INDIAN SECULARISM AN EMPTY VESSEL
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Empty vessels make much noise – indeed an old saying that is true today too. If a pitcher is full, it will make no noise at all. It will just carry water from point A to point B. On the contrary, a pitcher carrying just a little water will announce that it has no weight and may be ignored. Experienced observers of the Indian polity do not fight shy in expressing their opinion that the political parties that wear their secularism on their sleeves are patently communal. We shall analyse that a little later right in this article.
ALWAYS RELIGIOUS NEVER COMMUNAL
The Indian Armed Forces are a glaring example of being religious but never communal. The rank and file follow the religious custom and tradition meticulously but do not discriminate against a soldier, sailor or an airman because he professes a faith that is different from the one professed by an overwhelming majority of soldiers. All of them wine, dine and go into battle together against the enemy that follows a faith different from what the Indian majority follows.
The Truth is stranger than fiction. Many a practice narrated by war veterans is true to the tradition of togetherness. “Sanghatchhdhum samvadadhwam samvo manasijantam...”, the import of this Ved mantra of Togetherness comestrue when all soldiers fix their bayonets, utter a full throated battle cry and charge into the enemy( read Pakistan) bunkers likea ferocioustiger determined to kill. Theydo kill theenemywithout asking or trying to know what faith he professed. To the Indian soldiers, the Pakistani soldiers are just” Enemy of the Nation” irrespective of the religion that they follow.
The Maratha Light Infantry recruits its Jawans fromthe western India. A vast majority comprises Hindus who hold Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as the Role Model. With the advent of composite battalions, some Muslims of Maharashtra and Karnataka areas were also recruited. In the infantry charge all soldiers of the MLI raise a full throated battle cry “Bol CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ KI JAI” and thrust their bayonets into the stomach of the Pakistani enemy, who were all Muslims The desendants ofAfza lKhan who was killed in action by Chhatrapati ShivajiMahara jnever hesitated even for a moment in keeping companywiththeir Hindu comrades-in-arms.
TRUE SECULARISM IN BATTLE LIES HERE. Practising true secularism and not a pseudo one has indeed paid good and rich dividends.
There are numerous examples of this nature. In the Rajputana Rifles, some rife companies raise the full throated battle cry ”Bol RAJA RAMCHANDRA KI JAI”AND SEND THE ENEMY PACKING TOTHE NEXT WORLD.
In the political domain the story is so different that the word : “Secularism”loses lustre. Its meaning is dissolved in the muddy waters of the local pond. Let us take the example of the first elected government of Kerala being dismissed by the Centre for dereliction of duty. Nehru was the Prime Minister but could not help being partial to his own Congress party of which his daughter, Indira Ji was the President. Not only that; the so called secular party the Indian National Congress entered into an alliance with the most low level communal party, Muslim League that was instrumental in creating a theocratic state called Pakistan. Congress mistakenly boasts of being a secular party but is still in alliance with the Muslim league and has a rank communalist as a minister at the Centre. Indeed! All that glitters is not gold.
When the Election Commission announces that elections in so and so state would beheld on so and so dates, there is a mad scramble among the pseudo-secular parties to field a Brahmin candidate from a Brahmin dominated constituency, a Kshatriya from akshatriya dominated constituency. Secularism is thrown to the winds. Our political leaders say one thing and profess another. The principle of secularism is the first casualty in a battle or in an electoral conflict. No leader, big or small, makes an endeavour to rescue the favourite hobby horse named secularism. It dies a pre-mature death in every electoral fray. Muslims become a much sought after community for their votes cast en-bloc. That image has now got a crack in the mirror. Nevertheless Muslims voting for Muslim candidates is nothing short of committing murder of secularism.
The Congress party and the governments in various States have jettisoned the principle of secularism at the drop of a hat and gone in for political expediency of the lowest order. Nonetheless, it must be asserted that a State run on the principle of secularism will produce positive results. Of course, what you sow, so must you reap. If the political parties of different hues and shades join hands to carry on the state administration on the principles of liberty, equality, fraternity and a sprinkling of secularism, the largesse of the State will be passed on to the people.
Secularism was born in Europe to get matters of State removed far away from the influence of the Christian church. The Pope of Rome had become so powerful that he would not only intervene in running of the State but also impose his views on monarchs in weddings and divorces. King Henry VIII of England not only broke away from the Catholic Church but also became a Protestant The King of England cannot be a Roman Catholic even today. Europe became a votary of the principle of secularism and that meant moving away from the shadow of influence of Pope of Rome. When that secularism came to India, it was confined to problems of Muslim separation from the State and not singing the national song like Vande Mataram, raising a slogan of patriotism like Bharat Mata Ki Jai and so on.
The more Gandhi Ji followed the policy of appeasement towards Muslims as a policy of secularism, the more stubborn Muslims under Jinnah became. The pseudo-secularism eventually led to the creation of Pakistan as the home land of the Indian Muslims. Neither Gandhi ji nor Nehru could fathom the abyss of the separatist mind of Muslims and kept on tolerating Separatism as Secularism. It was India that lost its undivided existence and its vivisection meant loss of lives, limbs and property. The al for secularism raised by the Congress from time to time was interpreted as appeasement of Muslims as a vote-bank and launching of one more anti-Hindu policy by the Congress.
The vast Hindu population of the country could see through the communal game of Muslim and Christian leaders of the Congress party when they brought an Anti-Communal Violence bill in 2005. It was a bill that smacked of communalism itself and one wonders why Sonia Gandhi was digging her own grave by this kind of thought process. The notorious bill was opposed by patriotic Indian s tooth and nail and did not reach the stage of introducing it in the Parliament. It was shelved for the time being. Opposition to this devilish design must go on.
The people of India will rise again to oppose this anti-Hindu and pro-Europe law and save the mother land, India that is Bharat from the Rakshas Raj being brought in as shady Secularism.
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