you name a party that has come to power and NOT fooled the people? Know of any party that does not rely on crony capitalists to fund elections and later reclaim favours from the party in power? After all, just as the Congress had its Birlas and Bollywood celebrities like Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, the BJP too has its Ambanis and Adanis and as crony capitalists and Dharmendra, Hema Maline and Anupam Kher etc. as Bollywood backers.

      Additionally, you forget that most Congress guys, especially those with cases against them have moved on to the BJP to avoid propsecution.

      In any case, all Indian political parties seek a path to power and when in power, they do their utmost to consolidate that power. And development comes a distant second. After all, the BJP has discarded the “sabka saath, sabka vikass” by the wayside long ago hasn’t it Mr Raju Bansal?

  9. As in life, when anything happens in excess, there is always occurs a counter to cut down that excess…. The desire to please the minorities went way beyond what was required….. as a result two things happened 1. The minorities started believing that no party could come to power without their support 2. Fairly large no of hindus started feeling left out… worst their anxieties and insecurities started getting dubbed as Communalism, Bigoted, majoritarianism… First Jan Sangh, followed by BJP started articulating those anxieties & insecurities…… So what has happened today is a result of all that happened in the past, starting with Mr Nehru….. Secularism, as defined by Nehru, his cohorts and western educated or influenced classes, has itself undergone a change now…. Now secularism is what is innate to india….not something which is imported….

  10. Excellent article Minhaz we think India is always getting formed. I am curious how the future will unfold ..Will there be an emergence of strong muslim narrative just like the way BJP is providing a Hindu narrative. Or People get dis-enchanted with the overt religious display by political parties and go for more somber political identity

  11. The author wants secular india to not have religious display but why is minority appeasement allowed in name of pseudo secularism, why is madrasa funding by govt permissible, govt controls temples but lacks balls to do anything with any other religion place of worship, personal laws allow muslims to flaunt 4 wives, minority quota and reservations are on for 55 years now, when muslims destroy public property in riots in bangalore media does not name or shame them and so on. The author does not want majority display of religion but in name of secularism allows govt to pander to miniority mob culture.

  12. Secularism versus Hinduism debate has become a dead horse. Those who raise it, either way, are living with 20th century mindset. Real challenges of the 21st century are quite different. The unimaginable and accelerated changes in techno-scientific milieu would be baffling for the thinkers still trapped in the 20th century mindset. This is the ‘Future Shock’ , which Alvin Toffler had ingeniously conceptualized. The fourth industrial revolution is expected to change the very foundation of economic and political realities. The fundamental issue is whether we Indians, irrespective of our religious affiliations, are capable of facing the challenges of the future. Are we as nation performing to harness and utilize our potential to its fullest extent. My view is that for the past seven decades, we as a nation has underperformed. The reasons for this phenomenon have to identified and corrective actions need to be taken. The first and foremost factor that comes to my mind is the need to undertake social reforms across all communities and religions. Resistance to change and adapt under the garb of secularism has immensely harmed our country. We need to shed blind faiths and beliefs, discard unhealthily rituals, traditions and practices and nurture scientific temper. We criticise the Chinese for their one party-dictatorship, but fail to appreciate how the Chinese people have modernized and adopted scientific temper and have excelled in meeting competitive global demands and expectations. Why are we Indians lagging behind?

  13. Sadly again the ” VICTIM CARD ” is on display.

    1) Nobody questions the PATRIOTISM . They themselves claim to be ARABS or more recently TURKS.

    2) Nobody requested them to riot in DELHI AND BANGALORE based on rumours.

    3) Nobody is asking them NOT to adopt POPULATION CONTROL MEASURES.

    4) Schools are open for them but if they think that praying multiple times is more important than education. Who can force them.

    5) Not ONE ANALYST from the community comes out with TRUE ISSUES. IT IS ALWAYS SOME ONE ELSE TO BLAME.


    6) For HINDUS religion is celebrating life not punishment for others.

  14. Mr Minhaz Merchant writes:

    “.. India needs a secular revolution that removes all public displays of religiosity ..”

