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.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Selective secularism: Not judicious enough

In a stern message to the BJD government of Orissa, the Supreme Court has observed that it could not allow the ‘persecution’ of ‘minorities’ in this ‘secular’ country.

It has also asked the Naveen Patnaik government, which was elected democratically with an imposing majority, to quit if it could not protect the minorities.

The Apex Court’s observation and rhetoric have come while it was hearing a petition filed by Archbishop of Cuttack Raphel Cheenath.

The Supreme Court, like most public institutions in India now, has struck to politically correct ideas on secularism in recent times.

The observations on Sabarimala pilgrimage, the questions on Rama Sethu, the remarks on dress code at Guruvayur Temple and the statements on M F Hussain’s balsphemous paintings among many others are classic examples for the ‘over activism’ of the judiciary.

But on many occasions, its observatiosn seem lop-sided and even discriminatory. While expressing its concern over the alleged rape of a nun, it has remained silent on the murder of Swami Lakshmananda Saraswathi.

It was surprising to note the Supreme Court saying that it had been flooded with queries from different countries about the rape case and one can only wonder why should it bother about such unwarranted queries ‘engineered’ by the local elements.

Did the Apex Court not receive queries from concerned citizens and organisations on Swamiji’s murder? Does it mean to say that the foreign countries have more locus standi than the Indian organisations?

How many times did the Supreme Court warn or condemn the Dravidian government of Tamilnadu, which wantonly denigrates the Hindu Gods, Hindu culture and Hindu religion?

How many times did the Supreme Court question the ‘secular’ credentials of the Marxist government of Kerala, which meddles with the temple affairs? How many times the Apex Court has asked the central and state governments to protect the interests of the majority community?

It is a long time since it pronounced the verdict for the execution of dreaded terrorist Afzal Guru in the Parliament attack case, but, has it ever questioned the delay?

Although the constitution of the HR & CE Department itself is against the Constitution, the Supreme Court has never made an observation to that effect in the last sixty years, despite hearing a number of cases pertaining to that.

As per the Freedom of Religion enshrined in the Constitution, no ‘secular’ government has the right to interfere in the religious affairs of a particular community, whether majority or minority. Why the ‘freedom’ allowed to Churches and Mosques have not been passed on to Temples?

The Supreme Court has directed the Centre long time back to adhere to the Constitution with regard to the ‘Common Civil Code’, but so far successive governments have not adhered to its direction.

Why can’t the Supreme Court pressurise the central government and parliament to pass an ordinance for the same? The Judiciary through the eyes of Law must view ‘secularism’ as equality’.

It cannot differentiate between majority and minority and it must also view all the governments with the same yardstick, for the governments are democratically elected ‘by’ the people, ‘for’ the people and ‘to’ the people. Selective secularism does not behove well for the country.

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