Friday, 9 June 2017

SECULARISM

Secularism ..the most maligned word in India:
The meaning of secularism as per the dictionary,
 --- the belief that religion should not be involved with the ordinary social and political activities of a country
---- not having any connection with religion
But,
Secularism in India means equal treatment of all religions by the state. With the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India enacted in 1976, the Preamble to the Constitution asserted that India is a secular nation.
However, neither India's constitution nor its laws define the relationship between religion and state.
This is how , in 1976 our Politicians changed the meaning of secularism to take advantage that arises from the confusion of the definition. Inserting the meaning - as equal treatment to all religions for secularism is a sham in itself. Its an excuse and a license to appease the Minorities for political gains. The original meaning of secularism says - not having any connection with religion and religion should not be involved with the social and Political activities of a country. Because of the narrow sense of the definition given to the word, now, the majority people have been sidelined and trampled of their rights to express views contrarian to the views of minority religions. This the result for the number of bans ..books, film, shows etc., which in a secular and democratic environment ..shouldn’t have happen. And may be , this is one of the reason , for the rise of the so called right wing organisations to prosper. I don’t think any democratic country has separate rules for its Minorities, apart from India.
In a secular country every individual is free to practice, propagate their own religion and beliefs, And the government duty is to see to it , that both majority or minority people do not infringe over the right of others, and strike a balance. But, what we see, in India is , minority rights are given prime importance over ruling the rights of the others. Individual rights should take precedence over the religious rights.
“The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance,”
“Religious liberty was never intended to give one religion dominion over other religions, or a veto power over the civil rights and civil liberties of others, said Martin R. Castro, a Chicago Democrat named USCCR chairman by President Obama in 2011
How the US does it and would be an ideal for us also…
HOW DO YOU KNOW THE GOVERNMENT IS "ESTABLISHING RELIGION"?
In 1971, the Supreme Court of USA decided Lemon v. Kurtzman which created three tests for determining whether a particular government act or policy unconstitutionally promotes religion.
The Lemon test says that in order to be constitutional, a policy must:
1. Have a non-religious purpose;
 2. Not end up promoting or favoring any set of religious beliefs; and
 3. Not overly involve the government with religion.
The same should be ideal for any country, which declares it as a democratic and secular.