Secularism .. The forgotten meaning
December 11, 2006 11:54am CST
Secularism. I make this post to clarify a few aspects about this. Secularism is being free from spiritual and religious influence. So, a secular state is where laws are enforced without keeping religion in mind. A political purport of this word can be gained from the roots. Secularism was a movement towards the separation of church and state. First of all, Is India a secular state? No! Why? Indian laws are not religion-independent, in the sense that the state does take religion into consideration while enforcing laws. From reservation to non-uniform civil code, religion is a major factor. The state does not turn a blind eye towards religion and hence India is not a secular state. India is at best a state with multiple state religions. So, is Secularism in the real sense important? Yes, it is. The state should be separated from all kinds of religious influence. Religion is a very personal thing and state should definitely not take such a personal thing into consideration for the purposes of governing. Having a state-religion is highly ludicrous, but favoring multiple religions in the name of secularism is equally ridiculous. For, more often that not, the definitions of religion themselves are so obscure that stratification becomes impossible. For instance, I could claim to believe that "there is only one God and Muhammad is a messenger" and still be a Hindu. Why is anything less than Secularism bad? Consider an example of a state with a state-religion. Pakistan. Kids are forced to have Islamiyat for a course until class XII. Even Hindu and Christian kids! In many a schools, carrying lunch-boxes is forbidden in the month of Ramadan. Yep, even for non-muslim kids. No, wonder it is a failed state :P (CIA says so, use google for the references) And for an example of a state with many state-religions. India. A muslim can marry 4 wives, while a Hindu can marry just one. So, if you want to practice polygamy convert! Basically the whole logic of the rules that apply to you, being dependent on (something as insipid as) your religion sucks. Its time we get over this sickular state of affairs.