    I suppose that by “public displays of religiosity” he means government displays of religiosity.

    Whilst it is certainly desirable that the government be either “equidistant” or show the same degree of proximity to all religions, this may not be possible in a very religious place like India. Thus we have the bizarre spectacle of Rajnath Singh doing his “Shastra pooja” on a Rafale, completely oblivious to the fact India’s highly secular Armed Forces have Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Christains and Parsis serving alongside each other. And that in the interests of the nation and the cohesiveness of the Armed Forces his action was foolish. He should either have desisted from this pooja or perhaps had a similar religious rite done by say priests of other religions to demonstrate the importance of members of the Forces, regardless of their religion.

    Likewise, one witnessed PM Modi declining a Muslim cap offered to him in a mosque whilst having no qualms about wearing a Sikh turban. Snubbing one religion whilst cosying up to another is a dangerous game – you either keep away from all religions or you show the same amount of closeness to all. But then, Godhra man does not realise that Golwan man who defends India can come from any religion.

    In any case, the sight of the pyjama clad Rajnath Singh painting “om” on the fuselage and placing lemons on the plane provided a spot of amusement to the French!

  15. ”Muslims find it difficult to get jobs.” Not only in India, the story is the same in every western countries where Muslims form a sizeable chunk of the population. Their ghetto mentality and aversion to secular education, their hesitance to accept anything non-Islamic, makes them suspect in the eyes of even very liberal people.

  16. Total agree with you.
    It is this type of nehruvian secularism which create space and ethical ground for spread of RSS ideology.

  17. Mandating tacitly or expressly through legislation, public expression of religiosity would be anti-democratic. People should be allowed to do whatever they want with their religion in public. The entire notion of secularism is rubbish in the Indian context. So let us rid us of this term. Let us just say there will be no discrimination in the name of religion. There will be no legislation or law influenced by religion to discriminate one against the other. These are simple to institute and implement. The rest is rubbish. Let us stop using the term secular…..

  18. Yes, indeed, it was a false secularism, which was being practiced to the much detriment of India, just to get Muslim votes.
    Shame on Congress.

  19. Good article sir. But who is here to hear you ?
    Congress and the left parties have nurtured only hypocritical secular lobby. They helped the Muslims to be more stubborn, fanatic and bigoted . They have always encouraged them to act against national interest of India.

    • Mr Ramachandra Prasad : In your infinite wisdom, you allege that the Congress:

      «.. always encouraged them to act against national interest of India ..»

      Since you appear to be some sort of an expert on “national interests”, may I ask you who encouraged Sikhs to act against the national interests of India during the Khalistan struggles ?

  20. Self proclaimed authors come with their own theory of secularism and keep quoating Nehru even after 56 years of his death. I wish Ambedkar would have been a better choice as first PM of India. A learned man, truly secular, have dalit back ground and more educated than Nehru. Also Ambedkar’s thoughts were more liberal and inclusive. His definition of secularism was much different and he is more Indian than British patronized Nehru.

    • Yes Ambedkar would have been a better choice to be PM. Unfortunately Nehru was nominated by Gandhi even over Patel who had far greater support in the Congress legislature party. Nehru with his Fabian socialism and British background continued to rule with the same British made laws which are the bane of India even today.

  21. Spot on. All so called secular parties have exploited Muslims for vote bank. There is no significant development amongst this community since Independence and that is the biggest proof how those parties have used Muslims for their own benefits. Correct me if I’m wrong but only less than 2% of Muslims are graduate. It’s time leaders from the community come forward and try to reform the community for their and for nation’s benefit.

  22. Good article. It’s hard to change Muslims most of them radicalized and slave mentality. They can be easily manipulated by religion. We saw in Bangalore riots.

    • Mr Sam Aruja: You cite the Bangalore riots to claim that Muslims:

      “.. can be easily manipulated by religion ..”

      Well this Sam Aruja Theory of Riots needs to be put to some tests!

      1: Would you cite the Godhra riots of 2002 to proclaim that Hindus can also be manipulated by religion?

