Can we consider our India as a secular and united nation? Let's figure it out.
The preamble to the constitution of India defines India as a Sovereign,
Democratic, Republic…. But is the Indian state really secular?
No it is not! The basic concept of secularism is that what is good for one
religion is good for other too. But do we really believe that what benefits a
Christian, will also prove fruitful for a Sikh, a Muslim and a Hindu. The
fraternity - the brotherhood between these religions have now become a thing
that look good to talk and think about, but the reality of the present situation
begs to differ.
Article 29 of the Constitution protects the interests of the section of citizens
with a distinct religious, cultural, or linguistic identity by granting them the
right to protect their language, script and culture. It intends to preserve and
protect the innate pluralism which makes India the fabled land of diversity. In
conjunction with the same, Article 30 empowers the minorities with a right to
establish and administer their own educational institution.
But the catch here is that while the protection against discrimination in this
article only extends to institutions of minority, it does not says a word for
majorities. If one looks back to the drafting history of these provisions, there
would be a clear sense of déjà vu where minority right activists will experience
Our India is divided into hundreds and thousands of sects casts and sub –casts
that do not yield at all to these impositions of minority, majority divide. Thus
the forcing of an artificial definition that is incongruent to reality, kept the
country divided along the religious lines as the Britishers intended.
It would be worth considering here that if India is a secular state it implies
that it treats all religions equally, but there is no state religion in the
Republic in which case making the distinction between one religion and another
regardless of the no. of adherence of each makes absolutely no sense, as
corollary to this if state insist on making distinction between religions when
it comes to funding their institution then, Isn't it in a way admitting
adherence to any religious beliefs?
Practically it is not because under Article 28 the state prohibits religious
instructions in public institutions but there is also a problem if we categorize
our ancient civilization knowledge in any field as religious the modern state
severed the umbilical cord of its citizens for their priceless heritage.
There's more to it… Article 27 forbids the tax from being levied on citizens for
the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious
denomination but if we consider minority affairs ministry sets up yet another
scheme for their empowerment then the fund for the same is being taken from the
tax payers so while the government does not divert your tax in the service of
the religion it still does so but indirectly.
At last there's famous case of only Hindu temples being under governmental
control while other religion enjoy complete freedom running their own
institution without interference as guaranteed
by Article 26 of the constitution in effect the government and the courts are
controlling Hindu temples imposing their own western notions of morality and
rationality only on belief and practices.
Article 26 to 30 of the constitution were meant to give religious freedom to
country but some articles have been misused and deny that freedom to the vast
majority of Indian population.