Links: Secular Road to Hell

Arvind Lavakare’s piece in sify titled “Let us all salute Narendra Modi” includes a quote from a letter that K M Munshi wrote to Jawaharlal Nehru:

In secularism’s name, politicians adopt a strange attitude which, while it condones the susceptibilities, religious and social, of the minorities, it is too ready to brand similar susceptibilities in the majority community as communalistic and reactionary. How secularism sometimes becomes allergic to Hinduism will be apparent from certain episodes relating to the reconstruction of the Somnath Temple…These unfortunate postures have been creating a sense of frustration in the majority community. If, however, the misuse of the term ‘secularism’ continues,…if every time there is an inter-community conflict, the majority is blamed regardless of the merits of the question, the springs of traditional tolerance will dry up. While the majority exercises patience and tolerance, the minorities should adjust themselves to the majority. Otherwise, the future is uncertain and an explosion cannot be avoided.

The Congress’s “divide the country along religious and caste lines and rule” policy will bear very bitter fruits indeed. People are waking up. The springs of traditional tolerance are drying up, as Munshi warned generations ago. Slowly but surely. You see the signs on the internet now and soon it will migrate to the hard copy press.

The Secular Road to Hell by Ramananda Sengupta, chief editor of Sify.

Here’s Shobha Warrier in rediffiland: Modi, a hero.

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

3 thoughts on “Links: Secular Road to Hell”

  1. Jakob De Roover’s article: Secularism, Colonialism and The Indian Intellectuals
    http://www.india-forum.com/essay/72/1/Secularism,-Colonialism-and-The-Indian-Intellectuals

    “In fact, the Nehruvian secularism of the first few decades of the independent Indian state appears to have had as its long-term result an upsurge ? rather than a decline ? of intercommunity confliict. The problem I will address is to account for the stubborn adherence to the value of secularism among the Indian intellectuals, in spite of this spectacular failure. This adherence seems based in dogmatism, rather than in rational, critical or scientific argument.”

    “The idea of secularism has been one of the backbones of the colonial educational project, which approached India as a backward society in need of conversion to modern western values.”

    “… bring me to the conclusion that the Indian secularists are today sustaining the colonial stance towards their own culture and society. They presuppose that the modern value of secularism or toleration is the superior way of organising a plural society. Given this assumption, they easily come to the conclusion that India should adopt this value like all other modern nation-states. This is not an exhibition of human scientific rationality, but rather an instance of the fallacy of petitio principii. That is, the secularists take as a presupposition what they actually have to prove: the superiority of the modern value of secularism. The consequences are dramatic. Alternatives to secularism ? e.g., the ?traditional? ways of living together as they have developed on the subcontinent ? are not even taken seriously as solutions to the predicament of pluralism in twenty-first-century India. Any one who dares challenge this supreme value is classified as a naive conservative, a Hindu communalist, or worse. Thus, secularism limits the options of the Indian intellectuals to two equally flawed positions: either one continues the colonialism of the last three centuries through a dogmatic adherence to ?modern secular values;? or one fights this stance on its own terms by becoming an ?anti-modern?, ?anti-western? or even ?anti-scientific? fanatic.”

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  2. The link above has some formatting issues, here is a better one:

    http://colonial.consciousness.googlepages.com/secularismandindianintellectuals

    ” If the history of ideas proves that secularism is a Christian idea, why then have so many Indian intellectuals appropriated it as the norm to be attained by the Indian state and its citizens? This question becomes all the more pertinent once we are aware of the many theoretical shortcomings of the concept of secularism. For instance, as I have argued elsewhere, we do not possess a scientific framework today that allows us to distinguish the religious from the secular or the political. We do not even have a clue as to what makes the Hindu traditions into religion. All we have is vague and useless definitions of the word “religion,” which do not offer us any understanding of the phenomenon of religion. Still, we keep on saying that “the religious” should be separated from “the political” or that the state ought to be “secular” and not “religious” as though it were eminently clear what distinguished these spheres. Without providing any convincing argument, the secularists never cease to preach that “secularism should be revived in India”

    The danger is that this critique of secularism is mistaken for a justification of “the Hindu religious state” in India. But this is not at all implied by my argument. Rather, the suggestion is that the conceptual distinction between “the religious” and “the secular” does not help us to understand Indian society and that the norm of secularism does not help us to alleviate the inter-community tensions of this society. Still, a bizarre but often-heard reply suggests that this is equivalent to rooting for a Hindu state. In other words, the secularists assume that any deviation from – or opposition to – secularism amounts to “religious fundamentalism.” To understand where this comes from, we have to reveal the role played by the idea of secularism in the colonial educational project.

    ” The time has come to move beyond the constraints of this colonial stance. India does not need secularism for its survival. Hindus, Muslims, Christians and several other groups were quite successful at living together in relative peace for a long period of time in India. This plural society did not fall apart. Yet, it had never even heard of “secularism” or “toleration.” Therefore, the task ahead is to examine the ways of living together as they have emerged in various regions of India.”

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  3. no way could one make the claim that Non-Muslims were successful in living together with Muslims
    (or worse under Muslims).
    I still at times beleive the stink the muslim and a few of their dropout converts/pseudo cultural equivalent types make in Canada,Europe.
    So i find india more offensive wrt its islamic solicitous approach.

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