      2: Would you cite the Khalistan violence to proclaim that Sikhs can also be manipulated by religion?

      I am sure your vast expertise on riots and religion can be used to answer my simple questions Mr Aruja. Thank you !

  23. Finally a well rounded opinion which relates to the average Indian. Mr. Merchant, as always, right on the money.

  24. IN tune with the author’s prescriptions, it is the BJP which should now take the initiative and ban all public displays of religiosity . No PM or CM should attend a public religious function . All this is to be done because it is the BJP that is a truly secular party. Yet, right now we see the BJP doing exactly what the pseudo secularists did and the author hesitates to call them out for it.

  25. Minhaz is stating the obvious in this article. Issue now is – how do we go forward from here? BJP needs to carry everyone along and in this respect, Sabka Vishwas is a major idea. Minority community should also trust BJP and create their own group within it and hold the party accountable for the policies. After all, they trusted Congress for 70 years and got nothing in return.

    The politics in future should be more on economic issues and national security rather than community. This is the only Naya Bharat that will have a bright future.

  26. sec·u·lar·ism
    Learn to pronounce
    the principle of separation of the state from religious institutions.
    “he believes that secularism means no discrimination against anybody in the name of religion”

    This is the oxford definition of secularism, no wonder it dies many times and reborn again as per individual interpretation, including this author.

    But if we go by the definition provided by the author ,which by the way in any way is not definition of secularism, then India is not a secular country.

    Here is an example:

    1. Govt controls temples but not church or mosques.
    2. Laws are not uniform but religion based
    3. Minority commission chiefs are always maskins not jews, parsis, Sikhs or jains.

    The list is endless and thus by this definition India is not secular.

    The so called liberal, elite of India peddled this fake narrative and for them the secularism came into existence only in 1976.

    Calling yourself secular in name only but in practice the state is participating in Hindu institutions only.

  27. An article with inner contradictions.
    Muslims were pampered for 50,years but their economic lot be haunted by misery. Secularism slanted towards Muslims claims the author with the newly couned word but still Muslims continues to have subnormal representation in legislature. What explanation can be.given. Continued neglect of Muslims under the coinage of secularism and pseudo secularism have played havoc .

  28. Yes, you hit the nail on the head. I agree that we need secularism that can be applied to all groups not just one. Also, we need a definition of secularism. Does our constitutional concept of secularism still work?

  29. The initial mistake of the Congress party in the post-independence era has been identified and somewhat rationalised by the writer. After that, it is the usual rant of most English language writers to blame the Congress party for the actions of the current BJP. If the economy tanks under the watch of the BJP, if pain-stakingly built institutions lose their autonomy, if money power of few industrialists can buy them all the nation’s assets, if Pakistan can be taught a lesson with “surgical strikes” and the fact be used to win elections while Chinese aggression is met by the PM lying to the nation, how is that secularism’s fault? The BJP’s wrongs are also being conveniently blamed by such writers on opposition parties and govt friendly media.

  30. muslims divided india …forced hindus out of pakistan … majority lstayed in india….but still they are victims in india.

  31. Thankfully we found the middle ground between the two sociopolitical fronts of today’s India. Hopefully people cross spectrum understand this reality and shall come towards making a more inclusive, liberal, spiritual and richer nation.

  32. Not just Nehru’s, the congress’s secularism is about allowing muslim society to evolve from within and not impose laws created by hindu’s. Rajiv Gandhi’s bill to overturn shah bhano’s case was just an example of that. He didn’t say the case wasn’t just. He said the society has to accept it through internal discourse.
    Lack of reforms in the minority society from within is the major cause of consternation for the congress. Congress has been crucified for its belief that the societal change should come from within that society.
    Rajiv Gandhi also believed that the mandir demand wasn’t really anti-secular. But the path for that wouldn’t be through a farce show of court judgement. court settlement would have been a very different matter. In the absence of settlement, mandir bill was the most logical way. It required that both the society be educated on why the bill isn’t anti-secular.

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