Secularism and Pigeon-holes of Different Isms

The J &K High Court in a recent judgment on a petition by Kashmiri Pundits seeking State intervention to protect Hindu shrines in the Kashmir Valley made some very significant observations additionally which have a bearing on our political thinking.

Surprisingly the observations of the Court found mention only in regional newspapers.

The pertinent observations made by the Court worthy of being highlighted are as follows:

  • “As already stated India belongs to Indians who constitute the nation”.
  • “If India which is created by the Constitution which ‘we the people ‘have given to ourselves, has to survive, then it is only ‘Indianism’ which has to be there and all other ‘isms’ have to disappear from the firmament of the country called India”.
  • It further held that there was no need to bring in “secularism” in the Preamble of the Constitution, as this expression has “evoked sharp reaction” from a section of the population and “divided” people of the country into different “pigeon holes of different ‘isms’.”

Hopefully, the protagonists and the ‘High Preachers’ of ‘secularism’ in the Indian polity would take note and desist from expounding from roof-tops of their brand of political pseudo-secularism.

To the modern young Indian with a pronounced pride in their , which can be read as ‘Indian nationalism’ and who would be a significant majority of voters in 2014 General Elections would reject politicians who have nothing else to show in terms of political achievements and may even know the spelling of secularism.


More by :  Dr. Subhash Kapila

Top | Analysis

Views: 3447      Comments: 4

Comment The people of India should work together to incorporate the healthy observations of the J&K High Court into the Constitution by removing the ambiguous, counter-productive term "secularism" through another Amendment. IMHO, Hinduism isn't any different from Indianism. However, that would be regarded as of no practical value as a personal view-point shared by a few discerning minds. It is therefore better for us to go ahead with the term Indianism - which is akin to nationalism, patriotism and unalloyed love for the land called Mother India, and should be acceptable to all sections of society, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain, if they are a right-thinking lot. Anything, act or word, that threatens such spirit of Indianism should be treated as unconstitutional and treason.

Madathil Rajendran Nair
06-Nov-2013 02:33 AM

Comment Swati - You are absolutely right. The word 'secular' was brought in to the Constitution by a Constitutional Amendment by then PM Indira Gandhi. The reasons are obvious. The Founding Fathers of the Constitution were convinced that India and the Hindu ethos was fundamentally SECULAR in character and that was taken as a given. Introduction of 'secular 'in the Constitution by Constitutional Amendment was obviously impelled by political motives.

Dr Subhash Kapila
05-Nov-2013 19:53 PM

Comment As much as my memory serves me, the word secular was inserted into the preamble vide the 42nd Amendment to the constitution. The same was passed by the parliament during emergency by the brutal majority of Indiraji's Congress and with all the opposition leaders away in imprisonment under MISA. So original constitution was not meant to be secular, the great mockery was played upon the people - there was no meaningful discussion on the subject and there was no participation from all the constituencies - done by a handful of people who were miserably defeated for their execesses including these amendments. Unfortunately, Janata party did not muster the courage to drop these words when they passed the 43rd/44th Amendment Act in the new parliament elected in 1977

Swati Torsekar
05-Nov-2013 19:51 PM

Comment Credit goes to J&K High Court for stating the obvious. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

True "secularism" is at its core simply "Nationalism" or "Indianism". Any attempt to redefine it only takes it away from its core. Those who spend a lot of time raving about "secularism" in India are simply distorting it for their gains. It is nice to see that the country is awakening to this reality.

It is interesting that India is called Hindustan, yet "Hinduism" is connected with religious perception and is not understood to be the same as "Indianism" or "Nationalism". Hinduism is the sum of cultural evolution of India from the ancient times to the very present and represents contribution from every one who is "Indian". It is ironical that we find "Indianism" (a relatively new term) more acceptable. One should ponder on how to define "Indianism" and see if the definition is any different than "Hinduism".

02-Nov-2013 14:31 PM

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