Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Distortion of Secularism

by David Frawley

In Western countries secularism means a state that is neutral as regards religion, not affording any positive or negative weight to religion in affairs of the state or the law. In India secularism has come to mean granting special government benefits to religious minorities and penalizing the religious majority, including offering salaries to Mullahs and maintaining Islamic personal law, but taxing Hindu temples. Secular India bans books in the name of religion and does other actions of a religious state, as long as the religions upheld are not the majority religion of the country.

This has resulted in a state that caters to and is dominated by religious influences rather than is truly secular. In fact secularism in India means that all religions are catered to but Hinduism, the majority religion. Representation is given according to minority religious identities, rather than banishing religious identity from secular politics. This keeps those of the majority religion suppressed and the religious ethos of the country outside of the political sphere, which only gives more ground for adharma to flourish. This is not to say that India should become a religious state. Classical India never had any theological states. A truly secular government should not cater to any religious dogma, but it must uphold Dharma and support the indigenous culture of the land, which in India has predominantly Hindu roots.

This requires removing special favors to religious minorities and stopping penalizing the religious majority. It requires revoking all personal religious laws for a uniform civil code. In addition it requires more strictly regulating the action of missionaries, who, well funded by foreign money, still prey upon the poor of India in their thirst for conversions.


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