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Absolute is only a perception. In a real world there never was, is or will be a utopia. The best we can do is work towards one. The problem then is while some work towards it, others work against it.

Similarly, there is no absolute definition for terrorism. Perceptions of terrorists in different geographies of the world are varied. In much the same way, closer home, there is no absolute definitions for secularism and Hindutva. The meanings of these words are defined by individuals as per their desired perception. Therein lies the paradox. As such these words matter little except to raise agenda based controversies. There can be life without these words too. A better life. We the people have to see through the politics for these words and just ignore/stop using these words.

In so much, it is inconceivable to expect politicians and Governments to bring in harmony in a heterogenous society as in India. Being a democracy, the primary aim of political parties is to grab power and stay there. The primary aim of political dispositions in democracies will, therefore, be to create a support base. In India this is done by addressing constituencies based on caste, sub caste, religion, regional “pride” et al. Dividing the electorate based on caste is no different from doing the same based on religion. Unless we change the basic narrative in the society the politicians will exploit and the people will let them be exploited by design or by default.

Harmony can’t be imposed. Only rules and regulations can be mandated. To reduce fatal road accidents the rider has to realise the danger of not wearing helmets. He can’t always depend on the traffic police to do it for him. Similarly, it is the society which has to take the lead in establishing harmony among its people. It is all about perception and narrative. That the Muslim population in India increases geometrically, could just be a perception because Islam does not allow use of contraceptives. Probably the data does not support this perception. How can we change the narrative? In such a diabolic environment as obtained in India the initiative for societal harmony has to be orchestrated by the various religious leaders at various levels. The leaders of all religions should come on to one platform and each should proclaim “..your God and your methods to reach out to him are as good as my God and my methods”.

Tail piece: In a democracy, the people should not abdicate their responsibilities which is not only to agitate at the drop of a hat.

Also read: Some clerics think they are above Quran. It’s making Indian Muslims sectarian and backward

These pieces are being published as they have been received – they have not been edited/fact-checked by ThePrint.