Do you think India is becoming an intolerant country? Or is it just hype created by media (print, television and social alike). If you concur and feel cherished after reading this post, then it is just a hype.
Secularism in India is engraved in Constitution right at the beginning in the Preamble. It is a different concept as compared to the western counter parts. Here are 10 facts about secularism which you may be surprised to know:
1) India embraces all its religions equally.
While our western counterparts has detached itself from all the religions, India has given equal recognition to every religion. This is engraved in our constitution and thus is a binding on the government.
2) Right to promote and practice own religion.
Every citizen of India has a right to practice and promote their religion peacefully. But we promote it violently.
There have been a number of incidents of religious intolerance that resulted in riots and violence. This is the irony of India which is known to be a tolerant country otherwise.
3) Islam is the largest minority religion in India.
The Indian Muslims form the third largest Muslim population (After Pakistan and Indonesia) in the world, accounting for over 12 percent of the nation’s population.
Even then, they are among the most deprived sections of India in all developmental measures like health, education and employment.
4) India is the birthplace of four major world religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
Yet, India is one of the most diverse nations in terms of religion. Even though Hindus form close to 80 percent of the population, India also enjoys multiple regions with majority populations of other religions: notably, Jammu and Kashmir with Muslim majority, Punjab with Sikh majority, and Nagaland with Christian majority. The country has large Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jain and Zoroastrian populations.
5) No discrimination.
No minority or majority can be denied admission into any state or private institution on the basis of social factors such as language and religion. The institutions have the responsibility of accepting students on the basis of merit and talent, and not on the basis of language, class and religion.
But the minorities are free to open institutes only for themselves. Education in Madarsas is one such example.
6) It is easier to mobilize Indian public on religious issues than secular issues.
Because we value our rituals more than the education and health of our child.
7) Different religions enjoy celebrations of other religions.
Yes Muslims play Holi and Hindus hug their Muslim brothers on Eid.
8) Uniform Civil Code (Almost).
In India, there is a Uniform Civil Code to supersede religious sanctions and give equal rights to women.
But Muslims are exempted from this law.
9) Communalism is the enemy of secularism.
And politicians take advantage of it. In India religion is a political issue while secular issues like education, health are not.
10) In the end, India stands united in the diversity of its religions.
We have stood for more than 65 years and will continue to do so. We have fought among ourselves time and again but when it came to external aggression all religions have walked shoulder to shoulder to lead India outside the trouble.
Tell us what is your stand on Indian secularism