“While socialism seeks to erase the economic distinctions between human beings by taking individual choices about property out of people’s hands, secularism seeks to erase the religious differences between people by making religion irrelevant to the life of the community.” ~Hunter Baker
Secularism in India means equal treatment of all religions by the state. Unlike the Western concept of secularism which envisions a separation of religion and state, the concept of secularism in India envisions acceptance of religious laws as binding on the state, and equal participation of state in different religions.
With the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India enacted in 1976 the Preamble to the Constitution asserted that India is a secular nation.
The western model of secularism which is indeed the true secularism – keeps religion and politics separate. But in India, that isn’t the case. The diverse nature of Indian politics as well as number of religions makes the people prone to dirty religion-based politics which distinguishes India from secular nations of the west.
In India, there is secularism, then there is communalism, then there is pseudo-secularism. To the west, pseudo-secularism might be something new. In India, it means ‘non-genuine secularism’ which comes through minority appeasement.
In US, or England, or any other western nation, the terms Patriotism and Nationalism do get merged somewhere, but it can’t happen in India. In a divided society with so many religions having a cultural name ‘Hindustan’ which co-relates with one of its major religions ‘Hinduism’, patriotism seems a much better and inclusive word.
So, in a fragmented Indian society, which has a big history of cultural and religious moulding, Nationalism would only divide the nation, be it Hindu Nationalism, or the newly-termed Muslim-Nationalism (Non-Hindu Nationalism). No doubts, there can be a place for Muslim-Nationalism in Pakistan – nation which originated from the same concept.
At the end it would just me apt to toward our message to politicians that:-
The general Indian public shouldn’t get affected by all these useless things politicians do. No one is secular; all are communal in one way or another. The people who understand that nationalism, secularism, communalism, aren’t the matters of national interest should try educating the people living in interiors of the nation. For how many years politicians be allowed to crash and trash the real matters and come with foolish yet divisive topics rather that matters of general as well as national interest?