Saturday, 15 November 2008

Secularism: The Soul of India

India is a secular state,Pakistan is an Islamic state;so much is clear.But when we enter into the question deeply,we find some amount of confusion.A secular state is not one which does not recognise religious affinities of it's population,but the one which does not discriminate among them.

A secular state,in essence,should not discriminate among religions.In such a state,no citizen can claim or enjoy special facilities by virtue of his belonging to a particular religious community,nor can he be deprived of any civic or political right.Secularism is a modern idea.Even a hundred years ago in England,Jews and Roman Chatholics were discriminated against;they were ineligible for service under the state,or even for education in institutions under the state.It must be said to the credit of ancient India,that there never was any desire to impose relogious qualifications or disqualifications on any community as such.India has always given an honourable status to people of all religions.

In the modern world most civilised states are secular in a sense.Today,in no country is religion taken into consideration in politacal or other sphere of activity.

Secularism in the state has very great importance in our daily life.It has a social value which has it's own significance.In a secular state,society is more well knit and homogenous.The collective interest of the people has much less chance of being deflected into communal channels.This means strenght to the state.In a non secular state,in times of stress might find the people divided and disunited,but in a secular state this is far less possible.It also has an educational and cultural value.The citizens of a secular state have far greater realization of the interests of humanity.Their attitudes to the problems and demands of life are more humane and less abstract.It is a fact that if we allow a class or community to remain in an under privileged position,we become unresponsive to the human claims of the later and this has an adverse effect on our ways of thought and feelings which by no means should be encouraged.It creates a narrowness of outlook.We should make a psychologically strong state for the people to share the responsibilities of the corporate ethos.

Education should be strictly non religious and non sectarian.The modern world,under the influnce of sceintific antagonism has a more or less secular outlook on life.Religion no more colours our views on political or economic matters except in backward ir reactionary states.

We have had far too many outbreaks of communal passion to be complacent and allow the forces of reaction to take their own course.A positive step in the right direction would be to cultivate a scientific and ethical approach to our social problems-an essential prerequisite for the building up of a secular state.

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