Secularism is a much-touted word in India. It is the last argument in every debate for the liberal elite. It is also the last argument for most religious non-Hindu persons in any debate or discussion on any faith or politics related issue with a Hindu.
All countries, and most in its immediate far and near neighbourhood, can be religious. But India must remain secular. Because it is mentioned in the constitution. So goes the argument.
And it is also the only argument put forward by the so-called secular and liberal media on most issues that require you to take a stand.
However, it should be remembered that it is also a word which was not there in the original constitution as envisioned by Baba Saheb Ambedkar, but was inserted into the preamble of the constitution much later by Indira Gandhi due to her own political compulsions.
Secularism is not Dharma or Sarv Dharm Sam Bhav. And in Indian context, compared to Dharma or even Sarv Dharma Sam Bhav, secularism is far inferior a concept as far as overall impact and results are concerned.
In India, the meaning of secularism has been completely twisted, to an extent that it has almost started meaning that majority interests should remain subservient to minority interests. Ex-PM Manmohan Singh even actually said that the ‘largest minority’ has the ‘first rights’ over India’s resources.
But, even the western concept of secularism is no better than the Indic concept of Dharma.
In the West, secularism means separation of Church and State.
In Western countries, it means so because it has a historical context. They have had an experience of Church getting too powerful and meddling into the affairs of the state.
So, they needed to separate the Church from the State.
In the West, secularism is needed indeed. Because Church has a tendency to meddle in the affairs of the state negatively. The West needs secularism to protect it from the tentacles of religion and predatory priests.
However, a Mandir is not a Church. Mandir never rules. It does not frame laws and never imposes taxes. A Christian priest can be the richest person of a neighbourhood. A pujari is normally the poorest house-keeper of an area.
In India, there is not a single instance where a pujari has taken over the reins of state power to suppress common masses or has wreaked havoc on common man’s life. Not a single instance.
Instead, here we have instances of a raja like Gautam Buddha relinquishing the seat of power in search of knowledge. A raja leaving everything to get into a scholar’s role.
A Chanakya looks for a Chandragupta to realise his dreams of a great Magadh Samrajya.
In fact, there are numerous instances, where religious rulers have done a lot of good to the people. Think of Gupta Age kings or Rani Ahilyabai. Rani Ahilyabai slept on floor and kept her praja happy. She was just and fair. Yet she was dharmic.
Same with Shivaji Maharaj and Guru Govind Singh ji. Why would someone want to see them in a secular avatar when their dharmic conduct was so much better?
The concept of a Kshatriya carrying out kshatriya dharma of ruling and protecting people is in-built in Indic conscience.
On the other hand, a Brahmin or a scholar or a rishi is not supposed to rule. In fact, he is not supposed to even own property or pelf of any kind beyond subsistence level.
Only Kashtriya has to discharge his rajdharma. A scholar or teacher or a rishi has to focus on his dharma. And his dharma is different from a Raja’s or rajneta’s Raj Dharma.
There are many who keep repeating like a British parrot that separation between church and state is needed.
One can only agree with this view in the context of the West. Yes, the West needs this separation from THE CHURCH.
However, India does not.
Separation of rishi dharma and raj dharma is in-built in India.
It is obvious that the Indian version of secularism is nothing but complete con-job on the majority community and ethos of India.
Think of this.
Who mouths the word secularism in India the most?
Those who want, dream of and strive for China-like or Saudi-style systems. All those who hate Western democracy the most.
And what is the record of the dharmics in this context? Crores worship a Muslim Sai Baba as their bhagwan, which is unimaginable in West.
Which community can flaunt such credentials?
Crores visit Ajmer Sharif to pay respect. And Kabir’s Dohas are sung in Mandirs. Same Kabir who critiqued and questioned Hindu idols more than any Christian priest or a secular atheist could have.
So, which community respects freedom of expression more than Hindus?
No Christian priest in the West feels proud of, or advocates, secularism. That is because he knows that the very purpose of secularism is to rein him in.
And no one in Arab world advocates secularism either, because they know this is negation of their religion’s expansive mission of taking over the world one day.
Dharma has no such expansive goal. It has no dream of expanding in order to one day have control over the life of even a bird, snake or human being.
Dharma is a much better, humane, scientific, modern and non-interfering, non-violent way of treating others than the term ‘secular’ would ever envision.
Time to adopt dharma, and junk twisted-beyond-recognition secularism.