SECULARISM OR INDIANISM…?

Editorial GREATER JAMMU

It is really an Irony of this nation that those at the helm of affairs of the governance have failed to focus on the need for making Indianism the key word for communal harmony, peace and prosperity of the World’s largest democracy. Instead, those especially the political leaders who are expected to guide the masses, focused maximum on secularism and religious freedom to exploit situations for the vote bank politics. Secularism has been the topic of hot discussion in all political and social circles especially during the past few decades with people from varied fields giving multiple interpretations to this term. However it is the politicians who have come up with their novice interpretations to suit their vested interests and interests of their respective parties. For a true Indian “secularism” is nothing but “Nationalism” or “Indianism”. Unfortunately the politicians have been responsible for confining the word Secularism to religions alone and making every attempt to distort it for their personal and party gains. Since the framers of constitution were fully convinced that the Indian culture being based on true secularism therefore they felt that there was no need to use the word secular and they were absolutely right in doing so. The word ‘secular’ was later incorporated in the preamble of the Constitution through a Constitutional Amendment with obvious political motives. Instead of wasting time in giving multiple interpretations to the word secularism we need to ponder over how to define ‘Indianism’ in the best possible way leaving no scope for inter-religious bickering. There is already full religious freedom enshrined in the constitution to all the citizens of India and there is hardly any need for the politicians in connivance with the religious heads creating contradicting issues to serve their personal and political interests. In this regard the J&K High Court a few years back made befitting observations the essence of which is, “As already stated India belongs to Indians who constitute the nation. If India which is created by the Constitution which we the people have given to ourselves, has to survive, then it is only ‘Indianism’ which has to be there and all other ‘isms’ have to disappear from the firmament of the country called India. There was no need to bring in “secularism” in the Preamble of the Constitution, as this expression has “evoked sharp reaction” from a section of the population and “divided” people of the country into different “pigeon holes of different ‘isms’.” Now it is high time that such observation be incorporated into the Constitution to remove the ambiguity or counter-productive effect of the term “secularism” through another Amendment. The best way out would be to replace the word secularism by Indianism which is most akin to nationalism and patriotism besides unalloyed love for the motherland. There should be no reason for anybody to object to such amendment irrespective of the religious affiliation. All the right thinking persons across the nation be it Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Jews or Parsis will undoubtedly welcome this great move and would suggest a step further to bring provisions to construe that any act or word that threatens such spirit of Indianism should be treated as unconstitutional and treason.